If you are often ending up with huge puddles in your yard, you should be concerned – especially if they are near your foundation. The constant moisture will almost certainly cause non-structural damage, which may end up being structural damage if not tended to. Structural damage interferes with the overall stability of your home, causing it to shift under its own weight. Not only is structural damage difficult and expensive to fix, it can even make your house dangerous to the point that it becomes unlivable.
Not only that, mosquitoes don’t need a lot of water to breed, so any standing water is a potential birthplace for thousands of the hungry little biters.
Every homeowner is responsible for the grading of their lot, and keeping an eye out for any drainage problems that could cause flooding to your own property or others’. Lots that are graded properly will allow for all surface water to run away from buildings and take the fastest route to Calgary’s drainage system. If you think you might have drainage problems, consult the Guidelines for Homeowners: Resolving a Lot Drainage Issue for guidance. This resource goes through common drainage problems, and points you to what to do for each. Remember that if you are having an argument with your neighbour about drainage issues, the City does not provide mediation services. You can contact the Calgary Mediating Services for further assistance.
Your Responsibilities as a Homeowner
In order to maintain what the City of Calgary refers to as Positive Lot Drainage, or, essentially, a lot that does not accumulate water in any way, there are regular activities you should carry out as a homeowner.
Always ensure that your downspouts are:
- Pointing away from neighbouring properties, structures, driveways, and sidewalks
- Pointed towards absorbent landscape features, such as grass or gardens
- At least 6.6 feet away from public property and infrastructure such as sidewalks, streets, and lanes
You should also closely examine your eavestroughs regularly to ensure leaves, debris, and branches have not blocked them. You should also keep any sewers that are on or near your property clear of debris as well. Test them by pouring water into the furthest end away from a downspout and watch for any obstructions or leaks. A quick repair for eavestroughs is to use silicone on the inside for holes, cracks, and at connections. Badly damaged eavestroughs should be replaced, however.
Gutter guards at corners and/or where clogs seem to happen often are often a good idea.
Keeping your trees well-pruned away from your home will greatly extend the lives of both your eavestroughs and your roof.
As landscape professionals, we at Mirage Landscaping always follow the guiding principles of landscape construction to ensure there are no drainage problems when we complete our projects.
What Causes Poor Drainage
The City of Calgary has developed The Guide to Lot Drainage for homeowners, which goes through everything from lot drainage features, to property owners’ roles in maintaining drainage, to lot drainage rules and best practices.
Common problems causing poor drainage include:
Insufficient grading. The City of Calgary recommends that runoff drain away from permanent structures at a minimum slope of 2%. A 5 to 10% slope is even better, and preferred within two metres of a foundation. In an ideal situation, water should amass to create a path down to gutters and sewers that is consistent from rainfall to rainfall.
This means that if you have a garden area next to your home, it should be well-mounded with plenty of dirt to ensure irrigation does not wet the soil too deep.
Direction of downspouts: Downspouts should be directed towards the front or back of properties.
Poor patio and pathway construction. Pathways and patios should be graded with as much as an inch above grade at the closest point to your home. Pavers should be placed on at least four inches of gravel topped with two inches of sand. The gravel provides drainage and the sand provides a platform and stability.
Retaining Walls Can Help With Drainage Problems
Retaining walls are a great way to combat drainage problems, plus enhance your look of your yard, help you save on water, and increase the variety of shrubs, trees, and perennials your property can support. They also help control erosion so that the slope of your property remains true.
Retaining walls are good for the environment because they can save a lot of water. Instead of moisture running quickly off surfaces, retaining walls create a receptacle for water to collect and settle. The best part is that they can be built to direct water away from foundations and straight towards where it is needed the most. The root systems of your shrubs, trees, and perennials.
We can design your retaining walls to be both an attractive and useful addition to your yard. And more good news is that they are not a major build. City of Calgary guidelines state that a permit is not required for the installation of retaining walls that are less than 1.2 metres tall. This is more than enough height for the vast majority of Calgary properties to allow for your retaining walls to do the job they’re supposed to do.
Landscape Construction Services From Mirage Landscaping
Mirage Landscaping proudly offers excellent landscape construction services, including retaining walls, patios, fences, and more. Our experts are here to help you enjoy better privacy while making your property more beautiful and enhancing its value.
Our landscape construction services are affordably priced, and generate great results that last and last. For examples of our work, please consult our portfolio of successfully completed past projects.
Then, get started by requesting a fast, free quote. And remember: Mirage also offers a complete suite of affordably priced lawn care and property maintenance services for both residential and commercial customers.