Did you know that, generally speaking, a homeowner is responsible for the rainwater that lands on their property and, specifically, for any damage that it might cause elsewhere? This may sound unfair as rain is, of course, an act of nature, but it does mean that you need to take care if you are planning to make any alterations outside. You will need to be particularly careful if you're planning to install a new paved patio and will need to manage that rainwater effectively. But what does this mean?
When rainwater lands on bare earth or grass, it will automatically permeate and find its way to the underground water table. On the other hand, when rainwater lands on the roof of your home, it should be gathered by a guttering system and channelled down to the ground before being directed to a purpose-made drain. All of this is part of a good water management plan, but you may have to make some modifications to your system if you want to install that new patio.
Risks of Inaction
Take a second to imagine what might happen if you did not take any specific action. If you're planning to build a very large patio, then this may replace some of the grass or earth, and when rain falls onto that surface, it will be unable to permeate. Instead, it will run towards the lowest point and may accumulate in one area that could eventually lead to problems.
For example, the rainwater might cross your property boundary and pool against the side of your neighbour's home instead, and if this was to continue for some time, damage could be caused through infiltration. While this may be an unusual example, you will want to avoid that type of risk at all costs and should think about installing a soakwell instead.
The Right Approach
When you get a contractor to install a soakwell, they will determine the best location and will base this on the overall design of the property and the new construction. The product that they install will typically be made from concrete, plastic, fibreglass or PVC and is essentially a large container with small holes installed over its surface area. Once it has been sunk into the ground, water will be channelled and will naturally permeate into the subsoil below.
Make sure that you ask your contractor about an appropriately sized soakwell before you go ahead with your new patio installation.