What are grade-level drainage systems? At Alamance Insulation and Gutters, we’re here to help you understand this question, and how grade-level drainage systems can work for you. We provide quality insulation installation and gutter installation and repair services across the Triad area. If your home or business is located in Greensboro, High Point, Burlington, or surrounding areas in North Carolina, let our professionals help you with all your insulation and gutter needs today.

According to the US Department of Energy website, grade-level drainage systems should be installed in cold climates. This is because snow can accumulate on roofs, therefore the water in gutters may freeze. Gutters should be avoided in these types of climates. Grade-level drainage systems will conduct roof runoff away from the foundation of your home.

Follow these steps to install a grade-level drainage system:

  1. Design and install the foundation so that there will be 8 to 16 inches of foundation wall showing between the ground at grade level and the first course of siding. This will prevent splash back from damaging siding materials.
  2. Install a perimeter foundation drain at the footing level as described in the guide Footing Drain Pipe. The standard foundation drainage system shown in the graphic above consists of Schedule-40 perforated piping and clean stone that is isolated from the surrounding soils by filter fabric.
  3. Backfill the foundation drainage system with a well-draining backfill material.
  4. Stop backfilling 16 to 18 inches from grade level. 3a) Lay a piece of EPDM rubber roofing or other impervious membrane in the trench to isolate the grade-level drainage system from the foundation drainage system. 3b) Lay landscape fabric and 1 or 2 inches of clean rock or gravel in the pipe. 3c) Install Schedule-40 PVC or ABS perforated pipe, or similar perimeter drainage piping with the perforations facing down. This piping should extend past the corner of the foundation at least 5 feet and drain to daylight or connect to a catchment system or storm sewer. 3d) Backfill around the drainage pipe with 4 to 6 inches of addition clean stone and wrap the filter fabric over the rock with 4 to 6 inches of overlap. Bring the sides of the EPDM isolation membrane up the sides of the trench to create a contained channel so water is drained off by the perforated piping and does not overflow and saturate the foundation backfill.
  5. Install an additional 4 to 6 inches of clean stone over the landscape fabric (EPA 2012).

For more helpful information, visit the Department of Energy’s site linked above. When your gutters, downspouts, or other drainage systems aren’t working properly, you’ll have to deal with huge problems. These might affect both the outside and inside of your home or building, which can be costly and time-consuming. Stay proactive and get your drainage systems repaired the first time you notice any issues. At Alamance Insulation and Gutters, we’ll check out your gutters for you and determine the best way to act. Contact us today!