Puddles and slow drying mud can be your first indication that your yard has a drainage issue. Standing water can do a lot more than just affect the looks of your property. It can also do major damage if not corrected quickly. Moisture can attack your foundation, kill your grass or even leak into your home. Standing water also leads to issues like a growing mosquito population and potential health risks. Fix lawn drainage issues by taking a few proactive steps.
Start with Soil Erosion Protection
If your soil doesn’t absorb moisture quickly enough, the water rolls across the surface of your lawn and carries soil with it. This process is called erosion and can displace large amounts of soil. Erosion leaves you replacing soil every year and doing emergency fixes on your landscaping.
Help prevent erosion with a few simple landscaping tricks. Start by aerating your soil. Aerating involves punching holes into your soil surface to improve drainage. You can also add more absorbent materials like peat moss or compost. Next, put in some plantings that will help hold the soil. A few bushes that like a lot of water and a solid layer of deep-rooted grass can help keep soil where it belongs.
Fix Foundation Issues
As rain and other water puddles near the foundation of your home, it can cause settling. Settling allows the soil surrounding your home to shift and move, often compacting. The result might be major movements that can cause damage like cracks in your foundation or shifting or buckling floors.
One of the easiest ways to prevent foundation problems from poor drainage is to monitor the soil that surrounds your home. Check is the grade of slopes in the soil near the foundation. Near the foundation of your home, you want the soil to slope away. If it slopes toward your home, the water naturally runs into your foundation. A two percent slope away from your house can prevent a lot of problems.
Combat Health Issues
Even a small amount of pooling water can cause major health risks. Standing water offers a breeding ground to mosquitoes which carry a range of diseases. Another potential risk comes from the growth of mold. Moisture trapped behind walls may not be immediately visible, but black mold can grow virtually overnight in the right conditions. Getting rid of mold might take a major renovation that involves replacing support beams and repainting surfaces. Unfortunately, if you don’t take care of the moisture issue, those repairs might need a repeat every time it rains.
Simple and Quick Drainage Solutions
Before getting into a major home repair, try a few quick drainage solutions. Installing rain barrels to catch water pouring down from gutter can help reduce the amount of water your lawn needs to filter. Another option might involve improving the quality of your soil. Soil with a high clay content often filters water more slowly. Add better soil and improve the mix to get a better drainage system.
Types of Drainage Systems
Landscaping offers some solutions, but you may need something a bit more robust if your moisture problem is more extreme. In cases where you regularly deal with standing water or have leaks into your home, you might want to consider installing comprehensive drainage systems like those installed by MDTI.net. There are many different options, but the most common include French, Channel, and Underground systems.
A French drain is simply a perforated drain pipe that directs water away from your home. You would have it installed around the foundation of your home and covered so that it blends in with your landscaping.
A channel drain installs into a concrete slab surrounding your foundation. A grate over the top keeps out debris and prevents clogs. These drains are more common in urban environments where space is a major issue.
Underground drainage involves a system of pipes that meet up in a central channel drain. This type of system is used in cases where the entire landscape suffers from poor drainage. It covers a lot more ground and protects more than just the foundation.
Avoid Water Damage with Proactive Solutions
Take immediate steps to prevent water damage. Your home is too important to let lawn drainage issues continue to cause problems. A few simple steps can help protect the contents and structure of your home. Careful landscaping and a good drainage plan can keep your yard looking great and your foundation solid and leak-free.
Lucas Bond is a handyman who, whilst turning his hand to most things for friends and family, works as a gardener/landscaper for his clients.