Guide To Rainwater Drainage Systems & Why They’re Important
The UK weather is well known for its unpredictability and, of course, its frequent rainfall. In fact, the average annual rainfall in the UK is over 42 inches (1,077 mm).
Why are we telling you this?
Well, to emphasise the importance of an efficient and well-maintained drainage system.
If your rainwater collection and drainage systems aren’t up to scratch, this could lead to damage around your property. This can cause you bigger issues down the line.
Therefore, it is vital that you understand your rainwater drainage system and the role it plays in protecting your property. That way, you can spot any issues and fix these before the problem gets bigger.
Read on to learn more about rainwater drainage.
Guttering and downpipes
The first thing you need to know about and arguably one of the most recognisable parts of a property’s exterior is guttering.
Gutters are your first line of defence against the rain. They catch the rainwater as it runs down your roof and begins the process of funnelling this away from your home. It goes from your guttering into the attached downpipes and away from the property, typically into a drain, though we’ll look at some other solutions shortly.
The average property uses gutters that are at least 100mm wide; this makes them capable of handling relatively heavy rainfall. That said, buildings with a bigger than average roof might wish to opt for wider gutters to deal with additional rainwater runoff. The downpipes tend to be around 75mm to divert the water away as efficiently as possible.
Some properties have what are known as gullies. This part of the drainage system is on the ground level and is used to continue directing water away from the house. The gully often has a u-bend under the ground that stops smells from rising up. This is particularly true if the same gully is used to catch and divert wastewater from the house.
Gullies catch water directly from the downpipe but tend to be more common on older properties – this technique is less popular nowadays.
Soakaways are not attached to your house but are a long-established way of managing rainfall. These are underground structures that help to dispose of surplus water, particularly rainwater, slowly by letting it seep into the ground.
This helps in the fight against flooding and stops damage to the property, making it very popular in areas of high rainfall or at risk of water damage from elsewhere.
Finally, although not an essential part of a water drainage system, water butts are sometimes put at the end of a downpipe to collect the rainwater. The collected water can then be used for other tasks such as watering the garden, topping up ponds or even cleaning outside areas.
Why are rainwater drainage systems so important?
We’ve briefly touched on some of the reasons why rainwater drainage systems are so important above, the most obvious being that you don’t want your house or garden to flood. However, it’s not as simple as that.
If not addressed, over time, water can slowly damage your property, weakening its foundations. Parts of your property might begin to crack, rot or wear away – something that can become a much bigger and more expensive problem if not sorted.
So, in order to protect your property, you need to make sure you have a strong and sturdy rainwater drainage system in place.
Caring for your drainage system
The simplest way to make sure you don’t face water damage issues is to first get a good drainage system in place, but then to take care of this and maintain it.
In order to do this, you need to regularly check each component and look out for signs that it’s not working.
Some of the top signs to be aware of include leaking or overflowing gutters, water pooling around your property or bad smells coming from your gutter or downpipes. This could mean the system is broken or blocked.
By checking each component of your drainage system regularly, you are more likely to notice cracks, loose connections or blockages quickly.
This way, you can address or repair these before the next rain cloud comes over. This is particularly important during the wetter winter months when your gutters are more likely to crack in cold weather or get filled with debris.