If you have bought a property that happens to have a dam on it, you might be a little nervous about taking care of it. Dams can last for a very long time, so you need to know what kind of tasks to do in order to keep the dam strong and protect the rest of your property. Here are three of the things you'll need to do if you have a dam.
Monitor the Dam Frequently
Taking the time to physically look at your dam on a regular basis is one of the best ways to avoid trouble. Look for signs of cracking along the dam, and look for any signs that the water is starting to erode the dam or the soil around the dam. This can cause dam failure, and noticing early signs of erosion can give you time to get the dam repaired by a professional before the dam is breached. You also want to look at the outlet pipe. Ensure that it isn't blocked or damaged.
Clear Away Debris
While you're looking out for signs of cracks and other problems, take time to clear away dead leaves and other debris near the dam. Dead leaves and debris can provide nests and feeding places for insects and small animals that could then start to dig away at or burrow into the embankment or other soil near the dam. Make sure that the grass on the embankment is kept mowed.
Have a Plan for an Emergency
To protect the rest of your property, it's a smart idea to create a plan of action in the event of a dam breach. This plan might involve moving to higher ground, notifying neighbors, and contacting a dam repair professional. Talk about the plan with your family and neighbors so they understand what to do.
Be proactive about enacting the plan; even if the water is only near the top of the dam after a rainstorm or you only see minimal seepage, start putting the plan into action. Err on the side of caution so you don't risk injuries or damage.
Using the ideas set out above can provide you with a sense of relief that you are doing everything possible to take care of your dam and protect everything else on your property. Seek out a local dam repair contractor such as T. Luckey Sons, Inc. who can inspect your dam, service it regularly, and give you more suggestions about how to care for the dam.