The Dos and Don’ts of Proper Drainage

The Dos and Don’ts of Proper Drainage Hero Image

Last Updated July 13, 2023

Have recent heavy rains left your yard a swampy mess? It could be that your home does not have proper drainage. Poor drainage can lead to serious issues for your home and property, so it’s important to assess the situation and take proactive steps to improve drainage in your yard if needed. Let’s take a look at water drainage, how to approach it the right way, and what to avoid.

The Importance of Proper Drainage

Gutter drainage system

Proper drainage plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy landscape and protecting your home’s foundation from erosion. If your property lacks proper drainage, you could end up with standing water and a foundation that is unstable. In addition to these issues, excess water can also have a negative impact on your landscape. Standing water attracts insects, and bacteria, and creates conditions that can harm trees, flowers, shrubs, and plants. This is why a proper drainage system is so important.

Factors That Affect Drainage

Gutter clogged with leaves

There are several factors that affect how well water will drain on your property. But water drainage in a yard is typically affected by these two things — grade and soil. If your property has been graded correctly (meaning it has no low-lying areas) and slopes away from your home, that’s a good thing. In addition, if you have soil that includes sand, silt, or clay, it will typically drain better when exposed to heavy rain. However, if your property has a few low-lying areas and soil that does not handle heavy participation as well, then improving yard drainage can help remedy those problems. Before we get too far down the drain with correcting the problem, let’s look at the things that have the most negative impact on drainage.

The following can lead to common landscape drainage issues:

  • Irregular grading, results in low spots on your property.
  • Roots from trees and plants cause cracks or clog drain pipes.
  • Dips or cracks on any hardscape areas.
  • A badly designed landscape that doesn’t allow for proper drainage.
  • Inferior soil quality, causes puddling in certain areas.
  • A poorly installed gutter system or clogged gutters.

Signs of Poor Drainage

Standing water in grass

If there’s always some standing water on your property, it’s a sign to take action to improve the drainage in your yard. Finding drainage problems and taking proactive steps to fix the issues before they escalate can save you money and additional time and effort.

The following are signs of poor drainage:

  • Gushing rain gutters that can’t seem to handle the volume of water.
  • Downspouts dumping too much water in a certain area.
  • Water settling around the foundation of your home or building.
  • Water consistently pools in certain areas of your yard.
  • Cracks in the foundation of your home or building.
  • Soil erosion in various areas around your landscape.

Ways to Ensure Proper Drainage

Drain at the base of a water drainage pipe

Here are some ways to improve the drainage in your yard:

  • Install trench and channel drains to accommodate excess water.
  • These drains help direct water away so that it doesn’t pool.
  • Allow drainage runoff to channel back into the ground, where natural processes can filter it before it flows into rivers, lakes, and oceans.
  • Installing drainage systems in or right below the surface improves the draining ability of your home and keeps bulky pipes out of sight to help maintain the aesthetic look of your landscape.
  • A proper landscaping design will ensure that the soil near your home’s foundation slopes gently away to help drain water naturally.
  • Hiring a landscape professional is often the best way to ensure your home has a proper landscaping design.
  • Inspect gutters throughout the year and remove any debris such as leaves and sticks.
  • This will help prevent clogs and ensure they continue to do their job.
  • Inspect your drainage systems after storms or heavy rainfall.
  • Do check for signs of pooling water, soil erosion, or landscape damage. If there is damage, address the issues right away.

Avoid These Proper Drainage Mistakes

Landscaper power washing gutter system

In order to improve water drainage in your yard, be careful to avoid these common mistakes.

  • Don’t avoid gutter inspection and maintenance. Clogged gutters can lead to bigger problems for your home’s foundation.
  • Don’t dig trenches. Without proper drainage materials, trenches can create muddy pools that can overflow quickly and cause more harm than good.
  • Don’t pollute by allowing runoff to flow directly into the drainpipe. When debris and chemicals come directly from the roof into important water sources, it can cause environmental problems. Attempt to filter the water through plants or soil before sending it down the drainpipe.
  • Don’t ignore mold, mildew, or dampness in your basement. These could be key indicators of a drainage problem around your home.
  • Water damage should be fixed immediately before it causes severe damage to the foundation of your home.
  • Don’t channel drainage toward the house. Sending water back toward your home can damage your home’s foundation and cause flooding.
  • Don’t fight the natural slope of your home. Maximize the natural peaks and valleys of your yard that allow water to drain properly.
  • Don’t go it alone. Find The Grounds Guys nearest you and consult with a professional before installing drainage systems or redoing the landscape of your home.

Rely on the Pros for Drainage Assistance

Maintaining proper drainage around your property will help ensure the stability of your home’s foundation and reduce the risk of flooding and the development of bacteria and mold. However, improving yard drainage is not an easy job, and it often requires the expertise of a professional. The Grounds Guys® offer drainage services, including gutter maintenance to ensure your home and landscape is properly equipped to handle what Mother Nature has in store. And with work that’s backed by the Neighborly Done Right Promise, your satisfaction is guaranteed! Contact us today to request a free estimate.