Proper drainage starts at the Foundation footing. Proper footing drainage prevents water from entering under the building's slab or into the crawlspace. Dry slabs and crawlspaces prevent wood decay and mold issues.
Gutters are a very important part of your roofing system and will require regular maintenance to keep your home/building operating properly. By directing rainwater away from the perimeter of your home, gutters are the first line of defense against water seeping into your home's siding, foundation, and soffits. Water-damaged building materials often lead to interior mold, wood decay, and wood-destroying insects. So if your gutters are clogged with debris or are not in an operating condition, they will not function properly, potentially resulting in water damage to your home/building among other things.
Gutter Debris - This is the easy step, keep your gutter clean! It takes very little debris to back up a gutter drainage system. While inspecting your gutters ANY debris near the scupper needs to be removed no matter how small the amount. Gutter Seams - Seams will need service every few years for failed caulking. These areas are easily inspected during rainy days. Walk the property and look for excessive dripping along gutter ends, especially outside corners and inside corners. Any troubled areas will need old caulking cleaned/removed and sealed with a 50-year gutter sealant. Loose Gutters - Older gutter systems were installed with gutter nail spikes. These fasteners over time lose holding power and often need to be replaced with new-style screw hangers. Screw hangers are easier to install and are unlikely to slip the rafter tail like the nail spikes are known to do. Hanger should be installed every 2-3 feet. Also, Remember not to interfere with the pitch of the gutter when installing your new hangers.
Then, when the time comes to replace the shingles, a new drip edge should be installed—one that has a fascia leg with a big enough kick out along the bottom edge to channel water directly into the gutter
Where Does The Water Go?
The pipe to nowhere comes in several disguises but they all have one thing in common – they create a concentration of stormwater on or in the ground around the foundation of a home and cause the basement to seep water through any one (or more) of a variety of openings.
One local Seattle owner with a solid poured concrete foundation, for example, had downspouts running into professionally-installed PVC pipes that led into the ground. When these “extensions” were dug up, they turned out to be straight lengths of pipe that extended 2 feet into the soil and stopped. They went literally nowhere but caused the soil to be oversaturated and standing water in the crawlspace.
Then there’s the “looks good on paper” pipe to nowhere that is an underground extension but is so poorly planned and designed that it does more harm than good.
Another local Bellevue homeowner had underground extensions installed using the kind of corrugated plastic pipe (which is not the best system, Use Schedule 40 PVC drainage pipe!) that is normally used for interior drain tile. This pipe is perforated and the idea behind the design was that water would flow through the perforations and be absorbed by the soil. This might have worked for a short time when only a trickle entered the pipe but it was completely buried, causing it to clog up with soil, and the first heavy rain backed up the extensions and overflowed back under the house.
Finally, there’s the “it’s connected to what?” version of the pipe to nowhere that is often found in older homes. Chances are, when downspouts empty into corrugated piping that extends out of the ground, this pipe is connected to the home’s exterior drain tile system. This may work OK but it can create other maintenance problems.
When the water from the downspout flows into the drain tile system, it multiplies several times over the volume of water the drain tile was designed to handle. This greater volume of water creates a huge load on the sump pump, which will run almost continuously in heavy rains, shortening its life and increasing the risk of failure. There are much easier and less costly ways of extending a downspout and preserving the sump pump.
So how does a homeowner avoid the dreaded “pipe to nowhere?” By having a qualified drainage specialist design and install an underground downspout extension system that goes to the right place – a bubbler pot, dry well or storm sewer – and that will keep rainwater away from the foundation and out of the crawlspace.
Corrugated Drainage Vs Schedule 40 Piping
Black corrugated drain piping is not the ideal choice. It is difficult to inspect and future cleaning may not be possible, which leads to replacing the entire buried system.