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Site Drainage Practices to Minimize Localized Flooding


Localized flooding or pooling around the foundation of a house can occur during heavy rains if the site is not designed for adequate drainage (Figure 1). This can lead to many homeowner headaches – wet, muddy, or icy conditions along entryways to the home; water entry into the home; and mold, mildew, and rot in building components. Standing water and constantly damp conditions can also attract insects and rodents.

Poor drainage conditions can enable water to pool around the home.
Figure 1. Poor drainage conditions can enable water to pool around the home (Source: Steve Easley & Associates).


There are several steps that builders can take to reduce the likelihood of standing water and localized flooding around the home during rainy conditions. These actions are described in the following guides:

Gutters and Downspouts

Final Grade Slopes Away from Foundation

Patio Slabs, Porch Slabs, Walkways, and Driveways Slope Away from House

Swales, Drains, and Site Grading for Stormwater Control

Footing Drain Pipe

Drain or Sump Pump Installed in Basements or Crawlspaces

Capillary Break Beneath Slab - Polyethylene Sheeting or Rigid Insulation

Damp-Proof Exterior Surface of Below-Grade Walls


The above guides are helpful for new and existing homes. Here is additional guidance specific to existing homes with basements and crawlspaces that are experiencing water intrusion issues.

Water Management of Existing Basement Floor

Water Management of Existing Crawlspace Floor

Contributors to this Guide

The following authors and organizations contributed to the content in this Guide.

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