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Boca Raton News


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Stormwater and Drainage Management at Commercial Properties

Stormwater and Drainage Management at
Commercial Properties

By: Steven Mitchell, Property Manager at Fairman & Associates, Inc.

There are several types of water drainage systems used at commercial properties in South Florida. Typically, the most common types are storm drains and French drains. French drains are primarily used in applications that involve smaller amounts of water, while storm drains are meant to redirect and distribute large amounts of water. Keeping certain areas of land free of excessive water can aid in the prevention of erosion, which can cause serious property damage. Not only that, but drainage systems also help to prevent and control flooding. In fact, one of the most common causes of flooding is improper water drainage.

One of the most commonly used surface water drainage systems is the French drain. They are very inexpensive to install and maintain, making it possible, even for the average homeowner, to install a French drain system himself. Their underground placement also makes them incredibly discreet and, in some cases, aesthetically appealing. The French drain consists of a gravel or stone-filled trench, with a perforated pipe buried beneath it. The gravel or stone serves as a way to capture flowing water while also re-directing the water down to a perforated pipe. This works because there is space between each piece of gravel or stone, allowing an area for water to travel. The water flows to the bottom of the trench, where it enters the holes of a perforated pipe for field reservoirs disbursement.

The most common drainage system in local communities is the Storm drain. These can capture more water than a French drain due to their wider, grated opening. Water is often redirected into stormwater drains using channels or the natural slope of a swale, road, or street. Water that enters a storm drain travels through an underground concrete pipe and into a larger body of water.

Building structure settlement, invasive root systems, and litter/debris all play a role in ground area flooding. Both French drains and Storm drains require scheduled maintenance programs, to ensure they don’t become clogged over time.

A cleaning schedule and program is crucial for all drainage systems, as it helps prevent the need for expensive emergency service calls, insurance claims, and cleanup costs. Having the lines jetted and vacuumed removes the build-up of foreign materials, such as sand, grease, roots, rocks, litter, and other materials that have washed through the surface grates. Drain lines which are divulged by invasive root penetration can be cut, bored & treated for only a limited time before the drain lines require relining (cost-effective) or replacement (most expensive) retrofit.

We recommend that all commercial properties with flooding risks obtain an annual service contract with a professional drainage vendor, to inspect and maintain the drainage systems on the property.

About Author: Steven Mitchell

Steven Mitchell, a Licensed Community Association Manager, joined Fairman & Associates as a Property Manager in 2014.  He has worked in the construction & property management industry for twenty years.  He is currently managing Broward and Palm Beach portfolios and works closely with his Boards of Directors, property owners and tenants to ensure efficient management and maintenance of the properties.

About Fairman & Associates, Inc.

Fairman & Associates, www.fairmanassociates.com, is South Florida’s premier commercial property and facility management group.  Specializing in management of office/warehouse/retail, office and medical condominium associations, aircraft hangars, and owner-occupied facility services throughout South Florida, Fairman & Associates services include property administration, tenant relations, financial management, vendor management, maintenance services, and construction management.