Having inadequate drainage in your yard can result in various problems. Even small rainstorms can cause damage if proper steps are not taken to address drainage issues. From cosmetic issues like dead grass and muddy spots to potential structural damage to your home, poor yard drainage can be a costly problem. Fortunately, landscaping can offer solutions to eliminate these drainage issues and prevent foundation cracks or other major problems.
Using Landscaping to Prevent Foundation Problems
Many foundation problems occur due to the natural settling of a building over time. All buildings experience some level of shifting as they settle into the ground. However, if the surrounding land doesn’t allow proper water drainage, this settling can become more significant due to soil expansion and contraction. To avoid the need for foundation repair services, it’s important to ensure that water drains away from the building instead of pooling in certain areas. Landscaping techniques can help achieve this goal.
Common Yard Drainage Problems and Solutions
One common issue is water pooling next to the house, which can lead to foundation problems and basement flooding. This problem may be caused by improper grading, where the ground surrounding the home is not sloped enough to naturally direct water away from the foundation. In such cases, regrading the area by adding soil can create the necessary slope for proper water flow away from the foundation.
GUTTER AND DOWNSPOUT ISSUES
One possible cause of water pooling against the foundation is faulty gutters and downspouts. Leaks in the gutters or inadequate extension of the downspouts can contribute to this problem. Repairing the leaks in the gutters and adding extensions to the downspouts will help ensure that water drains away from the home. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the area where the downspouts discharge is properly graded to facilitate proper drainage.
UNEVEN AREAS IN THE YARD
If water accumulates in specific areas of your yard, you may need to install an underground or above-ground drainage system to prevent the standing water from damaging the vegetation. Raised flower beds and gardens can also be effective in channeling water where you want it to go. However, when designing and installing flower beds or potted plants, it’s crucial to consider the grade and slope to avoid drainage problems.
PROPER GRADING AND SLOPES
When landscaping, it’s important to consider not only the slope of grassy areas but also the proper grading of concrete, pavement, and other hard surfaces. If your driveway, sidewalk, or other hard surface is causing drainage issues, you may need to install a French drain or a dry well, or adjust the grading of the surface to facilitate proper drainage.
DRAINAGE SYSTEM OPTIONS
Installing a drainage system, such as a French drain, provides an opportunity to direct excess water where you want it to go. This can be utilized to create a rain garden or a decorative creek bed to channel the water through your property.
In severe cases where simple landscaping solutions are insufficient, mechanical solutions like a sump pump may be necessary. If drainage problems have persisted for a long time, it may also be important to have your foundation inspected and repaired in addition to addressing the drainage issues. Taking prompt action when noticing drainage problems can save you money and future complications.