Hurricane prep to keep water away from your home

Simple methods to divert rain from pooling near your house

By Mark Collins - Meteorologist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Downpours during tropical storms greatly overpower the capacity of your gutters, leaving a soggy mess. 

Part of hurricane preparation should include inspecting your drainage to get water away from your foundation quickly.

After the storm, standing water and poor drainage can create issues with mold and can cause problems with lawn disease and attract mosquitoes. Even worse, water against your home could cause cracking and sinking along your foundation over time.

Fortunately, some simple solutions can drain water without requiring much expense or expertise. 

First, be sure downspouts and gutters are not blocked and in good working condition.

It is also important that water flows out of the spouts away from the foundation.

In circumstances that require further displacement distances. Underground pipes can connect to catchment basins in areas prone to puddling. The tops of the grates can be removed for occasional cleaning.

Another great way to remove standing water from your yard is a French drain. It can prevent rainwater and runoff from pooling against your house even overcoming grading challenges that slope toward the foundation.

French drain construction is not complicated but first requires digging a 12- to 18-inch deep trench from where water is standing to an area away from your foundation.

Add a bed of pea gravel to the bottom of the trench with a perforated, flexible, plastic landscape pipe with landscape fabric on top.

Position the pipe in the trench so the top is below ground level and leave one or both ends of the pipe open so the water can drain away. Finish by covering the sides and top of the pipe with more pea gravel.

Standing water can be siphon off with a regular garden hose even if you have no power, no generator, and no pump. For this to work, a garden hose needs to be submerged with water. Then stretch the hose out toward an area with a few inches of drop over 50 or 100 feet.

About a gallon of water a minute will begin to flow once some initial suction is applied to the lower end of the hose.

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