Drainage Education

The concept behind drainage seems pretty basic: collect water, move it away from property.  However, numerous factors influence how well a drainage system works.  The experienced drainage contractors at Weaver and Associates understand how these factors work together so that they design and install a drainage solution that does the job right, the first time.

Below are answers to our most frequently asked questions.

FAQs on Fixing Common Drainage Problems

Q: Is my job too small for your company to handle?
A: No.  We handle very small drainage problems in residential yards to large commercial projects.

Q: Our current drainage solution worked well at first but now we’re noticing water where it shouldn’t be.  Can you look at our system and correct what is wrong?
A: We are happy to look at your drainage system and find a solution.  You should know, however, that in most cases, modifying an existing system won’t work.  This is because one of the most common mistakes made by homeowners or landscapers is that they don’t install catch basins and pipes low enough, so water doesn’t flow rapidly enough to solve the problem during a heavy rain.

Our top priority is identifying the drainage solution that will fix the problem the right way, the first time. 

Q: Our street is higher than our house and I’m worried that water is damaging our foundation.  Since we can’t direct the water away, towards the street, are we just out of luck?
A: No, your luck will likely be in the form of a pump.  If there is not enough of a drop from your home to the discharge point, a pump can be installed.  As experienced drainage contractors, we will take measurements, make calculations, and recommend the best solution for fixing your drainage problem.

Q: I’ve hired several companies to fix my drainage problem, but it still persists.  I don’t have any more money to waste on a “quick fix.” How do I make certain I am choosing the best drainage contractor?
A: Visit our Choosing a Drainage Contractor page for tips and suggestions.

Q: Do you really have to remove the plants when installing a drainage solution?
A: Most of the time, the answer is yes.  This is necessary when the grade doesn’t slope in the right direction or at the right elevation.  Many plants can be replanted.  Larger, more established plants or trees may sustain unavoidable damage to their root systems and may have a lower chance of survival.  With grass, our experience has shown that it typically takes less of our time and the property owner’s money to replace the grass than to remove it and replant it.

Q: Will my landscaping be a mess after you install the system?
A: Unfortunately, to install most drainage systems, some of the landscaping has to be “torn up.”  At Weaver and Associates, we take great care to only disturb what is absolutely necessary and leave the site in the best possible condition when we are finished.  In virtually every job, we are complimented on how great the site looks when the installation is complete.

Q: Do you charge to give me a bid?
A: No, there is no charge.  However, unlike many companies that give you a bid on the spot, we’ve found that it is better to take the time and effort to perform measurements, calculations, and custom design a drainage system, then present a drawing and detailed text including the full scope of the project with our bid.  This way, you can make an educated choice and see exactly what you’ll be getting and how it will solve your drainage problem.

Q: I hear the term “French drain” used a lot.  What is it?
A: A French drain is primarily used for collecting subsurface water—water that is below ground.  It is a trench lined with filter fabric and has a pipe with holes in it placed on the bottom.  Gravel is used to backfill the trench.  Near the top of the trench, the fabric is folded over, totally enclosing the system.

It works when water moving across the trench falls through the spaces between the gravel, travels to the bottom of the trench, enters the holes in the pipe, and flows away from the area with the slope of the pipe.

It is important that the drainage contractor recognize when a French drain is needed as a drainage solution.  We commonly see surface drain systems composed of catch basins installed on the surface of the soil when a French drain was the best way to solve the drainage problem.

Q: Some of the doors and windows of my home are sticking and I see a few cracks in the exterior brick wall.  Could this be a drainage problem?
A: Yes, if the soil supporting the foundation has a lot of clay in it, and it becomes saturated, it can expand and actually move portions of the foundation.  This may be the cause of the sticking doors and windows.

If you still have questions or would like a bid, contact us today.