Landscaping Drainage

There are several causes of water accumulation around a home, including poor drainage and uncontrolled water runoff. This can result in numerous problems, such as pest infestations, wood rot, mold growth, and damage to structures like patios, driveways, walkways, and your home foundation. These issues can significantly reduce the value of your property. However, there are some cost-effective and straightforward methods for directing water runoff away from your home and avoiding the negative consequences of excess soil moisture.

Pooling Rain

Achieve Positive Drainage

Positive landscape drainage refers to a system that directs water away from an area, rather than allowing it to pool or accumulate. Here are some ways to achieve positive landscape drainage:

    1. 1. Grade your landscape: Make sure the ground slopes away from your home and other structures, to encourage water to flow away from them.


    1. 2. Use berms and swales: Berms are mounds of soil that can be used to redirect water flow, while swales are shallow channels that can be used to channel water to a desired location.


    1. 3. Install a French drain: A French drain is a trench filled with gravel or rock that has a perforated pipe at the bottom. It is used to divert water away from an area by allowing it to flow through the gravel and into the pipe.


    1. 4. Use rain gardens: Rain gardens are shallow depressions that are designed to collect and filter stormwater runoff. They can be used to manage water flow and prevent erosion.


  1. 5. Utilize permeable surfaces: Instead of using traditional concrete or asphalt surfaces, consider using permeable alternatives such as permeable pavers or gravel. These surfaces allow water to drain through them, rather than pooling on top.

By implementing these techniques, you can effectively manage water flow and prevent pooling and accumulation on your property.

Check Your Gutters and Downspouts

Poor drainage caused by clogged gutters or improperly directed downspouts can easily be corrected. To prevent this issue, it is recommended to clean your gutters at least twice a year to remove any dirt, leaves, twigs, and other debris that could block the flow of water.

Additionally, make sure your downspouts are directing water away from your foundation and towards designated drainage routes. If you notice water pooling near your home after it rains, it may be necessary to extend the length of your downspouts. By following these steps, you can effectively manage the flow of water and prevent it from accumulating near your foundation.

Avoid Planting Shrubs and Trees too Close to Your Home

Planting shrubs and trees can be a useful way to reduce water runoff on your property, but placing them too close to your home can actually hinder proper drainage. This is because these plants tend to retain water, which can lead to a buildup of moisture around your foundation. This excess moisture, along with the roots and limbs of these plants, can cause damage to your foundation, roof, siding, plumbing, and adjacent structures such as patios, driveways, walkways, and porches. Additionally, storing materials such as soil, mulch, gravel, or other water-absorbing materials near your home can also lead to issues with your basement and foundation. To avoid these problems, it is important to plant shrubs and trees at a sufficient distance from your home and avoid storing water-absorbing materials near the foundation.

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    French Drains and Drywells

    One effective way to remove water runoff from a lower area is to install an underground drainage pipe and a storm water drainage well, also known as a French Drain and a dry well. To do this, the drainage pipe should be placed in a gradually sloping trench that connects the low point (the source) to the dry well (the outlet). Alternatively, a plastic catch basin or other containment option can be used to collect the water runoff from the drainage pipe. If you have a sump pump, you can also discharge the sump pump water into the drainage pipe or directly into the dry well. Instead of using a drainage pipe, you could also consider installing a perforated pipe and a French drain, or a weeping tile system to protect your foundation from water damage. In these cases, the dry well or containment basin would not be necessary.

    Regardless of the landscape drainage method you choose, it is important to regularly inspect your property. Extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain, flooding, and drought can affect your landscape and the efficiency of your drainage system. By identifying the signs of poor landscape drainage early, you can protect your home from water damage.

    Chris Bartlett
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