Neighbors gutter drains on my property!
Gutters are essential to any home’s exterior, but when it’s poorly installed or maintained, it may cause a lot of damage.
When you live in close proximity, your neighbors gutter may drain on your property when it rains.
Water runoff is frustrating, especially when your neighbor is responsible.
However, sometimes it may not be the neighbor’s fault that the water is draining on your property.
The reason may be the nature of the landscape, for instance, when you live below the neighbor.
In this article, I will give you some tips on reducing the damage caused by your neighbors gutter.
How to block water from your neighbors gutter
In cases where your neighbor’s yard is higher than yours, there are a number of ways you can keep water from reaching your property.
Continuous water runoff can cause a lot of damage to your property; that’s why it is important to block it.
The water eventually ends up carrying away the soil and ruining your lawn in the long run.
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Below are some of the ways to block neighbor’s gutter water from causing damage to your property.
1. French Catch Basin
Using a French basin is a solution to detain water coming from your neighbor’s gutter.
A French basin, also known as a catch basin, is basically a trench full of gravel.
At the bottom of the trench is a perforated pipe for directing the water to a lower area.
There are a few tips to follow when installing the French drains in your home.
- Have a plan for your digging- making a French catch basin requires a lot of digging, so that you replace the soil with drainage gravel.
- Find a place where you will dispose the excavated dirt before you start digging.
- You can do the digging by hand since it is cheaper. Due to its labor intensiveness, you can ask some of your friends to lend a hand.
- You can also use a gas-powered trenching machine to help you in the digging. You don’t have to buy it; instead, rent it if you are on a tight budget.
- If you can’t dig or use the trenching tool yourself, hire a professional to get the job done.
Steps for installing the French catch drain
Contact the local utility authorities to assist in marking the already existing utilities underground. E.g., pipes.
This will ensure that you don’t break the pipes during the excavation.
It will also help you make an informed decision on which area the French catch basin will be situated in.
Dig the trench in your area of choice.
Get a landscape fabric to use a lining for the trench. Ensure the fabric is of the right size and one foot of fabric extends past the upper part of the trench walls.
Use landscape fabric pins to hold the excess fabric temporarily. Homestead choice’s 100-pc pins.
Fill the trench with gravel to a height of around 3 inches.
Place a drain pipe in the trench, making sure the holes are facing downwards.
Once more, fill the trench with gravel ensuring that you cover the drain pipe. Fill up to a height of 2-3 inches of above the trench.
Fold the extra fabric and use it to cover the gravel.
Cover the area above the fabric with soil. You can use some of the soil you dug when making the trench.
2. Build a Berm
What is a berm?
A berm is basically a round raised barrier made with soil covered with plants.
In some cases, you may make a swale for slowing down the runoff and divert the water.
Do careful planning before building the berm so that the water does not cause damage to other people’s property.
It is also essential to consider the type of vegetation to plant on the berm.
Plant a variety of plants since, apart from holding water; it complements the landscape.
Grass can also be good for your berm, but it requires a lot of work like mowing from time to time.
Tips on berm building
Carefully plan before you build the berm. Ensure you consider the drainage issues since you may unknowingly divert to other people’s property.
Make slopes in your yard gradually so that the berm looks natural. Additionally, gradual slopes reduce soil erosion.
Add layers to the berm by using topsoil as the top layer and clay soil as the second.
Under the clay soil, use bulk filling materials to raise the berm. The fill materials include rocks, coal, or aggregates.
Note that edging materials, e.g., stones keep soil in place to avoid washing off.
Mulching also helps to reduce erosion and runoff.
Choose the plants wisely since the area dries fast. At the top put plants that can survive dry conditions.
3. Dig A Dry Well
A dry well is another method of blocking water from your neighbors’ gutters.
It’s basically an underground basin that stores runoff water temporarily.
However, it requires a lot of labor and effort to connect a pipe from the downspout to the tank.
After some time, the collected water begins to drain to the soil around it.
The best side of a dry well is that it lasts long with minimal or no maintenance.
Go for a well with a high capacity, easy to install, and meets the required standards and regulations.
NDS Flo-Well is a great choice
Always check for sediments and debris since if left in the well for a long, they clog the walls reducing its draining ability.
Can I File A Lawsuit Against My Neighbor For Property Damages?
Neighbors gutter drains on my property.
Can you sue your neighbor for the property damage their gutter has caused?
Yes, you can sue them if the damage was caused as a result of landscape alterations or carelessness.
However, it’s always good to try talking to them before taking any legal action.
Sometimes the neighbor may not be aware that their gutter is draining water into your property.
Also read on the backyard fire pit laws.
Try discussing the matter to find a solution instead of suing them.
If the talking doesn’t help and the neighbor seems ignorant, then you can go to the relevant authorities.
However, there must be proof that it’s because of their actions that the water damages occurred.
You must be able to prove that the alterations have led to changes in the natural water flow into your yard.
The court will examine the alterations made and if they were really essential or negligent or malicious in the alterations.
However, note that this will depend on the laws of your state, and you might have to consult a lawyer who understands drainage laws.
The lawyer helps you in understanding some of the legal implications of your actions.
Also, note that the court might not rule in your favor and may be required to compensate your neighbor for moral damage.
Florida Drainage Law
According to the Natural flow rule, Florida Drainage law states that homeowners have to accept water from a higher property.
Homeowners should obey the law of mutual drain, where they’re required to build a mutually beneficial drain system.
California Drainage Rule
In this law, some general principles apply to development projects.
- The higher property owner should not concentrate water where it wasn’t initially unless they have good provision on how to dispose of it without causing damage to the lower property
- The lower landowner has to accept and direct waters caused by natural flow from the higher land owner’s property.
- No one shall block any drainage channel, pipe, or ditch, i.e., no property is allowed to divert drainage water without having a good plan for its disposal.
- The higher property owner may reasonably increase drainage runoff through construction or paving other impermeable surfaces like building but without causing liability. The owner is also not allowed to divert water previously draining in another area. (source)
New York Drainage
The Law rules that your neighboring landowner isn’t responsible for any water flow on your property caused by natural occurrences.
A downstream landowner is responsible for dispersing the water on your property in your property.
Conclusion On Neighbors Gutter Drains On My Property
Gutters are important to our homes, but they may cause damages if not well installed and maintained.
One of the common issues is an overflowing gutter which may direct water to other people’s property causes damage.
Neighbors gutter drains on my property! First, try talking to your neighbor about the issue to reach for a solution amicably.
However, sometimes it may not be the neighbor’s fault, especially if their yard is higher than yours.
If there is nothing that can be done, try the three methods of blocking the runoff water from reaching your property.
But if you notice the damages are caused as a result of negligence and carelessness of the neighbor, then take a legal action.