When you bought your house, how many dreams did you have for it? Hydrangeas along the side, a stone walkway, and eventually maybe even a pool perhaps? You planted the flowers and installed that walkway, but what you didn’t anticipate was a small pool showing up uninvited in your grass. You don’t need an expert to tell you your yard has a drainage problem. But you might need one to fix it.

Causes of Drainage Problems

  • Improper grading. Yards should slope about 2% downwards, away from your house to avoid any major drainage problems. Some yards have an inconsistent slope or water traps that lead to drainage problems.
  • Sloppy flower bed designs. Flowers are beautiful and can immediately take your yard from boring to elegant. Sometimes, however, flower beds aren’t planted with a plan in mind and can impede the flow of water.
  • Gutters. The sneaky drainage culprits are your gutters and downspouts. If the gutters need to be emptied and cleaned, they could be spilling water over the edge and into your yard. Similarly, if the downspout isn’t long enough, it could empty right into your yard with no guidance away from the foundation of your house.

These aren’t the only causes of drainage problems, but they are the most common. Check your yard to see which of these is the enemy you’re fighting, and then you’ll know where to install the solution.

Solutions to Drainage Problems

  • Dry creek bed. This is the solution for the DIYer, aesthetic chaser, and budget conscious homeowner. After digging a shallow trench along the problem area, we install river rock or other smooth stones to give the appearance of a dried creek. It will catch the water when it rains and direct it away from your house and into a more suitable location, like the storm drain.
  • French drain. This is the solution for the homeowner who doesn’t want their drainage solution out in the open. After digging a much deeper but narrower trench along the problem area, the space is filled with crushed stone and PVC pipe to move the water along to the storm drain.

What if I don’t fix these problems?

Leaving a drainage problem untouched for too long can change the solution from installing a simple dry creek bed in the backyard to digging up your basement to install a new drainage system. Leaving the problem untouched will kill your plants and grass and become a playground for bugs like mosquitoes and termites. Fixing your drainage problems now, rather than later, can save you time, money, and many headaches.

Making the best choice for your situation will come down to your personal preference and budget. Whichever you choose, it’s important to get it taken care of quickly or else that small puddle in your yard today could turn into a much bigger issue tomorrow.