Landscaping to Minimize Flooding

Author: Touré Foster

Posted in: Drainage | Landscaping

Landscaping to Minimize Flooding

Thousands of dollars are spent by home and business owners each year attempting to repair damages done by flooding. These dollars can be put to better use by proactively preventing the flooding. A property owner can prevent flood damage and increase the appeal of your home or business by landscaping to minimize flooding.

Flooding can also lead to pollution in local water systems. Rainwater carrying pesticides and sediment from treated soil to nearby ecosystems can wreak havoc. If your business or residential property has flooding issues, take a look at options to remove the risk of flooding by landscaping your property.

Landscape and Drainage Improvement

No two pieces of land are exactly the same no matter where you look. The method you choose minimize flooding will not be the same for everyone. In certain cases some methods will work better than others. Here are some of the most commonly used landscaping improvements.

Improve the soil quality

Soil requires proper air exchange for healthy plant growth. Any time that soil becomes waterlogged, it can lead to a low oxygen supply. This can cause root-rot and other potential health issues for your plants.

One mistake that many people make is setting the plant too low in the planting area. This can cause excess water to collect, causing the roots to rot. Your best bet is to rototill the soil, add high quality compost and topsoil and raise the entire bed by four to six inches. This both improves the overall quality of your soil, while providing for ample drainage for your plantings.

Grade your lawn

Landscape drainage issues caused by poor grading around the house can lead to potentially destructive results. Whether your landscaping was graded poorly to begin with, or if it has settled around your foundation, it can cause water run-off to collect against the walls of your home. Over a period of time, this collected water can come in through the basement or other walls, which can lead to dangerous mold and mildew, which can be a serious allergen to many of us.

It is important to assess the soil level and grading around your home and gardens. Your gardens should provide proper drainage both down into the soil and away from your home.  To accomplish this, raise your soil to create a 5% slope away from all walls and buildings. If this type of grade either does not do the trick, or does not fit in with your landscaping plans, consider additional drainage options such as French drains and other low-profile draining options. With the simple addition of an underground drain or two, you can safely route water from trouble spots and into the appropriate area of your home or property.

Plant a rain garden

A rain garden is a garden designed to soak up flood waters. Rather than redirecting the water to a drainage point, a rain garden will give the water a place to pool and eventually be soaked up by the plants. When planting a rain garden, use plants that are native to the area and have long roots. Long roots will allow the plants to soak up the most water possible. Native plants will also require less maintenance than exotic ones.

Create a swale

A swale is a man-made canal that is designed to redirect water to a desired drainage point. Place rocks at the base of the swale. Then add water-loving plants along the outside to soak up water while the rest is transported to the drainage point. Designing a swale so that the drainage point is in an area that will not cause harm to the surrounding ecosystem or a nearby neighbor.

Impermeable surface drainage

Chances are you’ve got an impermeable surface on your property besides your roof. Driveways, parking lots and walkways can all create flooding zones. By adding drainage systems on either side of the area, flooding can be minimized.

Something as simple as laying down small rocks, to adding plants along the sides can go a long way. However if flooding is a serious issue in these areas, look at adding some of the above options. These methods will allow for more water to be absorbed into the ground through the gaps rather than pooling on top of concrete or asphalt.

While the number one reason to consider these landscape modifications will be to control flooding, these additions can also bring up the value of your property. Aesthetic modifications can go a long way and will be sure to catch the eye of anyone passing by.

New England Enterprises is dedicated to providing the best service around. If you’re looking to find out what would work best for your property, set up a consultation with us today!