With all the rain and winter weather we’ve had in Annapolis, MD it’s no wonder that your yard may have drainage issues. There are many ways on how to improve drainage in your yard. It happens to homeowners across the country more often than you’d think, and it usually starts with small puddles and wet spots appearing in your grass. Maybe you’re starting to see muddy patches and swamp-like areas in your yard. These are classic symptoms of poor yard drainage, meaning the soil in your yard is retaining too much water. Why?
Common Causes of Yard Drainage Issues
There are several factors that can lead to a yard failing to vacate excess water properly. Different causes of yard drainage problems can call for different solutions and approaches. The following are some of the most common reasons your yard may be draining poorly.
- Yard slope or pitch: In many cases, water pools in a yard because the soil’s flat plane doesn’t divert enough water away from the house.
- A too-short downspout: If your gutter’s downspout points directly into a flower bed or other landscaped area, excess water can collect in the mulch and soil beneath.
- Impacted soil: This can be a result of construction projects, such as in-ground pools, around the house. Hardpan clay is especially problematic when impacted, as it can retain moisture for far longer than other types of soil.
- Front walkways: If a sidewalk or concrete path sits in front of your house, it could be blocking off water, preventing it from running through your yard and into the storm drain.
- Runoff erosion: If the runoff from your downspout has stripped away some of the topsoil in your yard, this can lead to heavy collection beneath the eroded area.
French Drain Versus Dry Well: What’s the Difference?
A French drain normally consists of a long trench filled with gravel or other substrate materials and a drainage pipe running from the house down the length of the drain. The pipe is then covered up with filter and either soil or river stone at the grade level. French drains are versatile and can be installed almost anywhere. They differ from a creek bed or drainage swale in that a French drain consists of buried piping underneath the soil, as opposed to a shallow trench that redirects runoff on the graded surface.
A dry well is usually installed at the endpoint of a creek, swale or French drain and is used to collect and disperse water into the surrounding soil instead of redirecting water away from the house. This is typically done using either a weighted sleeve of drainage fabric or a large metal or concrete basin with holes in its sides through which the collected water can drain out into the porous soil nearby. Larger dry well sections can be purchased at many home improvement stores.
For heavy-duty yard drainage improvement, a French drain connected to a downspout leading away from the house and ending in a dry well is a popular and effective solution. Be sure to check the soil conditions at your intended dry well installation site. If the soil there isn’t porous and doesn’t drain well, a dry well won’t do you any good there. This can be done by digging a small hole with a post digger, pouring water inside and observing how long it takes to drain.
Check Your Yard Often to Prevent Future Yard Drainage Issues
Even after you’ve tackled your yard drainage project and your property is back on track, it’s important to take care of your soil and keep watch for unwanted standing water in the future. If you’re concerned that your soil isn’t aerating enough, a round of rototilling can loosen the earth and help it drain more quickly.
Decorative rocks in the yard, if not placed properly, can also create barriers to runoff, causing water to pool in the grass. Consider relocating or removing some rocks from the yard to ensure rainwater has a clear path out of your yard.
When your yard isn’t draining the way it should be, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the task of fixing it. But with the right preparation and the right tools, you can take on a variety of yard drainage ideas in a weekend or two to get your property back on track.
Team Paradise has helped hundreds of customers over the decades fix their yard drainage solution issues. Call us today or fill out our estimate form!