Rainwater and Your Foundation: What You Need to Know

Rain water by foundation

In rainy spring weather, no doubt many Michigan homeowners ask themselves what they can do about all the excess water in their yards. If your yard turns into a pond every spring, it can wreak havoc on your lawn and garden. In addition, it is especially dangerous for your house.

Water that ponds in your yard, and especially poor downspout flow, can damage the foundation of your home. It may not show up in a year or even two years. However, eventually, water will find a way to wreck anything.

So, is there anything you can do to make a difference?

Guide Rainwater Away From Your House

If your roof system is working correctly and your gutters and downspouts are routinely maintained and cleaned, the next most important step for home maintenance is guiding rainwater away from your house.

Options for Diverting Rainwater

There are three other options if you want to get more efficient with rainwater:

Rain Barrels

Rain barrel
Rainwater flowing into a rain barrel

Rain barrels are an inexpensive way to collect rainwater that you can re-use for gardening needs. In Michigan, where we have no lack of rain or fresh sources of water, we don’t think much about harvesting rainwater for our home’s needs, but this can be done as well.

You would need a special roof and collection system in order to use rainwater for drinking or bathing.

If you are using the water for gardening, all you need is a sloped roof, gutters, downspouts, wire mesh gutter screens to keep out debris, and a storage tank.

A $50 plastic barrel will do just fine and a way to move the water out of the tank – like a spigot at the bottom. If you want to spray water directly from the barrel instead of using gravity, you will need a pump.

Bury Downspouts to a Sloped Location

You can also have your downspouts connected to a PVC pipe. They can then be buried and route water to a spot in your yard at least 8 feet from your house. Ideally, you want the water to drain down the side of a small decline, or where it will least affect your yard.

A Dry Well

Another solution, which may work nicely for yards that are routinely flooded, is a dry well buried underground. A dry well is a large, perforated, bottomless barrel buried in your lawn. It sits in a hole surrounded by gravel in order to let the water disperse slowly back into the ground.

Buried downspouts can be connected by PVC pipe to a dry well to facilitate draining and to keep the water from being redirected into the sewage system.

The other great thing about a dry well is that it’s cheap and you can do it yourself. All you need are the relatively inexpensive materials and some time to dig! Your trees and gardens will thank you.

We’re Here Whenever You Need Us

Any system that will take water away from your home’s foundation is better than letting it pool. If you live in Southeast Michigan and need help, please give us a call.

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