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Drainage Systems

If you’re a homeowner in Alameda, Albany, Moraga, El Cerrito, Kensington, Oakland, Orinda, Piedmont, and San Leandro, CA.

Why Older Drainage Systems Fail-

Most foundations, basement, patios, etc. lack proper drainage, and a majority have no drainage at all. At a minimum they require proper surface drainage, and in sloped conditions or in excavated conditions most will require separate French Drains as well. Trenching, piping, membranes and pumps where needed make up the backbone of proper drainage work.
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The Proper Depth is Critical-

Basement spaces, garages, and other below grade area need French Drains. Unfortunately, these can be big projects if those spaces are deep below the outside grade. Proper subsurface drainage is dug below the floor level, and for full height basements can often be 8’ or 9’ deep or more. When drains aren’t deep enough they can actually make your drainage problems worse, or re-route the problem to a new area of your home. What seems like a good deal at the time can turn into a disaster if your minor problem becomes a major one, especially in a finished basement, garage, or below-grade lower level of your home.

Shoring is Required for Safety-

Deep drainage jobs require a stable trench to provide safety for the excavators. Below 5’ we use plywood and aluminum hydraulic shoring and cribbing to ensure that the trenches don’t collapse during the digging process.
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We Utilize Conveyors to Help Us Move Soil and Gravel-

On large drainage jobs we can easily end up moving 100 cubic yards, or 200,000 pounds or more of soil, and then replacing it with a similar amount of gravel! We have various sizes of conveyors we use to help get materials in and out of our truck or trailers on sites with poor accessibility.

Downspout Drainage is Made Up of Solid 4” PVC Piping-

The bulk of the water affecting most homes comes from the high-volume roof water coming through the downspouts when it rains. Many properties drain their downspouts directly into the ground next to the house, leading to settlement and foundation problems. We connect solid piping to all of the downspouts, and these pipes all slope to the street. Where the proper slope is not present we install a sump pump which will pump the water to the street. Except on large properties where we can create a large gravel pit in the rear yard and can be sure potential water won’t spill into the neighbors property, most cities require the water to go to the storm drain system at the street.
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French Drains (aka Subdrains) Consist of Gravel, Perforated Pipe and Membranes

The downspout drainage and French drains are separate systems, with water transmitted through perforated piping at the base of the foundations or interior lower elevations. French drains are designed to handle the passive low volume underground water that can often be an issue year-round. Trenches are backfilled with gravel and then wrapped with filter fabric to keep dirt out. We use a dual membrane system at the foundation as secondary protection against any water. It is crucial that these systems work every time, as any future leak would be difficult to trace and might require extensive and expensive repairs.

Cast Iron Piping Goes Under the Sidewalk-

The sidewalk needs to get removed and replaced at the location where water is brought to the street. Sometimes the curbs are shallow, which requires us to reduce the 4” pipe down to several smaller pipes. Cast Iron piping is required here to handle any potential heavy traffic in this area.
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