Types of drainage systems?

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Water damage can be prevented with a drainage system, with different types available depending on the situation. French drains are common on level ground, downspouts connect to gutters, and slope drainage directs water down a natural path. A musty smell is a sign of a drainage problem, which can cause structural damage and other issues.

Water damage can easily destroy any building, which is why a drainage system is usually needed in almost any type of structure. Whether the excess water is coming from the building or from the surrounding landscape, it should typically be drained as soon as possible. Fortunately, there are different types of drainage systems to choose from depending on your circumstances, although they all mostly perform the same job. The most common types are French drain, downspout and slope type.

A french drain is a common type of drainage system that is most often found on level ground. It consists of pipes that surround the structure and direct groundwater away from both the foundation and any surrounding landscape. In most cases, several large and shallow holes must be dug to install this type of drainage system. Each drainage pit must then be filled with gravel. Some people can install this type of drainage system themselves, mostly by renting the right equipment, but many landscaping companies offer this service.

Another type of drainage system is a downspout that connects to a building’s gutter system and carries water from the roof down to the ground. Downpipes can be rectangular or round and are mostly made of aluminum, copper or steel. The most common downpipes on homes are rectangular and white, though they can often be replaced to match a home’s exterior decor. Regardless of color or shape, they should divert rainwater not only toward the ground, but also away from a structure’s foundation.

Similar to the other types of drainage systems, the primary job of a slope drainage is to direct water away from a building and its landscaping. The primary method is to allow the water to follow a natural path down a slope. Typically, a pipe is installed and anchored to the small slope it sits on. The pipe can be metal, concrete or plastic and is often covered with a grate to prevent small animals or children from entering the area.

It’s usually pretty clear when there’s a drainage problem. If there’s no obvious flooding, the musty smell that accompanies standing water usually gives it away, even if the water isn’t visible. Even a slow leak could cause an eventual problem, weakening the structure over time. Loss of structural integrity in a building, a strong musty smell, mildew, landscaping damage, and mosquitoes could all be consequences of water damage when there is no proper drainage system.

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