Every homeowner wants a yard that looks good and that has a drainage system that works effectively. However, drainage problems in your yard may be hindering you from achieving the perfect lawn that you so much desire. Before we look at some yard drainage solutions, here are some of the common problems that you may encounter from having poor drainage in your yard:
Puddles On Your Lawn
Standing water on your lawn is not only a significant risk but also an eyesore. Puddles can attract pests, cause fungal growth and ruin your landscaping as it causes the root structure of the land to develop poorly since the roots do not have to go into the soil to gain the water they require to grow. Puddles on your lawn also make your outdoor activities in your compound less thrilling as you try to keep your kids off the lawn and the dog from making a mess. Any time you have water standing for more than half an hour after a heavy downpour means that you might be facing puddling problems. You can solve small puddles in low areas by adding some soil or sand to the area, but you may need a different drainage solution if the puddles are large.
If your entire lawn fills up with water after heavy rains and turns into a marsh, then you are having a problem with yard flooding. This is a much bigger problem than a few puddles, and it will require a more extensive drainage plan.
Dead Grass and Plants
You may be trying to maintain your grass and landscape plants, but they just aren’t doing too well. If you face this problem, it may be because your yard may be having too much water. Some types of grass tend to be intolerant to too much water, such as the Zoysia grass. This is because fungi exist in overly wet environments and affect the proper growth of your grass. Plants on your landscape will also be affected where the roots will rot if there is too much water leading to the plant being unable to send nutrients and oxygen to the rest of the plant. If your landscape plants and grass are not growing well, then poor drainage may be the cause.
The biggest problem you may face due to poor drainage is when the water gets to your house. When water stays stagnant for long periods next to your foundation, it leads to foundation damage. The water may also crawl into your floors or basement and cause mold that may cause your family to get health problems. This may mostly occur if your house is downhill from your neighbors, and the water flowing downwards ends up in your yard.
What Causes Drainage Problems?
Understanding the reason behind your drainage problem is the first step towards finding the right yard drainage solutions.
Yard Slope or Pitch
Some drainage problems are caused by a yard pitch or slope that is inadequate, preventing runoff from being diverted away from your lawn. The soil’s flat plane fails to divert the water as it should, leading the water to settle on your yard. The problem can be complicated further by an inadequate downpipe on your home. If it does not direct rainwater from the gutters away from your yard, it could be making your flooding problems worse.
Drainage problems in your yard may be caused by the excessive water pouring out of downspouts. If the problem has gone on for some time, the topsoil in that area can be stripped off by the water, leading to large puddles in the eroded area.
Front Entrance Walkway
A concrete path or sidewalk at the front of your house may be a reason why you have drainage problems in your yard, as it may be blocking off the water and preventing it from running through into drains. The front entrance walkway is the space that is between your house and the front sidewalk. When you have poor drainage, water will be retained in this area and form a small dam.
If the downspout from your gutter directs water directly into a landscaped area or a flower bed, then there will be excess water collecting in the soil beneath. In different cases, builders of a new home may fail to install downspouts that may lead to water remaining stagnant in one area rather than being diverted away from the yard. This may lead to drainage problems, and it needs to be handled immediately to prevent water from ending up in the foundation or the basement. One can find a solution that can recirculate the water into areas in the yard that will be most beneficial.
Yard Drainage Solutions
Once you have determined the problem, you need to decide the best solution. There are many types of drainage, and determining the best requires a little knowledge of the different types of drainage.
Redirect or Extend Your Downspout
If your water drainage problems are caused by runoff from your gutter system, you can fix this by extending your downspout and redirecting it away from your house so that it does not form a pool of standing water in your landscape. Ensure that it leads up into a safe drainage source or a storm drain when you extend the downspout. Underground downspouts can be another solution. They use corrugated plastic tubing to allow some of the water to seep into the soil as it flows through the tube. This is an effective method if your yard slopes since the water channeled through the underground pipe will drain out downhill to a place with better drainage.
French drains are a common solution for more significant drainage problems. These drains are used along building foundations and retaining walls to reduce water flows that could weaken the soil, causing the wall to collapse. A french drain uses open drainage pipes covered with loose rocks or gravel so the water can percolate into the drain.
A dry well collects and disperses water into the surrounding soil rather than redirecting the water away from the yard. The main component is a dry will is a large basin with holes in the side. It may be made of metal, a weighted sleeve of drainage fabric, or concrete. The water that is collected drains out into the surrounding soil through the holes in the basin. A dry well can also collect water from different drains or downspouts in your yard.
Creek Bed or Swale
An artificial creek or a swale is one of the most aesthetically pleasing yard drainage solutions. They can draw water away from low spots or drain a low area. The benefit of a creek bed is that not only does it helps you with drainage, but it is also an attractive feature of your landscape even when it is dry. To create a creek bed, dig into the soil, and make a long shallow trench. Then fill the channel with decorative rocks and gravel. If your yard slopes downward toward the creek bed, water will run off through the creek bed away from your lawn.
For the areas in your yard that are low and collect water when it rains heavily, you can build a rain garden. A rain garden captures flowing water in a depression in your lawn. It is filled with plants that thrive in water, creating a natural drain. The benefits of having a rain garden are that they look better than a muddy hole with soaking grass, they are suitable for the environment, and they are a great place to channel excess water that may be in your yard.
It is essential that you find water-loving plants for your rain garden. Some of these plants include ferns, ornamental mosses, and hostas that can dry out the areas saturated with water. A rain garden can drain excess water in about 24 hours. You can determine how deep you want your rain garden to be by considering the surrounding soil’s porousness. A rain garden can also be an excellent place to collect and channel water into a creek bed or a downspout.
Creating a Drainage Survey
A drainage survey will come in handy should you need yard drainage solutions. You can begin creating a drainage survey by sketching your property. Include features such as your driveway, house, patios, and the street. Using a builder’s level, line level, or another leveling method, determine the low spots and the high spots on your property. Note the relative height of the low spots and the high spots and draw arrows to show water flow, and indicate the areas with standing water. With a complete drainage survey, you can determine which yard drainage solution would be best for your property.