Setting the Gold Standard in Landscaping

Landscape Drainage & French Drains Installer / Contractor for the Portland Oregon West Side

Landscape drainage issues are a constant challenge here in the Northwest with our clay soils and heavy rains. The solutions to drainage issues can be complex. Solutions we landscape drainage contractors in Portland have to mitigate can include re-grading of the landscape, soil amendments, the installation of catch basins, vent wells to protect water from entering a crawl space, channel drains, sump pumps, or re-routing / replacing rain drains or gutter drains. One the most frequent solution is the installation of a French drain or a series of French drains around key areas of your landscape. But first, it’s important to go over the drainage mitigation process.

The Drainage Mitigation Process:

If you’re reading this page, chances are you have a drainage issue that is causing a lot of frustration. You may be dealing with some standing water, flooding issues, water in a crawl space or basement or landscape issues. We understand and we sympathize because we’ve seen it over and over again at our clients’ homes. We understand that you’re hoping someone will be able to come out and just have the perfect solution that will make that drainage problem just go away for good. Unfortunately, with drainage, it’s not always that simple. Sometimes, drainage mitigation is a process that sometimes takes several steps before you finally reach your desired result.

Because we can’t see exactly what is happening underground, we can only make an educated guess, based on the problems that we’re shown, what we know of the soil and site conditions and our 20 years of drainage and landscape experience in doing drainage work. So the first step is to have one of our drainage experts come out and assess the situation and make a recommendation as to what would be the best place to start. Sometimes, the problem is seems pretty straight forward and the solution is also pretty straight forward. In many cases what we propose the first time fixes the problem and our client is happy.


Experience Counts!
Our goal is to take our experience in installing hundreds of drainage systems over 20 years and apply that to your situation with what we calculate will be the most likely thing to fix your drainage issue, without spending a fortune. About 60% of the time, that initial drainage solution fixes the problem for our client, they are very happy and it stays that way for several years. However, the other 40% of the time, the drainage work we proposed and then installed maybe helped but did not totally solve the problem. Sometimes water is coming in from areas we didn’t expect it to be coming from. Again, we cannot see what’s going on underground. So while our first drainage mitigation effort may have helped, a second step is now needed. This is the most important thing to understand about drainage work – sometimes it’s a process. We may need additional drainage mitigation before your drainage issues are totally solved.


Additional Steps

So in the case where the first drainage mitigation effort doesn’t completely solve all of your drainage issues and additional steps are needed, your project manager would come back out and re-assess the situation. If needed, he will get another person from our company to make sure we have thought of every option and we will propose a second step to mitigate the drainage. Although it’s rare, some sites take 3 or 4 steps before the drainage solution is fully reached. But it’s always best to start with what we think will solve the problem rather than take steps that may be unnecessary and costly.

So let’s discuss the different kinds of solutions we look at as we go through the drainage mitigation process


The Anatomy of a French Drain:

Originally, a French drain was simply a trench filled with round river rock. The idea being that this trench would give nearby surface water a place to sit while it slowly dissipated into the soil below.
Here in the Portland Oregon area, we’ve come to use the term “French drain” to mean more than a simple trench filled with rocks. With the amount of rainfall we get, simply giving the water a place to ‘sit’ isn’t usually enough. Instead, we need to give the water a viable outlet. So most Portland drainage companies here will use the addition of a drain pipe in their French drains. This drain pipe is typically covered with a geotextile sock in order to keep it free of silt and debris. And the drain pipe is connected to a sump well, greenspace, street drain or other outlet.

If the French drain is placed underneath your lawn, we will encapsulate the drain in a landscape fabric and then replace some of the soil and sod on top. If the French drain is outside of your lawn, you will see what looks like a 6-8″ wide river bed on top. This is both decorative as well as functional. Surface water goes straight through the river rock down to the pipe below and is carried away to the water outlet.

Each year, dozens of homeowners in the Beaverton and SW Portland Oregon area hire Lewis Landscape Services to take care of their landscape drainage challenges. Over the years, we have developed a great deal of experience coming up with solutions to handle unique drainage challenges

Catch Basins and Channel Drains:

Catch basins are usually square shaped grates that are installed at a low point in a landscape to catch water and then re-route it over to a rain drain, green space or other outlet point. Channel drains are longer, usually rectangular grate drains that usually handle drainage coming off of a hard, wide surface area.

Vent Wells, Sump Pumps:

Vent Wells are installed around vents that lead to your crawl space so that the grade can be lowered below the vent so water doesn’t go in. This allows the rest of the landscape to be at a higher grade than the vent while still allowing proper air flow into the vent. Sump pumps out in a landscape are a last resort. But if the low point where all the water needs to drain to does not have any kind of outlet point, sometimes we have to install a sump pump and pump the water out to a suitable outlet point

These are just a few of the drainage mitigation solutions we have at our disposal. We’ll need to meet and look over your property to evaluate which of these items are best to help solve your drainage issues. To begin the process, simply complete our online quote request form and out one of our Portland Drainage System experts will contact you promptly to set up an appointment for a free estimate. Or call today to set an appointment: 503-524-3679

Lewis Landscape Services of Beaverton Oregon, specializes in the installation of outdoor landscape drainage systems in the SW Portland Oregon area, Beaverton and surrounding cities. See our Service Areas section for more details.

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