Does your yard tend to retain water after heavy rainfall? A perpetually soggy yard is inconvenient for many reasons.
A swampy yard can also lead to a number of issues like foundation damage. If your yard retains water, you need to pay attention to it and look for ways to improve your landscaping.
In this post, gutter installation expert Barry Best Seamless Gutters shares some tips on how you can prevent your yard from becoming saturated and swampy after heavy rain.
Learn About Yard Drainage Options
Neighborhoods today are typically designed to direct runoff towards curbs and easements, allowing the water to safely reach the community’s stormwater drainage system. However, due to various factors — such as an inadequate slope in your yard — rainwater may collect around your property, leading to a perpetually soggy yard.
Standing water is never good as it can kill your grass and create an environment that’s conducive for mosquitoes to breed. Worse, the water could potentially leak through your home’s foundation and cause serious damage and structural issues.
You should address your drainage problem immediately. You can reach out to your local zoning and planning authority as they may be able to help you with your drainage issue. But if the problem turns out to be beyond their purview, there are a few measures that you can take to reduce or eliminate localized flooding.
Below are some of the ways that you can reduce flooding and help direct water away from your property:
Redirect Water Underground
During a rainstorm, huge amounts of water may rush through your gutters and out your downspouts and contribute to flooding, especially if they can’t run off your property with ease. Different things can set this off, but the most common are low spots or a single spot in your yard that prevents rainwater from running to the storm drain.
In such cases, you can use a French drain to safely reroute the streams. A French drain is a perforated underground pipe that collects and directs surface water. It provides an easy way to move excess water from pooled areas to a curbside storm drain. The installation requires digging a trench from the low-lying area to the street and inserting and burying a pipe, covered with pea gravel and topped with soil and grass, into the trench.
Take note that flexible pipes are recommended for French drains because they allow you to configure the drain in various ways, making it easier to maneuver around tree roots or other permanent objects in your yard.
Get Rid of Water in Flooded Patios and Walkways
When a patio or sidewalk sits lower than your yard, it can end up covered in standing water after a rainstorm. This water can take days to evaporate, leaving the paved area unusable during that time. You can raise the level of your patio or sidewalk to fix this issue. However, this tends to be labor-intensive and costly. A more practical solution would be to invest in storm drain channels, which are installed along the lowest slope of sidewalks or patios. When it rains, the water that runs onto your patio can drain through the grate, into the channel and through a French drain, finally reaching an easement or curb.
Protect Your Foundation
If the flooding occurs near your foundation, this can result in significant damage later on. You need to act quickly, especially if you have basement windows or window wells. Since these are located below ground level, they are easy spots for water to collect and eventually leak into your home. Sump pumps can help you with this problem. You can install a collection tank with a sump pump directly beneath the window well. When the tank gets filled with water, the pump turns on and pushes the water out, away from your home.
Don’t forget to check your gutters and downspouts. Make sure to clean them regularly to prevent dirt and debris buildup, which could cause water to back up or cause flooding near your foundation. Consider upgrading to seamless gutters, which are typically more durable and leak-resistant. They also require minimal upkeep, and if you’re interested in further maximizing their convenience, you can install gutter covers to prevent debris like leaves and twigs from collecting inside your gutters. Downspout extensions are also a good option to consider. They help ensure that water is directed away from your home.
Create a Rain Garden
Make the most of what you have. If low-lying areas in your yard are consistently under water after a heavy rain, you might as well turn them into attractive rain gardens. These plant beds are basically depressions in the ground, and they are filled with porous soil and plants that do well in standing water, like ferns and Japanese silver grass.
Rain gardens can be as big or small as you want them to be. You can create multiple rain gardens in one area that typically floods. Alternatively, you can direct water from one low-lying area to a single rain garden, via a French drain.
Improve Your Yard Grade
This one of the first things you should check if your yard continually floods after a rainstorm. The slope of your yard determines where and how the water will drain. That is why it is crucial to have an adequate slope to prevent water from pooling. An efficient drainage system typically requires a minimum slope of 2 percent away from your home (or a fall of two feet for every 100 linear feet of yard). To improve the grade of your yard, you can spread topsoil along the foundation and in low areas. This will help facilitate better drainage.
Install a Dry Well
If your yard gets soaked quickly every time it rains (within one or two hours), you might benefit from installing one or more dry wells. Similar to rain gardens, dry wells are built in low-lying areas to collect water. But instead of being used to create a special bed for certain plants, the excess water is directed in buried tanks and then slowly released into the surrounding soil. The top of the tank usually has a grate through which water can enter. You can also check the water level by peeping through this grate.
Whether you’re looking to install seamless or heated gutter systems, Barry Best Seamless Gutters is the company to trust. We have over 29 years of experience, so you can rest assured that your gutter system will be handled professionally. Call us at (315) 697-5000 or fill out our contact form to request a free estimate. We serve customers in Syracuse and Canastota, NY.