A drain’s main function is to guide the flow of water towards a point of egress. Within homes, failure to do so can lead to water ponding in wet areas, which creates fall risks and moisture build up.
“Continuous damp will lead to increased mould and can increase the inside humidity levels of the house, increasing the spread of dust mites,” Australia’s Housing for Health guide notes. “The long-term effects of pooling water can include rot, rust, termite attack and eventually, structural failure.”
Similarly, the lack of adequate drainage in outdoor spaces can have serious consequences. During heavy rain or storms, water that does not have a channel of ‘escape’ can build up quickly, causing flash floods, concrete and building foundation erosion, landscape degradation and other damage and safety risks.
In addition, urban runoff can upset the water networks that sustain our natural ecosystems, as it collects a number of harmful contaminants when it travels across our roofs, gardens and roads before entering storm-waterways.
Needless to say, high quality drainage solutions that do not require constant surveillance or human intervention are an absolute necessity in our cities, communities and homes.
But with the variety of draining products on the market, how do you decide what system works best for your project? Over the next few weeks, we will explore the most common application areas for drainage systems, and the factors designers should consider for each.
If your driveway tends to flood each time it rains, you may assume this is a typical part of homeownership. However, excess water around your driveway can be just as harmful as water around the foundation of your home. Not only can the flow of water create ravines on either side of your driveway, it can also lead to cracking of concrete and pavers, over time, leading to pricey repairs.
Choose an extremely durable product—like one made of marine grade stainless steel—which is tested to manufacturing standards so it withstands light foot traffic as well as the weight of a passing vehicle.
For example, a plastic drain will not last if it has to support trucks passing over it regularly. A good rule of thumb is to select a system that is at least one level stronger than required.
Meanwhile, ensure that the top of your grate is located slightly lower than the surface of the pavement, so gravity and surface tension of the water help it enter the drain and not pond at the edge.