Top 6 Solutions For Poor Drainage In Your Yard

Water drainage issues such as poor yard grading and landscaping can subsequently lead to more problems on your property. As such, it is crucial to fix these problems before it gets worse. Let us take a look at the following six solutions that are the most common yet most efficient in solving your yard’s drainage problems.

Diverting Water Away

The first solution is to improve the drainage situation by diverting water underground. While water is a necessity in your yard, too much of it can cause damaged roots and create unhealthy growing conditions for the grass. If water collects too close to the house, it may also leak into the basement and cause many other interior issues.

As such, we can consider adding trench grates or french drains as these two types are excellent choices for heavily paved areas - think, your garage or walkway in your garden.

  • Using Trench Grates

Trench drains are concrete-lined channels that help direct water flow while filtering out debris using grates to reduce any form of clogging or blockage. While other types of drains may require water to be redirected to them, a trench drain can stop water in its tracks and get rid of any surface water.

Jonite trench gratesAn example of Jonite's trench grates

Indeed, trench drains are an artificial addition to your yard that will play a crucial role in channelling stagnant groundwater away from the house and prevent it from seeping indoors. Not only that, trench drains also help ensure that there will not be excess surface water, especially after a heavy rain. This prevents the yard from getting overly damaged.

  • Using A French Drain

To control water flow better, perforated pipes that channel water in a specific direction, also known as french drains, are used. These pipes are usually covered with gravel and rocks to help with filtration and ensure that the pipes are in place. French drains intercept the water flow and convey any surface runoff to a more suitable outlet. In terms of the groundwater, deeper french drains can also be used to drain it.

An example of a french drain©Bobvila |

Indeed, french drains are the most common type of drainage system, providing an accessible channel for water to flow through. A general overview of how it works is that the water will run through a gravel-filled trench into the perforated pipe and finally exits a safe distance away from the house to avoid flooding indoors.

  • Installing A Rain Garden

Another alternative to improve the permeability of the soil is to install a rain garden. A rain garden is a heavily planted landscape situated in the path of runoff flow, with permeable soil. This works because during large rainstorms, a runoff will pool on the surface of the rain garden and subsequently soak into the soil. Water is then filtered, and the groundwater is recharged.

For the proper functioning of a rain garden, the initial natural soil will be replaced by a mixture of sand, topsoil and organic compost. Underneath this amended soil, an optional layer of gravel or sand bed would be good so that stormwater stored can eventually seep into the underlying natural soil.

An example of a rain garden©HGTV |

In terms of the sizing of a rain garden, more extensive and deeper rain gardens will be able to treat more surface runoff. On the other hand, smaller and shallower rain gardens will be able to treat less. Still, all rain gardens, regardless of style and size, will be able to reduce the amount of polluted rainwater while helping to recharge the groundwater.

As for the design, rain gardens designed for times of rainfall are usually filled with water-loving plants such as ferns and ornamental mosses that aid in drying out saturated areas. These plants will not only be able to help with drainage issues but also add decoration and colour to the rain garden, increasing its attractiveness.

Do-It-Yourself! Options

Of course, another option is to find ways to combat the unsatisfactory yard grading by ourselves. This will not only improve the drainage situation but also reduce the cost spent on solving it. More often than not, poor grading is the leading cause of flooding or pooling in yards. Such poor grading may result in basement leaks as runoff water flows towards the house. As such, here are some do-it-yourself solutions to counter poor grading:

  • Installing A Sump Pump

A sump pump will collect water and pump it out of your basement before any major water damage is observed.

How a sump pump works©Home Depot |

  • Digging A Swale

Although this may require some time and effort, digging a swale will allow water to slope downwards away from the housing estate. The swale should be about three times as wide as it is deep and the base should be levelled to ensure that the water disperses evenly.

An example of a swale©Pinterest |

  • Changing The Grading

The most direct alternative is to ensure proper grading on the garden beds. Else, this may attract unwanted pests or cause mildew while causing much damage to the less water-friendly plants. How this change is done is that you can try to get the lawn to slope away from the house to move the water directly to a different location.

Final Thoughts

Being able to solve drainage problems resulting from poor grading or low permeability of the soil in our yard is a learning process. The process of solving these issues teaches us the importance of going the extra mile to protect the environment and our own homes. At the end of the day, it is on our onus to make a difference to the environment we live in and create a more conducive home without having to worry about flooding issues during heavy thunderstorms.