Nov 12, 2015

Landscape drainage can save your home from flooding!

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Many homeowners in Oregon do not have flood insurance, which is not required by law unless you live in a flood zone area. Yet, this does not mean you won't experience flooding in your home. There is 42" of rainfall annually in Portland, so protecting our homes from flooding is a top priority in our region. If you have ever experienced a flooded basement, you know how this can quickly take over you life. Even with flood insurance we need to protect our homes before there is a problem. Luckily, this can be done with landscaping. We have complied a list of the top 5 preventative stormwater management tactics to lower risk of flooding in your home. So read below to find out how landscape drainage can save your home from flooding!

1. Use a Professional Landscape Designer

We believe this should be the first step to controlling proper drainage. Adding drainage after the fact is often more expensive and time consuming. Your designer will take into account slopes, grades and the overall topography of your landscape. This is one project we do not recommend DIY'ing.

2. Create subsurface drainage

Subsurface drainage aids in pulling excess water away from hardscapes (streets, walkways, houses, etc), planting beds or wherever water has a tendency to collect and pulls it into a path for the water to move into a collection area. Subsurface drainage includes dry creek beds, drain-line's, french drains and swales. A landscape professional will be able to discuss the best approach for your unique drainage solutions.

3. Keeping mulch and soil away from siding

Mulch or soil touching siding can cause moisture to wick into your homes siding causing water damage. This simple tactic prevents thousands of dollars of damage. We recommend keeping a distance 2" between the siding and mulch/soil.

4. Extend downspouts

We often see this a common residential mis-step. We have seen home owners having their downspouts directed straight into the ground which can lead to basement flooding. Extending downspouts farther away from your house is a quick way to prevent a flooded basement However, this can cause soil holes in your planting beds. We recommend installing river rock around the drain area to prevent splash from creating holes.

4. Rain Gardens/Bioswale

Although rain gardens are not redirecting water they do aid in what is done with directed water. Which can be an effective way to manage storm water. In order for this to work you must slope water runoff into a garden area with a water tolerant plant life. The city of Portland has done this though the city, coining the term "green streets". So be a copy-cat and research them out while you are driving around in Portland. Click here for instructions on how to create a rain garden. For recommendations on water tolerant plants give us a call at 503-669-0606

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Erica Mooney

Erica is an avid lover of the outdoors, and transformed that love into a partnership running Valley West with Ryan 2012.

drainage, flood

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