Poor yard drainage can cause all sorts of problems. If your yard doesn’t drain after heavy rain or easily floods, you need better yard drainage. When water sits on your grass or garden, it can kill your plants. Without plant roots to hold the soil together, the next rain event can create mud and erosion that literally wash away your lawn or garden. If water is sitting on your driveway or the walkway to your home, it can make it hard to get into your home or vehicle during a storm. It can also cause safety issues, as deep water makes it harder to navigate safely. Perhaps most damaging of all, if water pools near the foundation of your home, it can cause permanent and severe damage to your basement or your foundation that can cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair.

Fortunately, you don’t have to live with poor drainage. In most cases, once you determine the cause of the flooding, finding the right drainage solution is not complicated. A TrustDALE certified yard drainage company can help you identify problem areas and create permanent solutions to keep your yard dry. There is no reason to live with the constant threat of flooding and standing water. Contact a TrustDALE certified yard drainage specialist today to solve your water problems and live safely in your home.

Causes and Solutions to Flooding and Standing Water

The first step to solving your flooding problem is to identify the cause of your water problems. Once you know the source of the problem, you can develop a plan to prevent it.

Problem: Poor Grading and Eroded Backfill

In most cases, when a home is built, the land around it is graded so that it slopes gently away from the house. This helps direct water away from the home’s foundation and safely toward storm drains and other water control areas. However, over time, backfill can erode, and the gentle slope away from your home can even be reversed. When that happens, instead of water flowing away from your home, it can flow toward your home and pool along your foundation. Water pooling along your foundation is one of the most destructive flooding issues. The water can enter your basement, where it can destroy property and lead to mold that endangers your family’s health. It can also affect the very structure of your home, leading to potentially thousands of dollars in repairs to keep your home from collapsing.

In addition to eroded backfill, you can also find grading issues in the property around your home. If you notice large pools of water in your backyard or on your lawn, likely, those areas are not graded properly. Ideally, water should flow off of your lawn and toward a drainage area. But water will always flow to the lowest spot, and if that spot is somewhere on your lawn, water will pool there instead of draining.

Solution: Regrading and Restructuring the Landscape

If the cause of your water problems is inadequate grading and eroded backfill, the solution is to reverse those issues. If the backfill around your home has eroded over time, the simplest solution is to install new backfill to help direct water away from your home. All of these solutions work on the simple principle that water always flows to the lowest spot. A yard drainage specialist can add backfill to raise the earth around your home by just a couple of inches. This creates a gentle grade that sends water flowing away from your home and back into your yard or gutters where it can safely drain.

If the issue is improper grading in other parts of your property, the solution may require regrading or other modifications to your landscape. If you want a permanent solution to your yard drainage issues, you may choose to install a swale or dry creek bed. Both of these solutions involve creating a low area in your lawn that can gather rainwater as it falls. A swale is a wide, gentle trench or depression that can be planted with grass or plants. It collects water from your property and directs it away toward an appropriate drain. A dry creek bed is similar, though often smaller. It is more elaborately landscaped with river stones and other decorative features to give the impression of a natural creek bed. During dry periods, the area remains dry, but when it rains, the creek bed fills and acts as natural drainage for the surrounding area.

Problem: High Water Table

If you notice that your property often floods even with relatively small amounts of precipitation, you may be dealing with a high water table. This is especially common with properties that are close to water, like a lake or the ocean. A high water table is difficult to overcome, but there are some solutions that can help you avoid damage to your home and landscaping.

When the water table is high, underground water lies close to the surface so that adding even a small amount of water can lead to severe flooding. Sometimes these areas are considered floodplains, and permanent solutions can be complicated. However, there are still steps you can take to improve drainage and relieve some of the worst effects of flooding.

Solution: Raised Planters and Native Plants

A high water table can make drainage challenging. Most plant root systems don’t do well in saturated soil. One way to deal with the problem is to use raised planters for your trees and plants. That keeps the roots out of the wet ground. Another possible solution is to use native plants that are suited for the local soil conditions. If you want to grow a lawn or bushes without using planters, you could raise your entire yard by adding soil held in place with retaining walls. It is a drastic fix and isn’t cheap, but it will provide you with the most permanent and complete solution to a high water table.

Problem: Hardpan and Poor Soil Drainage

Sometimes, the issue is simply that the soil collects water, and it has nowhere to go. This can occur in certain soil conditions.

One such condition is hardpan, a layer of dirt or clay cemented into a hard layer impervious to water. There are different types and causes of hardpan. The most difficult hardpan to overcome is soil that has hardened through chemical processes that have cemented the soil together. This can form a layer up to several feet thick that requires heavy machinery to break up. Other hardpans can be broken up more easily. Clay hardpan is caused by a dense layer of clay, and it can usually be broken up with a regular shovel when it is wet. Other types of hardpan are caused by mechanical compression from plows, vehicles, or construction machinery. This type of hardpan is usually close to the surface and only a few inches thick.

Solution: Break It Up or Plant Over It

To break up hardpan, you can use a shovel or, in some cases, heavy machinery like a backhoe. In some cases, you may only need to break through the hardpan in a few places near where you are planting trees and bushes to allow water to escape and drain.

Another way to deal with hardpan is simply to plant over it. You can add high-quality compost, hummus, and planting soil to create a layer of soil that can sustain your plants and drain adequately, even with the hardpan still intact.

Problem: Inadequate or Broken Drainage

One of the most common problems that causes drainage and flooding issues is simply the lack of adequate drainage solutions. In this case, there is nothing inherently wrong with your property, only that it lacks essential drainage solutions or the drains it has are inadequate or broken. For example, water may gather along a walkway or driveway due to a lack of efficient drainage, or a patio may flood because it lacks a drain. In some cases, rain gutter downspouts are not extended far enough from a home or dump water in an area without adequate drainage.

Solution: Add Drainage Systems

Luckily, the lack of adequate drainage systems is straightforward to fix. All you need to do is install the appropriate drainage for the situation. In some cases, a french drain can help direct water away from a foundation. In other cases, you can install a drain in a hardscape area like a patio or walkway. Sometimes, all it takes is adding an extension to a gutter downspout to send water away from the home’s foundation and toward a storm drain.

Finding the Right Drainage Solution

TurstDALE certified drainage specialists like Advanced Drainage Solutions can help diagnose and solve your flooding and drainage dilemmas. Working with an expert, you can find the source of your water problems and develop a plan of action to remediate your property and stop it from flooding in the future. And as with every TrustDALE certified business, our yard drainage specialists are backed by Dale’s trademark $10,000 Make-It-Right™ Guarantee.

Dale's New Book:
Don't Get Scammed: Get Smart!