It’s pretty common to see homeowners struggling with drainage issues in their homes and yards. When you experience unexpected leaks in the basement or your yard has visible soggy patches and standing water, it’s time to sit up and do something about it. 

Apart from damaging your property, drainage problems can be extremely detrimental to your health and a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

The first step to dealing with drainage issues is to find out what is causing them.

Improper yard drainage can lead to serious problems – making your property unusable over time. So, if you’re looking for sensible drainage solutions to keep water from pooling in your yard, you’ve come to the right blog. We’ll help you identify the drainage issues in your yard and provide solutions to fix the problems. Why should your dream of owning a beautiful yard be just a dream? 

What are some of the signs of drainage issues?

poor drainage

Yard drainage problems usually start with small puddles, wet spots, muddy patches, and swamp-like areas. 

Here are some common signs that indicate a bad drainage system:

  • Standing water in your yard
  • Large puddles of pooling water underneath downspouts
  • Soggy trouble spots in your lawn
  • Water stains on your home’s foundation

What are the repercussions of drainage problems?

Water pooling in your yard can have serious repercussions for you and your home. Improper drainage can lead to:

  • Water in the basement
  • Mosquitoes breeding around your home
  • Dead grass, trees, and plants
  • Soil erosion
  • Excessive ice on walkways and patios during the winter months

What are the causes of common drainage problems?

It’s important to identify the causes of your backyard drainage issues. Only then will you be able to address them in the right way. The goal is to prevent water from flowing toward your house. Keep in mind that some measures are easy to do, while others may require professional intervention.

Improper downspouts and rain gutters

Rain gutters and downspouts are crucial components of a home’s exterior. However, problems may arise if they aren’t installed or maintained correctly. The two biggest obstacles are when the pipes fail to move water away from the house or when the gutters overflow.

That’s when rainwater pools around the foundation of your home – causing landscape as well as structural problems.

Solution: Check your gutters regularly. Make sure the downspouts point away from your home and carry the rainwater far away. You may consider connecting these spouts to a drainage system.

Always clean your rain gutters to prevent them from overflowing and prevent debris buildup. Most of the time, sticks, leaves and even dead squirrels pile up and block the downspout.

Improper yard grading and sloping

An ideal yard grading is when the water flows away from the house through a swale, to a drainage catch basin far away. If you don’t get your grading right, it can trap water that may even flow toward the house – into the basement, causing major water damage.

Solution: You need a new drainage plan with drains to collect water and pipe it away. Make sure you contact a landscaping contractor for proper yard grading so that it directs the runoff in the correct direction. 

Runoff from neighbors

Sometimes, when you live downhill from other properties, runoff may reach your house from higher elevation areas. This may cause large puddles of water on your property. 

Solution: Check the flow of water into your yard during a rainstorm. If it’s coming toward your property, build a berm or swale to divert the water. You could re-route the water to a catch basin or a dry well. 

Poor landscaping and surface depressions

Patio surface drain

Who doesn’t like beautiful yard landscaping? But sometimes, your hard work may be compromising your drainage. Potential problem areas include bare soil without any vegetation, too much topsoil or mulch, a yard that slopes toward your house, and paved surfaces that carry water toward your building. Many a time, improperly installed landscape features such as fences or decks may add to the problem. 

Solution: The key is to divert the water elsewhere. You should install French drains or use other creative solutions such as landscaping filled with gravel, rocks, and water-loving plants. Make sure the slope of the planting beds is not directed toward your home or any other outdoor structure. 

Roots in the drainage pipes

Another reason could be blocked storm drains due to tree roots or grass invading the moist drainage pipe. As the roots grow, they end up breaking the fittings or completely blocking them. 

Solution: You may consider the removal of the pipe altogether if it’s broken. Or, contact a root-cutting service to mechanically clean the pipe out. After cleaning the pipes, the pros will wrap the perforated pipes in filter fabric and glue the joints to keep plant roots from entering the pipe.

Bad soil mixes

If your lawn is muddy in one spot and completely dry in another, it could be the soil that’s causing the problem. The soil in your yard may be retaining too much water. While sandy soil lets water slip right through, clayey soil doesn’t drain very well. However, if it’s sandy right against your home, the runoff will reach the sides of your foundation and cause wet areas in your basement walls.

Solution: Dig a small hole and fill it with water and see how it drains. If it takes more than four hours, your soil mix is the culprit. Start by improving your soil with a coarse aggregate such as sand or pea gravel and other organic matter.

Last thoughts

When you want a lush lawn and a healthy yard, you’ll need to lessen the impact of rainwater on your property. You’ll need proper drainage so that water doesn’t collect in your yard and causes structural damage to your home and plants. Moreover, the swampy mess may become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and bugs. It’s best to fix drainage problems when they’re smaller. Timely resolutions and yard drainage solutions can save you thousands of dollars. And, lots of headaches.

Read more: How to remove old gutter sealant

Easy fixes for the most common drainage issues was last modified: April 4th, 2023 by Ramona Sinha
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