Common Landscape Drainage Problems

Common Landscape Drainage Problems

Drainage plans are a vital part of any landscape design. And if you’ve ever designed your own landscape or worked with a professional to do so, you know proper drainage is important to the project. It’s critical to effectively distribute the water or else you’ll find yourself with a myriad of drainage problems. Here are common landscape drainage problems and ways to fix them. 

1. Gutter Issues

Blocked gutters are very common, especially if you live near woods. Take notice during a rainstorm. If the water is flowing over the gutters (rather than being pushed through), this is one indication the gutter is clogged. You need to take immediate action and unblock the gutters. A long term solution to this recurring problem is to install drain covers. 

Another issue you should look for is whether there are puddles of water underneath your downspout. This situation indicates the water may not be directed far enough away from your house. Why is this a problem? Over time, the water could get your home’s foundation and flood your basement. Or worse, the water could damage your foundation. At this point, you should call a professional to help redesign your downspout and direct water to flow the right way. 

2. Defective Lawn Grading

Did you know your lawn shouldn’t be perfectly flat? Instead, it should have a pitch up to three percent between the street and your house. Creating this type of slope will ensure water flows into the street and down the drains. If you don’t have a slope, the water will collect at the lowest point in the yard, creating puddles. The puddles will kill your grass and create a marsh-type environment in your yard. And if the puddles are near your home, the water can seep into the foundation and cause the types of damage discussed previously.

The good news is if your lawn wasn’t graded properly, you can call an expert who can help identify a solution such as installing a French drain or creek bed.  

3. Poor Plant Bed Design

Just like it’s important to properly grade your lawn, you need to incorporate drainage into the design of your plant beds. That’s why when you’re contemplating adding a plant bed to your landscape, you should consult with a professional. A professional can design the bed so the water drains naturally. A poor design will keep water from moving and will collect inside the bed killing everything you’ve planted. Or worse, it could flow in the wrong direction and flood your neighbor’s yard. So, don’t forget to work with a professional who will use a site level and calculator to create an effective slope to move the water in the correct direction.

4. Erosion 

Erosion contributes to landscape drainage problems. When the upper layer of ground soil moves from one place to another, it’s called erosion. If you live on or near the bottom of a hill, erosion from a neighbor’s yard could be flowing straight to your property during a rainstorm. This is a natural occurrence so it’s not your neighbor’s fault. 

Therefore, it’s up to you to mitigate the problem. To do so, you’ll need to identify how the water flows to your property. Then, you should contact an expert who can provide a solution to divert the water away from your yard. They may suggest re-routing solutions like installing a catch basin or dry well. 

5. Poor grading at your home’s foundation

One of the most common drainage problems is when water is held at the foundation of your home. Water that remains close to the foundation can be disastrous to the interior, damaging drywall or wood floors. It can also contribute to foundation failure. One of the solutions is to raise the land around your home to help water flow away from the foundation. You could add a landscaped garden around your foundation. The plants can absorb the water and the garden can be sloped away from your foundation.

If you think some of these drainage problems are affecting your landscape, it’s best to contact a professional for help in determining the best solution for your property.