land preparation and management menu Icon
all seasons earthworks snohomish drainage logo 425 263-2075

Sometimes It Is Just Your Gutter Drains

Your roof is one of the biggest potential sources of standing water problems. Consider a roof over a 2,000 sq ft house receiving .5 inches of rain over an hour. That is over 600 gallons of water being added to your yard! Your yard must drain that water. Is the gutter system set up to deal with this?

Your roof adds over 600 gallons of water to your lawn

Making sure your gutter system is not contributing to yard drainage problems starts at the top: the gutters themselves. Make sure your gutters are not filled with leaves and debris. If they are then all the water is overflowing the gutters and (typically) running behind them and down your fascia board. All that water is either running into your yard or into your crawlspace. Either location is going to cause major problems. Check and clean your gutters every spring and fall.

Next thing to check is your downspout system. Downspouts should include an elbow at the base, drain block or be routed into a drain pipe. The first thing is to make sure water coming from the drain pipe is not flowing back under the foundation. Water running under the foundation can erode the foundation itself and create moist conditions under the house that can lead to heat loss, mold, and flooring delamination. Any water exiting the downspouts must be directed away from the house.

If you live at elevation where you receive significant freezing weather, make certain not to route downspouts onto the walkways or driveway where freezing rain can make surfaces slippery and dangerous.

If the yard slopes toward the house it might be necessary to take additional measures. On the side where yard drainage is toward the house you may need to install a drain system around the foot of the house that redirects the water flow around the home. If you are in the market for new landscaping you may want to consider sculpting the yard so that the problem is removed.

If the water is pooling in the yard, you may want to install underground drain pipes. A 4 inch drain pipe is sufficient. It can be run to the edge of the property or into a storm drain (check city codes before doing this).

If your property does not slope away sufficiently you may not be able to run an underground drain pipe to clear water off the property. If this is the case, you might have to install a drain bed in an area away from the main property or a catch basin. This is a large box installed underground to collect water and slowly disperse it.

About the author

Drainage is an important part of proper property design and maintenance. All Season Earthworks is committed to installing and managing land and yard drainage systems in Everett, Marysville, Arlington and across central Snohomish County.