How to Recognize & Correct Drainage Issues on Your Commercial Property

leaf in puddle with overlaid white text saying how to recognize and fix drainage issues

From water damage to structural issues to health hazards and more, allowing your drainage issues to go unchecked can wreak havoc on your commercial property. As a property owner or manager, you’ll need to work with a trusted professional to identify and rectify these threats before they become bigger problems.

If you suspect there are any water-related issues at your property, it’s best to call in a professional. They’ll come out, evaluate your site, and create a specified plan of action to get things fixed.

But in the meantime, this blog will arm you with the information needed to spot common drainage issues. We’ll also offer some methods to fix those issues, as well as how to prevent them from happening.

We’ll cover:

Signs of A Drainage Issue

Drainage issues can range from the somewhat obvious to the more discreet. Either way, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the common signs so you can work on a solution as soon as possible.

That said, this is not an exhaustive list and shouldn’t be relied upon to identify any or every drainage issue. If you suspect there’s a problem, you should reach out to a professional.

1. Standing Water

One of the most common signs of drainage issues on commercial properties is standing water. If you notice puddles that last for two or more days, you may need to make some changes. Not only is standing water messy and unpleasant, but it can drown turf grasses, small plants, and even trees, leading to an even bigger mess. Still pools of water are also the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects.

2. Water Damage

Water often leaves its tell-tale mark on walls, ceilings, flooring, and other building surfaces. Look for discoloration, water spots, mold, flaking, or swelling materials. Also, keep an eye out for cracks in the foundation or buckling asphalt or concrete.

When evaluating this damage, consider where it’s coming from. If it appears on or near exterior walls, the source could be exterior drainage issues. If they appear only on interior walls, it could be from messy showers or leaking pipes. That’s a different issue than what’s covered in this article, but one that should be quickly dealt with nonetheless!

3. Bad Smells

Foul odors coming from your drains or sewer lines can sometimes head off a blockage or backup in your pipes. It could also include musty or moldy scents, occurring most often in below-grade areas and basements.

4. Sinkholes

If you notice sinkholes popping up on your grounds, parking lots, or access roads, they could be an indicator of drainage issues.

5. New Development in the Area

Stormwater runoff and water drainage aren’t just influenced by what’s happening on your property. If you’ve noticed an increase in drainage issues since the development of a nearby plot of land, it could be a symptom of the changing landscape.

Fixing Drainage Issues

Drainage issues come from a plethora of sources, and the fix will vary with the cause. That said, here are a few solutions to common drainage issues. We also want to mention most drainage issues are best left to the pros. Trying to take these on yourself could lead to bigger issues down the road.

1. Poor Grading

Your property’s grading can directly impact how water drains and where it collects. If done incorrectly, or conditions on your site have changed over time, it can encourage water to pool around the foundation. This can cause damage to your foundation and other structural issues if left unattended.

If you’re noticing water pooling near your foundation, you may have to call in the professionals and have them regrade this area. By changing the gradients of the surrounding earth, they’ll be able to encourage water to flow towards a more suitable area, like a retention basin.

2. Inadequate Drainage Systems

Improper drainage systems can cause water to pool where you don’t want it to. If this is the case, you may need professionals to install sump pumps, French drains, or other drainage systems on your commercial property.

3. Broken Pipes or Irrigation Systems

In some cases, a broken water line can cause bursts in below-grade pipes, or damaged irrigation systems can leak water. If this is the case, you may notice water pooling in areas even without any precipitation. You’ll want to contact a trusted utility contractor or sitework contractor as soon as possible.

4. Soil Issues

While to a lesser extent than the causes cited above, compacted soil issues are another cause of drainage issues. It’s more difficult for water to permeate the surface and quickly drain into the ground if the soil is too compacted. This can happen over time in areas with heavy traffic. If this is the case, a sitework contractor can come in and help amend your soil for better drainage.

Preventing Drainage Issues

Preventing issues is often better than responding once issues arise. Here are a few ways you can get out in front of these challenges.

1. Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance for drainage on your property will include regularly clearing dirt and debris from your drains and gutters. This will ensure things flow and drain smoothly once the rain starts coming.

2. Proactive Landscaping

The right approach to your landscaping can help prevent drainage issues. Ensure that water is flowing away from the foundation of your building. If there are soggy spots or areas where water tends to pool, you may benefit from planting certain water-loving vegetation that absorbs standing water, like a rain garden. You can also create drainage channels or install drainage tubes to help encourage the flow of water in the right direction.

3. Permeable Pavements

Permeable pavement materials may also be a good solution. Whereas standard pavements typically encourage water to run off, permeable coverings allow water to sink into the ground on the spot.

4. Regular Inspections

It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your property, doing regular inspections to look for any issues. Keep an eye out for common signs of drainage issues and water damage. This will allow you to react quickly as soon as an issue arises, instead of letting it go unchecked and causing even more damage.

Choosing the Right Contractor

It’s important that you choose the right team to diagnose and rectify your drainage issues. Horst Excavating’s Small Projects Team specializes in solving commercial drainage issues, as well as a plethora of other commercial property maintenance items.

This team has access to all the same equipment and knowledge available on larger, multi-million-dollar sitework packages. That means they’ll have access to anything they’d need to ensure your drainage issues are solved quickly and properly.

Let our team get your property draining the right way. Send us a message today!

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