Did you just get your yard drainage system installed in your home? What does it do? Yard drains and driveway drains help remove rainwater from your property into the storm sewer or other drainage systems like a catch basin or French drain to help keep your yard dry.
Its sometime ignored but the maintenance of drainage systems is highly important for it to keep working well and do what it’s supposed to do. If not maintained and cleaned, drainage systems tend to get clogged and stop draining the excess water. This in turn can lead to foundation problems, broken pipes and other uncomfortable situations like mud, waterpooling and mosquitos.
These few tips can help you prevent drainage problems:
Related: Different Types of Drainage Systems
CLEAR ANY DEBRIS
Check for obvious things blocking the drain like leaves, dirt, stones, toys, trash, etc. Remove any of these items that may be present with your hands or scoop if possible. If there is a grate on the yard drain, remove it so you can get a better look into the drain pipe. Make sure you are careful when you remove the grate so you wont break it. Use a flashlight if it’s too dark to see. Sometime large pieces of debris can be halfway in and a simple observation can solve the problem before it becomes a bigger one. If there is additional debris viewable in the drain, try to remove it carefully without damaging the pipe itself. Next, use a garden hose to flush water through the drain and see if that helps clear any remaining blockage. If this doesnt work, try a snake drain.
SNAKE DRAIN REGULARLY
Your property may have one or more drain cleanouts likely located near the house, or by the street (closer to the storm sewer) or on some other location in your yard depending on how your yard is setup to handle the water drainage.
California Foundation Works can help you locate any cleanouts on your property if necessary. If you are running water from a hose through your yard drain, you should see water flowing through the drain cleanout towards the storm sewer or other drainage area. If you do not see a flow of water, this could be a sign of a more serious clog including tree roots in the drain pipes or you may have broken pipes.
If you have trees on your property making tree roots a likely candidate for blocking your yard drain or if you suspect it is simply a more stubborn clog of dirt and debris, using a hydro-jet or a drain snake to clear the problem will be required.
DON’T USE CHEMICALS
Please dont. Using chemicals in your yard drainage can do more harm than good.
We do not recommend that you use chemicals to attempt to unclog yard drains or driveway drains as they typically drain directly into a waterway via the storm sewer without first treating the water at a sewage treatment facility.
Related: Moisture Affect on Foundation
FIX BROKEN GRATES
Unfortunately, sometimes the drainage pipes can get bent, broken, punctured or damaged in any other way that can make cause disfunction to its purpose.
As a homeowner, you should fix or replace broken yard drain grates and pipes that might have been damaged. You should consider finer screen or grate to keep more of the dirt and debris out, but not too fine that will restrict the flow of water or easily get clogged up.
Related: Preparation for the rainy season
MAKE A YEARLY PLAN
If water still drains slowly after a thorough cleaning, consider having a larger yard drain installed. This could be costly, but it may be the only way to allow the water to drain quickly enough that it does not stand in your yard.
Another important thing to do is to find a drain cleanout or cleanouts in your yard, then hand sketch a map of where all the drains and drain cleanouts are for future reference.