Creating Drainage Around Your Storage Shed
There is an excellent chance that some of you have experienced flooding on your property. Maybe a flash flood left an inch or two of water behind in your basement or garage. Or, perhaps steady rain over the course of several days resulted in water coming in beneath the door of your garden shed. If you have dealt with flooding, I hope that the damage to your home or property was minimal. Fortunately, there are some ways of preparing for a flood that may help you to avoid damage to the outdoor structures on your property. In this week's blog, I'm outlining ways that you can protect your property against various types of floods.
Location is Important
When searching for a place to put your storage structure on your property, look for an area of elevated ground. By putting your shed or garage on an elevated area of land, rainwater will naturally flow away from the structure to lower ground. Alternatively, if you put your shed or garage beside a hill, the water will run off the hill and down into your structure causing damage. As the old saying goes, water seeks its own level. When it comes to any piece of property, flood risk increases for a structure that is situated on lower ground. This is why it's not wise to put any structure on a flood plain.
Create Proper Drainage
Sometimes the base of a shed or other outdoor structure can help to minimize damage from a flood. For instance, I recommend that you create a gravel base for your storage shed that's four to six inches in depth. It should extend out about two feet around the border of the shed. If you use ¾ inch blue stone gravel, you'll get a good amount of drainage. This type of gravel provides effective drainage for regular amounts of rainfall. The amount of drainage can vary depending on how heavy the rainfall is and how long it lasts. But, creating a place where water can drain around your shed is a proactive step in preparing for a flood.
In the Case of an Imminent Flood
Chances are, one day you'll see a weather report for your area that includes flooding. You've taken the above precautions, but are still a little nervous about possible damage. One thing you can do is to move any valuable items to a higher level within your storage structure. For instance, if you have rakes and other similar gardening tools in your shed, you can move them to an upper shelf or hang them on the wall. That way, they will be off the ground if a flash flood occurs and water comes into the shed.
You could also make sandbags to put against your garden shed or garage to keep water from seeping in. This takes some time, but if you have items in your shed or garage that you don't want to move this method may offer some protection for them. Ideally, making sandbags is a two person job so you may want to ask a neighbor to help. Your neighbor may even need some help with the same project!
I think it's worthwhile to take the time to choose the best location for your storage structure on your property. Flood risk can't always be eliminated, but water damage from a flood can be lessened by taking a few extra precautions. Thanks for reading!-Alan