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The Drainage Questions You Must Ask

February 3, 2023by Peter Hudson

To optimize your outdoor living areas at your home, here are some drainage questions you must ask.

How long does water stay in your yard after a rain?

Draining your yard is not a necessity, or is it? That would depend on what kind of outdoor living area you want and how well any rain water drains from your yard. When we we get rain like we have had recently, the ground will stay wet and may take weeks to dry out. My yard is super wet and have had about 8″ in the last week.  As I write this, the rain is still coming down, the weather forecasters say sunshine is on the way. It cannot come soon enough for me or my dogs. Ike and bandit are ready for more walks.

How much water is coming into my yard from rain?

You can use this calculation to help to understand how much water is collecting in your yard. Per 1″ of rain, your yard receives 0.623 gallons of water per square foot. Measure your backyard. Say it is 60′ long and 40′ wide. That is 2400 square feet. Multiply times .623 and you get 1,495 gallons of water. This does not include any runoff from your roof. This should be included in your calculation. You will be surprised how much water goes in your yard. We usually recommend separating your downspout gutters from your yard drainage. If you do not have a threat to get water in your home it may be an option to combine the two.

What kind of soil do I have in my yard?

Houston is cursed with what I call gumbo, ie clay soil. Most of town has more than there fair share.

Clay soil does absorb much water and takes time to drain. It adds to the drainage problems in our area. Homes built close together and put fences and concrete pads on the side of your house and you have a potential problems. I tell customers to never put any concrete on the side of your home. This blocks the path of water getting out of your yard.

How much water can I drain?

This is your top line flow when using 4″ SDR 35 pipe with a 1″ slope or 12″ of grade per 120′.

4″ – 135 gallons a minute.  6″ – 391 gallons a minute. 8″ – 833 gallons a minute.

We start with SDR 35 PVC smooth inner surface pipe when we install drainage. It lasts and will hold up to any maintenance that is required. Black corrugated pipe should never be an option for drainage unless it is a short term solution. Corrugated pipe is difficult to clean and you cannot get a good seal to keep out roots.

If your drainage system is draining at a slower pace than usual, your system could be clogged with debris. There are different solutions regarding drainage cleaning that can be vital to your system. Learn more about the importance of drainage cleaning. Answering these drainage questions could save your yard and home from flooding.

Call 832-917-4474 or click to request an appointment today and get a free estimate from one of our certified drainage specialist or if you have some questions!

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