When it comes to efficiently managing a commercial property, ensuring a solid foundation is critical. Knowing how to control erosion, plan effective landscaping and install proper drainage will help you prevent foundational damage before it happens, so where do you begin?
Erosion, landscaping and drainage may seem like very different concepts, but they actually all go hand-in-hand. Improper landscaping can cause drainage issues, while proper landscaping can help prevent and control erosion. Effective drainage systems not only help prevent erosion, they ensure success during any landscaping process.
We’re breaking down everything you need to know about these three important concepts, so you can feel confident managing your commercial property and know when it’s time to call a professional to help with foundation repair and drainage.
Installing Effective Drainage Systems
Drains are a small but mighty tool in the fight against foundational damage. Whether your city gets a steady stream of rain throughout the year or occasional downpours, the right drainage system can make or break your property’s ability to withstand the elements. Drains can even prevent overwatering or faulty sprinkler systems from causing additional damage.
There are a few primary types of drains available, and each serves a different purpose.
If water tends to slope toward your building’s foundation, you’ll need to install surface drains – just below ground level – around your property, especially if you don’t have gutters or downspouts on your roof.
Channel drains are specially designed to collect runoff water from concrete surfaces or hardscapes. If your commercial property has any driveways, patios or sidewalks abutting your building, channel drains are essential.
French drains are unique in that they collect subsurface water rather than just surface water. This is one of the best options for dealing with erosion issues, since falling water doesn’t simply sink straight down once it hits the soil – it flows in whatever direction the soil naturally slopes.
Retaining walls are an aesthetic solution to erosion and drainage issues. These walls are designed to keep soil in place and serve as a boundary between two different elevations.
Installing the right drainage system to meet your building’s unique needs is a delicate process that is best handled by an expert in foundation repair and drainage. Reach out to an expert foundation repair company like Perma-Pier before beginning any major landscaping projects. An expert can ensure your foundation is in good shape and can help determine the right drainage systems for your property.
Use Caution When Landscaping Around Your Commercial Property
When it’s time to give your commercial property a facelift, be sure to do your research before you make any changes. Poorly-planned landscaping can have a major impact on your building’s foundation and overall value. Installing proper drains is a key element of successful landscaping that will also help you control erosion.
Planting new trees and shrubs around your property can help your soil absorb excess water before it hits your foundation. However, these same trees and shrubs can wreak havoc on your foundation if they’re not planted carefully. Planting too close to your building can create excessive fluctuations in soil moisture. This will cause the soil to expand and contract, putting pressure on your building’s foundation.
Before you begin any type of landscaping around your commercial property, we recommend a thorough inspection and evaluation of your building’s foundation and the surrounding property. A foundation expert can help you understand how to add new plants and how to care for your existing landscape to prevent issues like erosion and, ultimately, foundational damage.
How to Control Erosion
Some people make the mistake of assuming that soil erosion around their property’s foundation won’t be an issue, as long as it is on flat land in a city with minimal rainfall. However, erosion can happen in the driest cities and flattest landscapes.
You may not be able to control the weather, but you can control how much water reaches your foundation. There are several steps you can take to control erosion around your commercial property and protect your foundation from the elements, including:
Installation of Gutters and Downspout
Commercial gutters and downspouts are common tools used to direct falling rainwater away from your building’s foundation. These solutions are typically installed on the eaves of your roof, but check your building’s unique legal and code requirements before installing.
Installation of Proper Drains
Consult with an expert in foundation repair and drainage to determine what types of drains will fit your needs and prevent erosion.
Grading Your Soil
“Grading” refers to the process of leveling out your soil. Generally speaking, soil needs to slope between 3 to 5 percent within 10 feet of a building’s foundation to minimize how much water will reach and potentially damage your foundation.
Consistent Landscaping Maintenance
Keeping a regular maintenance schedule around your building’s landscape will ensure the tools you’ve set in place to prevent erosion are working effectively. Make sure you remove leaves and debris from all drains, gutters and pipes, as build-up can cause damage.
Ultimately, ensuring a strong and healthy foundation starts with understanding the elements that may threaten it and taking the initiative to fix any issues before they become a problem. If your Texas property is in need of a check-up, the experts at Perma-Pier can help. Schedule your no-charge foundation evaluation now.