Over-the-ground flooding, also known as surface water flooding, can be a cause of water damage to both the exterior and interior of your home. The definition of over-the-ground flooding is basic: Excess water that has entered—or fallen onto—areas from which it cannot rapidly drain away. It may take the form of flowing water in motion, continuous large puddles on hard surfaces such as a driveway or patio, or a marshy, over-saturated lawn.
Over-the-ground flooding can be the origin of several specific water damage issues:
- Water actually seeping into the house under standard doors, patio doors, and garage doors.
- Water leakage into the basement and/or undermining the soil surrounding the foundation.
- Deteriorated paved surfaces like driveways, walkways, and patio due to frequent submersion under water.
- Fences become unstable in water-logged soil; outdoor buildings like sheds exhibit structural issues.
Heavy rainfall over a short period is the most frequent cause of over-the-ground flooding. Rapid snowmelt is another. These suggestions to reduce surface water flooding on your property help to avoid potential damage:
- Maintain gutters. Clogged, overflowing gutters are a major contributor to over-the-ground flooding during heavy rain. Keep them flowing free during the rainy season. It’s preferable to scoop out accumulated leaves and debris by hand versus flushing out gutters with a hose, which tends to fill downspouts with clogging material.
- Extend downspouts and utilize soakaways. Gutter downspouts should extend as far from the house as possible. Lengthy temporary flexible extensions can be quickly installed for the rainy season. Optimum drainage occurs when downspouts discharge into a deep excavated hole filled with gravel—called a soakaway—to accelerate absorption into the ground.
- Eliminate low spots in the lawn that retain deep water by filling the depression with a mixture of sand and topsoil. Also, it’s a natural fact that real turf lawns absorb groundwater and reduce over-the-ground flooding more effectively than artificial grass.
- When planning new paved areas like patios or driveways, opt for construction with surface materials that permit water to permeate into the ground beneath. Also, the design should be slightly sloped to always drain water away from the house.