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4 Proper Types Of Drainage For Florida Homes

If you reside in Florida or plan to relocate there, drainage systems might be the furthest thing from your mind. But it’s essential to be aware of the different types of drainage available to you for your Florida home.

This article discusses all four main drainage systems, their benefits, how to install them, and even answers your frequently asked questions.

Importance of Proper Drainage Systems in Florida

Did you know that drainage issues are one of the leading causes of structural damage in Florida? To prevent this, proper drainage is crucial for Florida homes. Without a proper residential drainage system, your home can suffer from the consequences of excess water pooling around your property.

This can damage your home’s foundation and even erode, affecting the reproductive system of the plants around the property. Also, this can attract pests and build their breeding grounds.

To avoid that, knowing how to assess your drainage needs and options is crucial. Firstly, you should find out what residential drainage system you currently have.

If you have issues with puddles that won’t evaporate, your grass remains wet a long time after a heavy rain spell has ended, or water pooling on your driveway, this is a tell-tale sign of issues with the current drainage.

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Types of Drainage Systems for Florida Homes

1. French Drains

Of all the common types of drainage, french drains are the most used drainage systems available. Pipes are put into the ground around your property, opening up a smooth, easy conduit for the surrounding water to escape, draining away.

Typically, the water will run into a gravel trench, a low-lying area of the property, or the street and then empty through a perforated pipe a safe distance from your home.

This means that water-damage risk is significantly reduced, which can occur due to hydrostatic pressure beneath the ground. It’s essential because hydrostatic pressures and many other hazards are caused by dampness.

2. Swales

Swales are another important element for your drainage solution. It’s a shallow drainage conduit with side slopes so that excess water can travel away from a site.

It’s worth hiring or talking to a professional for this, even though you can do it yourself, as it is highly likely that you will need earth-moving equipment to make it happen.

3. Downspouts

The downspout is the conventional drainage pipe that comes down from your gutter and into the drains, ensuring that rainwater is dealt with rather than with subsurface drainage issues.

They are what we think of when we think of a drain pipe. These are essential for drainage; houses without them are much more susceptible to damage via moisture and corrosion.

To get the best out of the downspouts in the installation process, don’t cut corners. Quantity is important; you need a doable number of downspouts for the best efficiency.

Secondly, ensure your downspout bases are far away enough from your home to function properly. You can even position the pipes towards the drainage areas so that water has the least amount of contact with the foundation of your home.

Finally, keep on top of the maintenance. This means clearing out the gutters occasionally and expert repairs in cases of severe damage.

4. Grading

Then there’s yard grading, which is vital for proper drainage. Grading is reshaping the land to steer water and fluids away from the property. Paved surfaces, for example, are supposed to have a 1 percent slope for this purpose.

Grading can be done in two steps, and once again, it might be wise to consult a professional here to get the best advice or to work on the yard grading for you.

First, you must assess and measure the grade as it currently is and then move the earth around to steepen it and change the trajectory of water. With some professional techniques and solid grafting, you can probably get the drainage flowing correctly within a day.

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It’s essential to rid your property of excess water. A comprehensive drainage system that covers both the surface and the subsurface (protect your soil!) is the best strategy, especially in Florida, where the downspouts are given a run for their money during the severe storms that are known to occur around June to September, which is the rainy season.

If you want more expert advice about Florida drainage, look no further than Smart Florida Gutters, which specializes in the Florida area.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to install a drainage system?

There are multiple components to installing a drainage system, including materials, type of drainage, and hired labor costs. Considering this, there is no fixed number. The average cost of drainage installation in Tampa, FL, is reported as $7,600.

Can I install a drainage system, or should I hire a professional?

It depends on your level of expertise and the complexity of the drainage system in question. If you don’t know what you are doing, hire a professional.

If the process is something that you can do (e.g., a grading drainage system), then you might be able to fix it up yourself. But remember, subsurface drainage is important to get right, as a faulty system will cause many hazards in the long run.

What are the common problems with drainage systems, and how can I avoid them?

Common draining issues include blockages, broken/displaced joints, fractures, collapsed pipes, and root intrusions (when tree roots burrow into the ground and pierce the pipelines).

You can avoid these with regular maintenance and also through a thorough installation process. Take steps such as building your swales a good distance away from trees and investing in solid drainage pipe structures, and you will minimize the risk of these issues.

How often should I maintain my drainage system, and what are the signs of a malfunctioning system?

Optimally, cleaning and maintaining your pipes once a week will minimize any risks of malfunctions. The tell-tale signs are slow-draining sinks, foul odors (both can be caused by debris that needs getting rid of), or leaking and burst pipes. Leaks can lead to further damage when left unchecked.

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