If my homes drainage system is up to code, why am i having drainage isses?

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Natasha Maerz

Owner/Office Manager

In the Fraser Valley many homes are not built with a drainage system, and if they are most are strictly built to code, with no added bells or whistles.

Being up to code sounds good, but in reality, a drainage system that is up to code is still missing key factors to ensure that homeowners do not have to deal with any drainage issues.


So why are the Building Code Drainage Systems  Not Enough?

Every property is different, and has different needs when it comes to drainage and what system would work best for that land.

It would be impossible for the building codes to meet each person’s individual needs, so a basic system is put in, or no system is put in at all.

Here Is A List Of Times You Should Add An Additional Drainage System to an existing home, or new build

Non permeable soils: clay (retains water for longer)

When a yard has clay soil it retains rainfall and water from homeowners’ roofs and gutters. This is due to the water being unable to penetrate into the ground. This can be fixed by removing the top 4-6 inches of the clay soil and replacing it with sandy soil.

Wanting to use your yard sooner after a rainfall (mowing, playing, relaxing)

It can take up to three days for a yard to dry and be useable after a rainfall. This is a long time, especially when you consider all the rain we get here In the Fraser Valley. Adding extra drainage pipes to a drainage system will allow more water to be collected and taken away, and having established grass will allow the water to go through the roots of the grass and into the system that much faster. When this happens homeowners can get back to having BBQ’s and using their backyard that much sooner.

Not practical to grade / slope yard away from structures and sensitive areas

Some backyards can be impossible to grade and slope away from your home and your landscape. In this case it might make more sense to add a retaining wall to keep the water out of your yard.

Nearby hill that is draining onto your property or Neighboring property causing localized flooding

When your neighbours’ homes are closely situated to yours, you could have the problem of water coming from their yard and into yours. A regular run of the mill drainage system will not be able to keep with the water that is accumulating from other properties as well as yours.

Older homes without waterproofed foundations

Sometimes the amount of rain we get is so vast that drainage systems cannot keep up, and the water will accumulate around your home. When a home’s foundation is not waterproofed there is a risk that water will get into the foundation of your home, and can cause some major damage.


Additional drainage systems can include:

  • French drains
  • Driveway drains / Channel drains
  • Collection sumps / Inlets
  • Drainage swales
  • Vegetation or Mulch to aid the soil in absorption
  • Adding a retaining wall


The beauty of a good or “great” drainage system is that it can be built many different ways to suit the area that it is being placed in.

This means that each home can truly get a perfect drainage system that is custom to their needs and space.

When moving into a home, whether it is new or old, consider what measures are in place to protect your biggest asset ( your home!) and if you need to upgrade your drainage system for peace of mind.