Managing Drainage from Heavy Rain on Your Property

Recent heavy precipitation and flooding has lately been affecting properties in southern areas, such as Oklahoma and Texas. A lot of rain can leave some property owners in over their heads with water and not prepared to handle it. And property that isn’t prepared for so much rain can have issues with standing water, erosion, and flooding.

It seems a great time to talk about property drainage systems and the best ways for property owners to address these types of situations.

Understand Your Drainage Needs

It’s important to remember that with persistent rainfall, sometimes even a very effective drainage system on your property won’t do the trick—especially if the rain is sudden and unusual. You may have a system that works great under normal circumstances, but that wasn’t enough for a sudden, uncommon amount of downpour.

Therefore, be hesitant when rushing to try and fix the problem if it’s the type of weather you may not experience again for decades. Installing a new drainage system is expensive, and you want to make sure your money is worth it.

However, if you do find yourself needing better drainage over the long-term, there are a few points to remember when getting one installed:

Short Term Vs Long Term Draining

You’ll want to understand the different between the two types of drainage systems to decide what is best for your needs.

Short-term: More immediate solutions include piped drains and sump pumps. These are subject to failure and will require ongoing maintenance, since a pump could stop working or a pipe could get clogged, ultimately leading to significant property damage.

If you have low spots that are obvious, a pipe-based system with drain boxes installed in a trench is often a good idea. And having a perforated pipe system is best for property with moisture areas over a large area that has no obvious low spots, such as along fence lines or foundations.

Long-term: Berms, swales, and troughs are created for redirecting or diverting water, which works out longer term. Workers will dig or re-grade a place on your property to a specific width and depth in order to direct and control water.

These types of longer term solutions are usually the best bet if you have significant green space on your property.

Be Picky When Hiring Experts

Someone can call themselves a “drainage expert” all day long, but without checking references and doing your research, you could risk someone doing a bad job, which is more money lost for you. As the property owner, you’ll be responsible for clearly explaining the problem and making sure the drainage expert is prepared for the job at hand.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the whole process, consulting property management may be your next step.

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