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Unveiling the Hidden Signs: Is Your Soakwell Handling Runoff Effectively?

Is Your Soakwell Handling Runoff Effectively?

Maintaining the optimal functionality of your home’s drainage system is crucial, especially when it comes to managing runoff water from your gutters. A properly functioning soakwell plays a pivotal role in preventing issues like uneven paving, moss growth between pavers, and water stains in your eaves. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the signs that indicate your soakwell might not be doing its job effectively.

Signs to Look for if Your Soakwell Isn’t Doing Its Job with Runoff Water from Gutters

Uneven Paving and Sinking Surfaces

One of the key indicators that your soakwell might be struggling is the appearance of uneven paving and sinking surfaces around your property. When a soakwell is unable to handle the water runoff efficiently, it can lead to soil erosion, causing the ground to shift and paving to become uneven. Keep an eye out for any noticeable changes in the level of your outdoor surfaces, as this could be a clear sign of drainage issues.

Identifying uneven paving involves observing your driveway, walkways, or patio areas. If you notice areas where the ground appears sunken or uneven, it may indicate that the soakwell is not effectively managing the water runoff. Additionally, inspect the edges of the paving for signs of erosion, as this can further confirm drainage problems.

Moss Between Pavers and Around Downpipes

The presence of moss between pavers and around downpipes is another telltale sign that your soakwell may not be functioning optimally. Excess water pooling around these areas creates a breeding ground for moss and algae. Not only does this compromise the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor spaces, but it also indicates poor drainage, emphasising the need for a thorough examination of your soakwell’s performance.

Moss growth is a clear indicator of sustained moisture. Check the spaces between your pavers, especially in shaded or damp areas. If you notice a green or brown layer of moss, it’s a sign that water is not draining adequately. Similarly, inspect the base of your downpipes for any moss accumulation, as this can pinpoint areas where water is not being efficiently diverted.

Water Markings and Stains in Eaves

Black or brown water markings and stains in your eaves, especially near the downpipe locations, provide valuable insights into the efficiency of your drainage system. These stains suggest that water is not being adequately redirected away from your home, potentially leading to water damage and structural issues. Addressing this problem promptly is essential to prevent further damage and maintain the structural integrity of your property.

Inspect your eaves, particularly beneath the downpipes, for any signs of water stains. These stains can vary in colour from dark brown to black and are indicative of water overflowing or not draining properly. Pay attention to the consistency of these marks and their spread, as this can offer clues about the severity of the drainage issue.

Understanding the Importance of Soakwells

Before delving deeper into the signs of soakwell malfunction, it’s crucial to understand the role of soakwells in your home’s drainage system. Soakwells, also known as stormwater or rainwater tanks, are underground structures designed to collect and manage excess water during heavy rainfall. They prevent flooding, soil erosion, and other water-related issues by allowing the water to slowly percolate into the ground.

A functioning soakwell is essential for maintaining the integrity of your property’s foundation and preventing water damage to the structure. When rainwater is efficiently channelled away from your home, it protects the foundation from erosion and minimises the risk of leaks, dampness, and other structural issues.

The Impact of Inadequate Soakwell Performance

When a soakwell fails to perform as intended, it can have far-reaching consequences for your property. Here are some of the potential impacts:

  1. Structural Damage

Inefficient drainage can lead to water accumulating around the foundation of your home. Over time, this water saturation can compromise the structural integrity of your property, causing cracks, shifts, and other forms of damage.

  1. Landscape Erosion

Excess water runoff can erode the soil in your garden or yard, leading to the displacement of plants and creating unsightly, uneven surfaces. This not only affects the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor spaces but also poses a threat to the health of your landscaping.

  1. Waterlogged Paving

As water collects and pools in areas with inadequate drainage, your paved surfaces may become waterlogged. This can result in uneven paving, sinking, and an increased risk of slips and falls.

  1. Dampness and Mould

Insufficient drainage can contribute to dampness in basements and crawl spaces, creating an environment conducive to mould growth. Mould not only poses health risks but also requires costly remediation efforts.

  1. Exterior Aesthetic Damage

Moss growth, water stains, and other signs of inadequate drainage can mar the exterior appearance of your home. This not only affects your property’s curb appeal but may also reduce its overall value.

Prevention and Maintenance Tips

In addition to seeking professional assistance, there are proactive steps you can take to prevent soakwell issues and maintain a healthy drainage system:

  1. Regular Inspection

Schedule regular inspections of your gutters, downpipes, and soakwell system. Look for any signs of blockages, damage, or wear and tear. Early detection of issues allows for timely intervention and prevents more extensive damage.

  1. Clean Gutters and Downpipes

Ensure your gutters and downpipes are free from debris such as leaves, twigs, and dirt. Regular cleaning prevents blockages and ensures that rainwater can flow freely into the soakwell.

  1. Proper Landscaping

Consider the slope and landscaping around your property. Ensure that the ground slopes away from your home to encourage water runoff. Well-planned landscaping can also help absorb excess water.

  1. Install a Silt Pit

A silt pit can trap debris and sediment before it enters the soakwell, preventing blockages and maintaining the efficiency of the system.

  1. Professional Maintenance

Engage the services of professionals for regular maintenance. They can conduct thorough inspections, clean the system, and address any issues before they escalate.


In conclusion, paying attention to the signs mentioned above can help you identify whether your soakwell is handling runoff water effectively. Timely intervention is key to preventing potential damage to your property and maintaining a safe and aesthetically pleasing environment. Don’t ignore the subtle indicators; instead, take the necessary steps to ensure your soakwell is up to the task.

For thorough gutter cleaning services and expert advice on maintaining your drainage system, contact WA Gutter Suckers. Our team is dedicated to providing comprehensive solutions to keep your property in optimal condition.