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Some Typical Yard Drainage Problems/Solutions

Feb 1, 2016 | Services

For those who have never owned a home, a pristine yard is a dream often explored by driving through well-tended suburbs or flipping the pages in a homeowner’s magazine. Unfortunately, upon buying a home with a lawn, many people find that drainage problems can quickly cause a host of problems in the yard. Through investigating some of the typical yard drainage problems/solutions, alleviating this obstacle to such a staple of the American dream will be accomplishable.


Identify Sources of Water


Gutter System

The number one source of large volumes of water is your home gutter rainwater diversion system. Take a gander during a slight rainfall to see if there are any leaks. Leaks cause water to pool in areas which are not designed for proper drainage, which could inevitably lead to drainage problems. Clogged gutters can also cause issues since this decreases the rate at which water can evacuate through the system, leading to flooding over the edges of the gutters which is an improper drainage path. Investigate where water output from the gutter system goes to as well. In general, this water should follow a path that grades downward.


Irrigation System

Your irrigation system can contribute a large volume of water to your yard. Unfortunately, malfunctioning of this system can cause water to be distributed improperly. Periodically inspect sprayers and adjust the amount of water output based upon rainwater amount and weather trends.


Consider Planting Water Absorbing Plants

Water absorbing plants can take care of yard drainage problems while enhancing the appeal of your landscaping. According to Landscaping Network, “Low-lying areas with a high water table can make landscaping a real challenge. Plant roots in saturated soil during the growing season are denied oxygen, and quickly rot just like an overwatered house plant. Certain plants that originate in river bottoms and wetlands do quite well in high water landscapes. The best choices will be riparian species from local bogs, fens and swamps naturally adapted to your climate and soils. Trees from similar wetlands elsewhere in the world also make good candidates. These provide more diversity than what is native to local plant communities.”


Replace Poor-Draining or Unlevel Soil

Soil should downgrade away from the home in order to ensure proper flow of water. However, sometimes soil with the proper grading may still have poor drainage characteristics. This is typical of clay or rocky soils. In such an instance it may be necessary to replace areas of soil in order to ensure proper drainage on the property. Keep in mind that some soils are harder to dig up than others, so allocate the proper amount of time and equipment for the job.


Call Before Digging

If circumstances call for work involving the removal of dirt, make sure to call the local utility companies to ascertain the location of wiring and pipelines beneath the ground. Failure to do so could result in damage to or interruption of services for yourself or neighbors and may cause injury or death. A metal detector can also reveal the likely placement of utility lines on the property if there is still confusion after consultation or reviewal of the property schematics.


Install A Dry Well

In some instances, a particular spot on a property is simply an accumulation spot for water from a lot of surface area from the surrounding area. In this case replacing the soil may not fully eliminate the problem. Installation of a dry well creates a larger reservoir capacity for flooding after significant precipitation occurs. This then slowly drains into the surrounding soil. If you have any questions about typical yard drainage problems/solutions then don’t hesitate to contact us at Johnson’s Landscaping. Our expertise can help guide you to a solution concerning your personal yard drainage issues.

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About the Author

Matt Johnson grew up in a family of landscapers and gardeners as the grandson of Raymond Johnson (Founder, 1933, Johnson's Florist and Garden Center) and son of James and Carol Johnson (Founders, 1960, Johnson's Landscaping Service, Inc.). Since 2007, he has led Johnson's Landscaping Service with his brother, Charlie.  Matt and his wife Jaime live in Petworth in Northwest DC with their 3 sons and 2 big dogs.

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