How To Improve The Drainage Around Your Home By Installing A Trench

Poor drainage around your foundation can cause serious property damage.  If water is pooling around the edges of the house or you see constantly boggy areas, it's important to deflect the water away from the house so that it can safely drain without flooding and damaging your home.  Here is how to improve the drainage around your home by installing a trench.

Materials Needed

  • Gravel
  • Shovel
  • Perforated drainage pipe
  • Topsoil
  • Landscaping fabric material
  • Rake
  • Grass seed or sod

Installation Process

  • You have to create a trench from the affected area to where you want the water to drain.  You want to direct the water to the lowest elevation of your land so survey your property before you get started to determine the direction of your trench. 
  • Dig the trench about 4 feet away from your foundation. 
  • Use your shovel to dig a trench that's double the width of the drainage pipe. 
  • The pipe needs to be placed under the frost line, which is the depth where the groundwater in the soil freezes.  You can determine the frost line in your area by referring to your local building code.  Dig the trench to the proper depth.    
  • Place landscaping fabric down into the trench to make sure that no dirt or debris clogs up the pipe. 
  • Now, pour two inches of gravel into the trench. 
  • Use the rake to level the gravel, and then, put the pipe on top of the gravel.  Make sure the holes in the pipe are facing downward toward the gravel. 
  • Pour about 4 more inches of gravel on top of the pipe. 
  • Place landscape fabric over the gravel and throw some more gravel on top of the fabric to make sure that it stays put.
  • Use topsoil to fill in the rest of the trench and cover the area with grass seed or sod as desired.

Some Additional Tips

  • If you expose the draining end of the pipe above ground, you will achieve optimal draining.
  • If you do not wish to plant on top of the trench, you can turn the area into a walkway.  In that event, fill the trench with gravel all the way up, and use decorative stones on top.  Make sure to make the top of the trench wider for the walking path.
  • Before digging, contact your utility companies to mark any underground lines.

Protect your property from water damage.  Follow the above steps to improve the drainage around your home.