Standing water in your yard can create many problems. From minor inconveniences to serious damage, you can expect a range of issues to crop up if you don’t address the root cause of standing water in your property.
Soggy areas on your lawn will likely cause people and pets to track mud into your home. Grass will also struggle to grow properly in the areas covered in standing water — which then leaves these areas vulnerable to moss growth.
Puddles that don’t dry up quickly can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes, making your yard unpleasant to spend time in. Lastly, excess water on your lawn can eventually affect your home’s foundation.
Typically, standing water is caused by either low spots in the yard or poorly draining soils. To give you a more comprehensive view of this issue, gutter installation expert Barry Best Seamless Gutters lists the most common causes of standing water in the lawn. We also share a few ideas on how you can fix this problem.
What Causes Standing Water in My Yard?
Below are some of the most common causes of standing water in lawns:
Water drainage on lawns mostly happens through the soil. That’s why soil type usually has a direct effect on drainage and might be the culprit that’s causing standing water. Loamy and sandy soils drain better than clay-heavy soils that trap water. Hard subsoil, or hardpan, is another type of soil that’s bad for water drainage. It’s basically a thick layer of soil that does not allow water through. This soil may come from natural causes in your environment, or it could be due to construction equipment densely compacting your yard.
Proper yard leveling or lawn grading enables water to drain away from your home and toward the street or sewer. If your landscape isn’t sloped properly, water will pool faster than it can drain. This water will likely accumulate in the low spots of your yard and may eventually find its way into your basement.
Thatch and Compaction
Thatch is a layer of organic matter that prevents water from seeping downward, causing it to collect on the surface. Thatch and other excess debris such as leaves, roots and grass clippings can make it more difficult for water to drain.
Sometimes a storm produces a large amount of rainwater over a short period. This can create soggy conditions and saturate your yard with groundwater. If this happens often during rainy weather, you might want to have your property inspected for potential issues that may be causing the flood.
In some cases, the problem could simply be overwatering. If you have an irrigation system and pools of water form every time you use it, you’re probably dealing with a drainage problem. You might want to water your lawn less often or for shorter periods to prevent standing water in your yard.
How Can I Improve Water Drainage?
Make sure to have a professional look into your property to identify the cause of your drainage problem. Once you’ve determined the reason why the water in your yard isn’t draining properly, here are a few potential solutions that you can try:
Install a French Drain
French drains are designed to direct water away from your home, preferably toward a storm drain or dry well. When water is directed to a dry well, it can gradually drain into the surrounding soil and contribute to the health of the soil. To help keep the dry well for a longer time, you can insert a plastic tub to hold the rocks and keep the soil out. This will allow the drainage system to maintain its efficiency.
To build a French drain, you have to dig a shallow trench with deep holes and rocks for drainage. Typically, the trench is filled with gravel, and a plastic perforated pipe is placed at the base of the trench.
Extend the Downspouts
Seamless gutters have a good design that makes them less prone to leaks than sectional gutters. However, you also need to pay attention to your downspouts. Make sure the downspouts are long enough to carry water a good enough distance away from your home. If you have a plant bed near your home and it is landscaped with rocks or a raised border, take note that this could trap the water from your gutters. If your downspouts are too short or are obstructed by a plant bed, you can extend your downspouts to ensure proper drainage.
Remove any blanket debris that may be preventing water from properly draining. You can use a dethatcher or a lawn raker to get rid of excess debris. Also, when mowing, try to use a bag or mulch feature to reduce heavy debris patches.
Hire a professional landscaper to assess your yard’s trouble spots, natural drains and channels. By doing this, you can pinpoint areas that need re-grading. It’s best to re-grade the area around your home before addressing standing water in other parts of your lawn.
Give Your Soil a Boost
In case of hard or sticky soil, you can try breaking it up with a rake or shovel. Then, add compost, manure or mulch onto the top of the soil to give it a boost.
Raise the Soil
If landscaping is a bit difficult because of a high water table, you can choose to create raised beds for your plants instead. Pick plants and flowers with shallow roots as these have a higher chance of surviving in standing water.
Build a Dry Creek
A French drain may not look good on your landscape. If you’re bothered by its appearance, you can create a dry creek instead. A dry creek is basically a path of rock or gravel that directs excess water into a dry well or storm drain. When creating a dry creek, make sure that the water won’t be diverted towards your neighbor’s property or a public sidewalk.
How Can I Divert Water From My Foundation?
It’s common for standing water in the yard to cause pooling water near the home’s foundation. When this happens, it’s possible for cracks to form and the soil supporting the foundation to be removed. This can further lead to water damage once excess water from the seepage permeates through the walls of your basement.
To keep your foundation safe from standing water, try any of the solutions mentioned above. You can also use a catch basin or storm drain to remove excess water around your foundation. Lastly, consider installing a rain garden with water-loving plants that have deep fibrous roots. These plants will help conceal standing water in your yard and give the water more time to drain.
Get a Free Gutter Quote Today!
Barry Best Seamless Gutters is an established company that specializes in seamless gutter and heated gutter systems. We offer our services to residential and commercial clients, so you can count on us to accomplish your project regardless of size. Rest assured that you will be getting exceptional results and superb assistance. Call us at (315) 697-5000 or fill out our contact form to request a free quote. We serve customers in Canastota and Syracuse, NY.
Fall is a good time to prepare your home for the winter season. This means going over your home maintenance checklist and making sure that every part of your home is in good shape before harsher weather arrives.
But with so many home maintenance tasks to do, you may forget or overlook a few things that could cause trouble along the way. To prevent the need for costly emergency repairs, here are some reminders from gutter installation expert Barry Best Seamless Gutters to help you avoid the most common home maintenance mistakes.
There never seems to be a convenient time to tackle home maintenance tasks. It’s easy to find something else that is more urgent or more fun to do. But here’s a simple solution that’ll help you avoid putting off your home maintenance project: schedule each maintenance chore and set up a reminder in your phone. Remember that you don’t have to do everything all at once. You can deal with the tasks one at a time, so you won’t be overwhelmed by the amount of work that you need to do or oversee. You don’t have to do everything all by yourself either. You can hire professionals to clean, maintain or repair things in and around your house as needed.
Neglecting Exterior Touch-Ups
Fall brings pleasant weather, which can be perfect for doing home exterior touch-ups. So take advantage of this season and give your home a boost in curb appeal. Just make sure to use high-quality paint with an acrylic base as well as the right techniques. To ensure a flawless application, it’s best to hire a professional exterior painter for the job, especially if you’re repainting your entire home. If you don’t want to paint the entire house, you can simply touch up bare spots, splits and board ends to ensure these areas will be protected from the winter weather.
Pruning Trees Prematurely
As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t trim a tree before it becomes dormant. If you prune it too early when the tree still has leaves, this can increase its risk of tree-borne diseases. The ideal time for tree pruning is around early winter. By this time, you should be removing thin crowded branches and diseased limbs.
Forgetting to Clean the Gutters
Don’t let decomposing leaves and debris pile up in your gutters. This debris can block your gutters and downspouts, preventing water from being carried out of the gutter system. Furthermore, such blockages can lead to gutter damage when the temperatures drop and the water freezes in the winter.
It’s best to hire a professional to clean your gutters, but if you decide to do it yourself, remember to always prioritize safety. Use a sturdy ladder and ensure it’s tall enough that you don’t have to overreach or stand on the top rung. Also, wear shoes with nonslip soles and make sure someone is available to steady the bottom of the ladder and hand you tools.
If you’re looking for a long-term solution or you want to reduce gutter maintenance work, you might want to consider installing gutter protection and switching to seamless gutters, if you haven’t done so yet. Gutter covers help prevent leaves and other debris from entering your gutter system, while seamless gutters are typically less prone to leaks and require only minimal maintenance. Remember, you can significantly reduce the expense and effort of gutter maintenance by keeping your gutters in good shape.
Improper Use of Power Washing
Power washing offers a convenient way to remove dirt and grime buildup on your siding. However, be careful when using a pressure washer. Keep in mind that you don’t need to blast the water at full force. Too much water pressure can damage your siding. This can force water to go under the siding, peel away paint or damage softer materials. When power washing your exterior, make sure to start at the top of the siding. Then, aim the water slightly downward. Use a gentle side-to-side motion when cleaning.
Another important thing to remember: Don’t pressure wash too close to masonry. This can cause mineral deposits to seep out of the brick and stone and produce white streaks that can be difficult to remove.
Failure to Address Water Damage
Water damage often starts with a small leak, but it can quickly spread and cause extensive damage to your home. Make sure all parts of your home are dry and in good condition. Otherwise, water damage and mold growth can occur. In a short span of time, moisture problems can become quite serious. Water can penetrate building materials, causing damage that requires complete replacement or expensive repairs.
Ignoring a Dirty Chimney
Regularly check your chimney for creosote buildup. Make sure to have your chimney cleaned and inspected before you start using it during the winter season. It’s best to schedule chimney cleaning and inspection early since fall is usually the busiest time for chimney sweeps.
Not Switching to Energy-Efficient Bulbs
Daytime is typically shorter in the winter as the sun sets earlier during this time of the year. That means you would likely need to leave your lights on for longer periods. To save energy and to ensure that your bulbs will last longer, you should swap out your old incandescent bulbs for CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) or LEDs (light-emitting diodes). CFL or LED bulbs are more energy-efficient lighting options, so they help reduce your energy consumption.
Sealing Gaps Without Removing Old Caulk
Check the gaps around your windows and between siding boards. Make sure these are properly sealed so that you won’t have to worry about cold drafts and expensive heating bills in the winter. But before you patch up any holes and gaps, don’t forget to remove all existing caulk. New caulk needs a clean surface to seal properly. So if you apply new caulk over existing caulk, this won’t create a proper seal for your home. You can use a razor blade to take out the old caulk. Make sure to wash the area with a degreasing detergent, and let it dry completely before applying a new caulk.
Overlooking Appliance Maintenance
Make sure your appliances are also in good working condition. For instance, your refrigerator may have water and air filters that need to be replaced. If you have an icemaker, make sure to clean and descale it regularly. Hard water can cause it to stop functioning correctly. Also, empty your ice bins every month and clean them with a bleach solution.
Get a Free Gutter Quote Today!
Barry Best Seamless Gutters has been serving local communities for several years. We specialize in seamless gutter and heated gutter systems, so our crew can handle installations and replacements. Rest assured that we use only quality materials and employ correct installation techniques, so we can guarantee quality workmanship. Call us at (315) 697-5000 or fill out our contact form to request a free estimate. We serve customers in Canastota and Syracuse, NY.
Ticking off the tasks on your home maintenance checklist can be very satisfying. However, you might not feel accomplished at all if you accidentally fall or get injured while doing some repair or yard work. Generally, the best way to ensure your safety during home maintenance work is to hire a professional. But whether you decide to carry out a few simpler tasks or to hire a contractor to do all the work for you, make sure that you’re aware of some essential safety measures that should be observed when performing home maintenance work.… Continue Reading