Troubleshooting Patio Drainage Problems

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Patio drainage problems can ruin not only a nice summer day for relaxing or barbecuing but can lead to severe water damage on your patio if not dealt with. It is important to be able to identify the causes of poor water drainage and troubleshoot them. Some basic problems are outlined below, along with a few ideas for solutions.

Planning for Drainage Problems

The best way to troubleshoot drainage problems is to plan for them before they happen. Drainage systems are much easier to put in when installing your patio. Also, in addition to an actual drainage system, you can create a patio drainage slope. In this case, water can be made to run right off your patio because the surface is slightly angled, so you don’t have an unsightly drainage system in the middle of your patio.

Putting Drainage in an Existing Patio

Some people are lucky in that their patios are small enough or sit just right that water simply never pools on top. However, if you have a patio with no drainage system and water does start to pool, you need to think about putting a drainage system in as soon as possible. This is best done by a professional, but it’s possible to handle it on your own.

You will need tools to cut into your patio, which may be problematic if your patio is concrete. Essentially, you’ll need to take note of where water is pooling on your patio and cut out a channel for it to flow into and follow off your patio. The channel can be filled with gravel for a nicer appearance, or you can use a half pipe covered by a grate.

Drainage Problems with a Current Drainage System

It isn’t uncommon for a drainage system to occasionally become clogged up over time and for water to drain more and more poorly until it stops draining at all. Whenever you notice that the water is draining less than normal, it is time to clean out your drainage system. Because it is usually caused by chunks of outdoor debris carried in with the pooling water, you’ll probably have to actually open up your drainage system to clean it out. This is especially for patio drainage systems utilizing piping and a cover grate.

Gravel will actually become clogged much faster since it usually has even less room for debris to flow through, but at the same time, it can be easier to clean out that other drainage systems. Simply remove all the gravel and spread it out on a hard surface, such as your patio or driveway. Then, take your hose and give the gravel a good spray down to remove the worse of any dirt and other debris. If possible, use a pressure washer, which will also make your gravel look cleaner and less unsightly. Anything not washed immediately away by the hose or pressure washer is likely large enough to be spotted easily and removed by hand. You’ll also want to spray out the trench where your gravel sits. Once that’s done, simply deposit your gravel back in your drainage system and you’re good to go.