Causes of and Solutions for Yard Drainage Problems
First, proper drainage is important to protect the structural integrity of your home's foundation. If water or excess moisture sits against your foundation for any length of time, it's silently causing damage that is extraordinarily expensive to repair. In fact, many homeowners' insurance policies will not cover foundation damage.
Second, stagnant water can do extensive damage to hardscapes, grass and landscaping, and even become a breeding ground for pests that put your family's health and safety in jeopardy.
Yard Drainage Solutions
A yard drainage problem is an urgent matter to address as soon as possible. So, first, let's talk about what YardDoc does to solve the problem.
Then we'll discuss the top five reasons yard drainage issues occur. Armed with this information, you can tour your yard to attempt diagnosis of the problem or watch what's happening the next time Austin gets a heavy rainfall.
How to Fix or Improve Water Drainage Problems in Your Yard
- Divert the Water Source
Redirect the flow of water causing yard drainage problems. For example, create an alternative path for the water to follow designed as an attractive rock-covered dry river bed. Eye-catching when not in use, it performs a valuable function to channel water when needed.
- Grade the Yard for Drainage
Re-grading the landscape prevents water from collecting in a particular area. Grading raises the surface level in certain areas and drops it in other areas so that water continues moving instead of pooling.
- French Drain
If water cannot be diverted or moved naturally, a french drain may solve your yard drainage issue. A gravel-filled trench moves water through underground piping that empties a safe distance from your home. Sometimes, a land drain can move water to a collection area where a sump pump transfers the water to another location.
Top Five Reasons You Need a Yard Drainage System
In most Austin yards, water drainage is as simple as correct grading to allow water to follow a natural path toward creeks, rivers, and lakes. However, man-made obstacles can stand in the way, creating a need for additional drainage methods.
The most common reasons yards experience drainage issues:
- Poor Elevation of the House Foundation
We'll diagnose your yard's specific issue. In some cases, the soil level is too high and allowing water to seep into the home, causing expensive damage to framing, floors, and drywall. Another problem we see often is a sloped yard that causes water to drain toward the house and swimming pool in recessed areas at the foundation. And there are several other issues that affect the foundation of your home.
- Plant Bed Design
Proper landscape design is important in the beginning stages of construction. Most yard drainage issues can be avoided if you consider these details upfront. The design of a plant bed, including elements like a retainer wall or a border for a garden, can trap water. Retainer walls normally have drainage rock and weep holes installed to prevent water from collecting. Bed edges can trap water inside or collect it on the front edge facing uphill. In other cases, construction on neighboring properties can change your yard drainage system and cause issues that may not have been there before. We can usually install a box drain to solve the problem.
- Poor Grading in the Yard
Poor grading in yards is a common problem, especially in older yards and neighborhoods built before the city of Austin enforced drainage codes. Grading can be as simple as a low spot in a yard that retains water, or a slope that forces water into a house. We can repair these issues many ways including channel drains, gutter downspouts, and box drains.
- Hard Surfaces
Hard surfaces such as driveways, patios, and walkways can also pose a drainage risk. Most of these would have drains built in during construction. If you have a driveway that slopes toward the house, it is much more expensive to install a channel drain after construction.
- Gutter Downspouts
Installing gutter downspouts is a common drainage solution. Without gutters, you'll end up with a lot of erosion from rain rolling off the roof. But downspouts only solve part of the issue. We recommend you also install underground piping to divert the water to an emitter in the lawn to a designated rock drainage area. Some neighborhoods in Austin require you to catch rain water and divert it to storage tanks to be used in irrigation. This can help reduce water demand in specific neighborhoods and reduce erosion from runoff.
Our landscape design services include:
Artificial Grass, Fire Pits and Outdoor Fireplaces, Landscape Lighting Installation, Outdoor Kitchens and BBQ Islands, Patio Pavers, Pathways and Borders, Frost Protection, Pergolas, Pool Landscaping, Yard Drainage, and Water Features.
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