Easy Digging
Foundation  Slope and
Downspout  Drainage

How to correct drainage problems
with foundation slope and downspout drains
to move rain water away from your home

Additional Instructions

Please first read Steps 1 to 4,
beginning with: Lawn and Garden Drainage Guide

This page will provide information on:

Proper slope of the soil around your home
New ideas for altering the slope underground
Correcting downspout drainage problems

Lawn and Garden
Drainage Guide

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Lawn Yard and Garden tools
trenching for a French drain
The first step in correcting foundation drainage issues is to determine if the soil
around your home has the proper slope. Fortunately this is fairly easy to check.
Obtain a nice straight 2x4 that is 10 feet long and a carpenters level. The ground
should slope away from the house at least 6 inches over 10 feet - see the picture

Check the ground slope all around home about every 3 feet. Note the slopes on the
drainage sketch you make for
Step 2.

Some areas with insufficient slope can be corrected by moving soil from the areas 10
feet from your home back towards the foundation wall and smoothing it out to the
proper slope. In other cases soil may need to be imported to the yard.

If your yard is very flat and the foundation wall is not tall enough to allow soil to be
added, you may want to explore adding an underground slope as explained in the
last 1/2 of
this linked article. The concept is shown in the picture below. Basically it
creates a relatively dry area of soil next to the foundation, and allows you to dig your
deep French drains some distance away from the foundation where it is safer for the
structure and easier to dig.

Now that you have determined your foundation slope and your plan to correct any
slope problems, it is time to figure out how to correct any downspout drainage issues.
Or as we called them in
Step 1, figure out how to avoid having a Lake Downspout.
Correcting downspout drainage issues is a matter of getting the water away from the
house and spread out over an area of yard that can absorb it.

If you have too much roof area draining through a single downspout, or two down
spouts very  close together, you will want to consider altering your gutter and
downspout arrangement to add more downspouts or rearrange the ones you have.

Once the downspout drains onto the ground it is best to move that water at least 3'
away from the house as quickly as possible. See the pictures below for some ideas of
how to accomplish this.

If you connect to your downspout to your French drain be sure to use leaf seperators
(shown above) to keep leaves and twigs from clogging your French drain. They are
available in either
plain or fancy versions.

Another option is to use a rain barrel to collect the surge of water when it rains and
then slowly drain the barrel over the next day by having it hooked to a hose leading
to a garden or flower bed. The hose should have an inexpensive ball valve at the
end that is opened enough to allow a steady trickle of water. Open the valve fully
occasionally when the rainbarrel is full to clean out the hose and valve. Be sure to
install an overflow pipe on your rain barrel for those very rainy days. The fact that the
barrel self drains each time prevents mosquito problems too.
Ready to start

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