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Today's News and Features

Drainage: Elevation, French Drains and Flat Roofs

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

By John Voket When thinking about your home, it's important to consider the subject of deep penetration of water and the havoc it can wreak on your foundation and in your home, if your drainage plan doesn't cut it.

The experts at Michael Hatcher & Associates (hatcherlandscape.com) say drainage plans--whether elaborate or small--are a vital part of any landscape design.

According to Michael Hatcher & Associates the five most common landscape drainage problems are:
1. Poor elevation at the foundation
2. Plant bed designs
3. Water traps or depressions that hold water
4. Paved surfaces
5. Gutter spouts

In Roseville, Calif., Paradise Landscaping uses a centuries-old solution if neighboring land at a higher elevation is filtering excessive water runoff onto your property--and possibly under your foundation. Paradise suggests simply installing traditional French drains, a trench filled with gravel.

The experts at Rain Gutters Solution (raingutterssolution.com) tackle the question of whether flat roofs that are becoming increasingly common in residential construction need a drainage system?

The answer is yes. When considering drainage for flat roofs, Rain Gutters Solution says focus on four issues:

Cost. Since they lack pitch, a flat roof is easier to install, which makes the process quicker and cheaper. And it requires fewer materials than pitched or other types of roofs.

Extra space. Having a flat roof will open up space that is usually occupied by an angled roof, especially on the top floor.

Maintenance. Rain Gutters Solution says there is no way for water to naturally drain away from flat roofs. So there is significant need for ongoing maintenance to keep gutters clear.

Heat absorption. Because flat roofs absorb more heat, air conditioners will work  harder to keep your home cool than under other types of roof designs.

PHP Systems/Design in Houston, Texas says the three most common solutions to drainage for a flat roof are: drains like you might find in a shower; gutters; and scuppers - commonly used when a roof is located over flower beds and water can be directed right into them.

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