Providing barriers around the house in the form of feature walls or retaining walls can help stop water from running.
PIC: Floods in Bwaise, a Kampala suburb. One needs to seek advice from a professional architect before starting construction
HOMES AND CONSTRUCTION
By Cissy Apiso
TAMING RAIN WATER- Rain water can be very destructive to houses and buildings if not controlled. ‘’ It depends on where one is building, but a drainage system helps to divert rain water from destroying the house, John Bosco Muwonge, a civil engineer says.
Preventing rain water from destroying a house
Muwonge says people should ensure to construct a good drainage system to prevent rain water from entering the house. A drainage system prevents stagnant water from collecting along the walls.
Idris Muhammad Nsereko, a civil engineer, says the foundation of the house should be raised high enough to stop rain water from destroying the house. He says a damp proof course is also helpful in preventing rain water from destroying the house. The damp proof controls rising moisture from entering the house, it can be placed on the walls and the floor during constructing.
According to Abdu-Wahab Nyanzi, an architect, a damp proof course is an important installation in the foundation for one to stop dampness, especially from rain water. It should be laid over the whole foot print of the house before pouring the floor slab.
Nyanzi adds: “Right from planning and throughout the whole development of the house, consult a qualified architect to guide you.”
Nyanzi says from a site analysis, the architect can establish how to stop surface water from running into the house. The natural routes of rainwater are identified and the slope at the site is analysed.
Providing barriers around the house in the form of feature walls or retaining walls can help stop water from running to the house and such barriers can be well decorated to form part of the house’s landscape.
‘’To stop rain water from reaching your doors or windows, fix a canopy
over the opening. It stops rain water and sunshine from directly hitting the house. However, this needs proper designing so that the canopies can be appealingly complementary to the house,’’ Nyanzi says.
Use out swing entry doors that prevent splashing water from entering the house since the door is pressed against the structural frame, says Nsereko. Casement windows also help to prevent rain water from splashing into the house.
What if your house was built ages ago?
According to Nyanzi, drainage channels can be constructed, through which water
can be channelled away from the house. To avoid destroying the beauty of the house, one should consult an architect on how best to install the drainage channels. He adds that care has to be taken not to cause adverse effects to the neighboring property.
Rain water gutters can be fixed to protect a building from rain water. If the gutters are properly installed, they collect rain water to the ground through a pipe.
Muwonge says drainage system parts such as pipes and gutters, should be inspected and cleaned regularly to ensure the drainage system continues to work efficiently.
Nyanzi says splash aprons can be put in place to stop water from hitting the bottoms of the walls, especially rain water from the roof.
If nothing is done…
‘’Water that collects around the house can be a nuisance. It is unsightly and creates a bad image of a house. The water rises through the walls if it stays for too long. It might cause the adjacent rooms to become too humid as it starts to evaporate from the ponds. It can also act as a breeding place for mosquitoes,” Nyanzi explains.
Nsereko says the house can become weak and eventually collapse on one side, if the water around it is not dealt with.
The costs of repairing drainage system are not constant and depend on specific projects. Nyanzi says costing has to be done for a particular project after a proper needs analysis has been done. Parameters such as size of house, type of materials and location have to be taken into consideration.
Damp proof course comes in different sizes and types; a meter may cost around sh30,000 or more.