When it comes to ensuring the integrity of your building’s envelope, having proper drainage schematics in place play an integral role in determining the longevity and occupant comfort level of your property. Two core aspects of these schematics are the structure’s landscaping and roofing drainage design. Read on to learn more about the importance of drainage plans, and the potential downfalls of poorly executed designs.

Landscaping Drainage

Landscaping drainage refers to plans that direct surface and groundwater flowing to and from your property. Having a proper landscaping design in place is a requirement of municipalities, with officials requiring an industry professional’s evaluation and sign-off before building occupation is permitted. Plans must ensure that surface and ground water are sufficiently directed away from the foundation of your home, garage, or any other structure that is susceptible to damage from sitting ground water.

Improper designs can result in costly damage that, in extreme scenarios, may result in the building becoming temporarily inhabitable or structurally vulnerable. Potential damage includes:

  • Water around the building’s foundation that can lead to the formation of leaks, cracks, and spalling
  • Degradation of steel bars, wood, and concrete
  • Mold growth
  • Loss of property in areas infiltrated by sitting water (usually basement items)
  • Accelerated erosion

A professionally vetted drainage plan will make sure water that enters and exits your property consistently. It’s also worth noting that, while most foundations are coated in a spray-applied damp proofing material, this does not make them impermeable to hydrostatic pressure or prolonged exposure to sitting water.

Roof Drainage

In climates with heavy rain or snowfall, roof drainage is a necessity for maintaining structural integrity. Your roof drainage system will outline where snow and rain go after landing on the roof and includes accounting for the slope of the roof, downspout placement, and catchment analysis depending on the building type. Appropriate drainage systems may be applied to all types of roofs, however, due to their unique assembly, flat and pitched roofs often require additional consideration.

Flat roof drainage plans require the construction of sloped surfaces that allow rain and snow to find an exit point to avoid the potential of overbearing structural loads. Pitched roof assemblies require slopes on eaves systems to evenly distribute runoff and to avoid wear on roofing materials. If your roofing drainage plan is designed poorly, you may face the following complications:

  • Leaks that enter the interior of the building
  • Damage to materials in the building (usually in the attic space)
  • Accelerated damage to shingles
  • Ice buildup beneath overhangs
  • Mold growth
  • Drafts inside the home
  • And loss of overall energy efficiency

Proper drainage plans help keep your property safe, comfortable for occupants and prevent unnecessary wear and tear. To learn more about incorporating drainage designs into your new build or renovation, contact our team today!