Have you been experiencing basement or yard drainage issues and learned that the percentage of impervious surfaces on your property have created a portion of the problem?

An impervious surface is one that cannot be penetrated by water. Areas such as paved roads, driveways, sidewalks, concrete patios, and roofs are all surfaces unable to absorb water, thus considering them impervious surfaces.

Naturally, rain is intended to be absorbed in the soil and when not allowed, this can cause redirecting or pooling on your property.  When this gets bad enough, due to design/construction or the sheer amount of rain, flooding occurs as the moisture remains on the surface of the ground. Ground water is necessary not only to provide nutrients to the soil, but also to raise the water table. Dropping levels affect more than your basements, it also hinders moisture from feeding local streams and wells, causing them to dry up.

Without the chance to seep into the ground, the excess water will require attention to make sure it is going where it won’t cause damage to your property.

Most of the time, we are unaware that the amount of impervious surface on our property can cause issues until flooding becomes a continual problem.  Sometimes, making changes to the exterior of your home and garage that require permits can raise these issues as well.

Many municipalities have a required ratio of impervious surfaces to natural (water absorbing) surfaces.  These requirements will dictate the percentage of impervious surfaces allowed before additional drainage is required to prevent trouble from arising in yours or neighboring property.

As more natural landscape is being replaced with homes, parking lots, and roads it is crucial that proper drainage options be installed to make up for the organic drainage being lost.

Curbs, sewers systems, and ditches are examples of drainage built in to compensate for the current surface that has been developed on.

Common Surfaces

Roof – One of the largest surfaces on your property potentially causing trouble is the roof. Although most roofs are pitched and do not allow standing water, run off water must have a proper place to go after it rains.

Gutters and downspouts are crucial, yes, even on a garage, in providing a way to displace the excess moisture from the roof. Keeping the gutters clean of debris and further extending the downspouts away from the foundation greatly helps protect your home from standing water.

Paved Areas – Traditional pavement is made up of impermeable materials, not allowing for moisture to move through it.

Property drainage is necessary for storm water runoff to properly drain to prevent flooding of the yard and home. Keeping these storm drains clear of debris helps ensure that they are effective.

Porous pavement, such as porous asphalt or interlocking concrete pavers, are created to allow water to run through the pavement into the soil.

Decreasing the amount of storm water runoff reduces the need for additional (more expensive) measures to be taken such as drain tile, retention ponds, or additional storm drains.

Decks – While permeable to a certain degree, most decks are considered impervious surfaces by your municipalities. Commonly, decks have cracks between boards, allowing for moisture to drain through to gravel or stone underneath, preventing standing water on the surface.

Additional drainage may be required under the deck in efforts to prevent basement seepage or flooding.

Municipality Involvement

While your basement and yard are at risk of flooding, the concern for water quality because of increased storm water runoff has become a greater issue. The more water that is forced to run off and not allowed to properly absorb into the ground, carries threats to both the quantity and quality of our water supply.

Exposed to chemicals, fertilizers, automobile oils, and pesticides, this water is being drained into local storm drains untreated and at risk of contaminating local ponds and streams.

If you are considering replacing or adding a new driveway or garage to your property and are curious if that is possible, contact Heartland Garage Builders for a FREE consultation and estimate at HeartlandGarageBuilders.com or 224-326-2698.