If you have significant drainage dilemmas, soil improvement or leveling may not be enough. A diversion, such as a swale, could be constructed to channel the water to a more desirable spot and prevent pooling in the yard. A popular solution is to create a dry creek bed, which provides an interesting focal point to the landscape during dry weather and serves a useful purpose when the rainy season arrives. Both swales and dry creek beds also help significantly with erosion.
If neither of these options is feasible in your landscape, subsurface drainage might be the answer. Underground collection pipes, catch basins and channel drains can be installed to remove large amounts of potentially damaging water. French drains are another alternative, particularly around the foundation and in raised beds or planting areas. These drains collect water and allow it to slowly seep back into the ground.
In some situations, drain fields can be dug and filled with crushed rock to enable water to seep into the earth. While handy homeowners can install simple drainage systems, larger or more complicated jobs might be better suited to a landscape professional who is an expert in grading and drainage work.
Here are some easy and inexpensive ways to help keep water from ponding under a house:
- If the water comes from roof drainage or surface drainage collecting next to the foundation, it is necessary to direct the water away from the house. Don’t let roof drains and gutter pipes terminate next to the foundation. Make sure water is directed away from the house to a suitable drainage facility by some method such as closed pipes.
- Don’t let water pond or flow next to the foundation. Make sure that all soils and walkways next to the foundation slope so that rainwater will flow away from the foundation.
- Plan your landscape watering to give just the ideal quantity of water. Overwatering can cause sub-surface water problems or the excess water can simply flow into crawlspaces via vents in the foundation. A drip irrigation system is ideal in many cases.
It is not always possible to make enough improvements to keep water from getting under a house because of swimming pools, patio decks, or landscaping. Sometimes the only reasonable solution in these cases is to install a sump pump at the lowest place under the house.
If groundwater is causing the problem, a deep sub-drain can sometimes be built to intercept the groundwater and keep it from rising to the surface. This is were you want to consult with drainage experts to determine the most cost effective solution