On Sunday, July 31, we received a website submission from a distressed homeowner who had just had an extensive downspout drainage job completed by his irrigation company the day before (Saturday). He started asking me questions about drainage and the way we design and install our downspout drainage systems. He noticed on our Drainage and Grading Web page on our Landscape Labor Solutions website that we installed our systems a bit differently from the competition.
Over the past 23 years we have constantly evaluated and improved the design of our drainage systems. We have gained a lot of experience from removing existing systems that other companies have installed. One problem that we keep seeing over and over again continually, is that the drain tile is always 1/2 to two-thirds full of mud or sediment. This compromises the integrity of the drainage system.
We have nicknamed a lot of the companies who claim they install drainage as "slap and dash" because their philosophy is to install some 4" Black Plastic Drain Tile and a few parts, drain it out to the yard, and call it good. They do not tape any of the joints, which allow a tremendous amount of sediment and ersoion back into the pipe and eventually fill it up.
They always end their downspout drainage in the yard with some type of catch basin that continually holds water (it will never fully drain!). We install a simple 4" mini drywell as deep in the ground as we can vertically dig with post-hole diggers. Sometimes we excavate 1' and sometimes we are able to dig as deep as 4'. This mini drywell will allow the water to seep directly into the ground during light rains or it can fill and flood to the surface and eventually recede back into the drywell during a torrential downpour. We install on average approximately 65 mini drywells a year and have had not problems since we started using this system design in 2000.
The gentleman who called us from Plymouth, MI wanted every downspout removed that his irrigation company had installed just a few days before. We talked extensively on the phone to answer his questions and educate him on why we install our systems the way we install them. We also e-mailed him several pictures that demonstrated our systems (we have a gallery of 1000's of drainage pics to pull from), as well as took a mandatory road trip down to Plymouth, MI to meet with the homeowner and estimate the job correctly.
On Friday, August 4th, we took the crew down and spent the day removing the "old" drainage systems and installing the new systems. It was a hard days work, but both the homeowner and our crew can rest easy at night that a high quality system was installed correctly for longevity and performance, as well as ease of maintenance of the system in the future.
Below, we have included several pictures of our Plymouth, MI job so you can view what we completed that day. I hope this blog about this job helps you make a decision about the drainage around your home. On the outside of the home it is one of the most important things to consider...water can very quickly destroy or erode things and create multiple problems for a homeowner. These problems can be extremely costly to repair, and often when it is repaired it is done with a band-aid fix.