Simply put, drainage contractors protect your property. A proper drainage system keeps your home from flooding. It is also important for healthy plants and trees, which further enhance your property value. It alleviates problems with the foundation of your home, preventing cracking, uneven shrinkage and swelling. If your patio design includes drains, they will drain water away from that area to prevent standing water that can cause slippery surfaces, mosquito breeding grounds and drowned landscaping. Professional drainage contractors work to achieve all of these benefits so that excess water flows off your property in a timely fashion.
Drainage Contractors: Planning and Installation
- Drainage plans. The total landscape drainage area of your property for drainage purposes is called a watershed. Watershed means the total water drainage area with its different slopes, rates of water run-off, soil porosity and the dividing line between each drainage surface area such as roof, deck and lawn areas. A property watershed analysis by a drainage expert will identify these different areas and will recommend the appropriate fixtures and pipe size for the landscape drainage system.
- Landscape designers or landscape architects. Drainage contractors consult with other professionals involved in your landscape design to develop a whole-system approach.
- Permitting. Many cities require the submittal of a drainage plan with regulations concerning minimum pipe size.
- Engineering plans. In addition, some jurisdictions may require an engineered landscape drainage plan with submitted runoff equations.
- Tree preservation. When installing a drain system, it is recommended to hand-dig trenches around trees to minimize damage to them. It is best to tunnel under tree roots by using compressed air. This method exposes tree roots so they are not torn. Alternately, pressurized water can be used to dig deep trenches and expose roots, which also minimizes damage.
- Types of drains. Your drainage system may include gutter downspout tie-ins, catch basins (also known as yard drains), channel drains, French drains and deck drains.
In Houston, drainage issues are very serious due to our flat topography, dense clay soils, and heavy forested lots compacted by years of construction that have increased impervious surfaces. These factors have cause more streets and homes to become flooded during the heaviest rainfalls. Consequently, local ordinances are beginning to follow the model used by the Memorial Villages that require minimum pipe sizes, flow rates, temporary drainage systems, engineered drainage plans, calculations, topographic maps, and as/built plans. If a landscape company embarks on a project without a thorough understanding of these demands, homeowners may find themselves drowning in a big mess that can cost thousands to rectify.
Sump pumps or sump systems are sometimes needed as part of your landscape drainage system to move the water out of areas lower than the elevation being drained to. A sump pump basin is usually constructed of brick or concrete with an electric pump. Proper maintenance consists of regular inspection and cleanout of catch basins, downspout clean-outs, and inspection and replacement of power connections on sump pumps and drain covers.
Drains can be unattractive, so it is important that drainage contractors locate the drains so they are hidden as much as possible. Sometimes the use of custom decorative drain gates can be used to reduce the negative visual impact.
If you are installing other elements as part of your landscape architecture, such as swimming pools, decks or irrigation systems, it is best to hire a landscape service company that uses competent subcontractors so that the design, location and installation of the entire landscape design, including the drainage system, is seamless with the overall improvements.
Call Exterior Worlds and its expert drainage contractors at 713-827-2255 to discuss your drainage issues. Exterior Worlds provides high-end landscape design and services for the Houston metro area, including the Memorial Villages of Piney Point Village, Bunker Hill Village and Hunter Creek Village.