Having improper drainage in your yard can lead to a whole host of problems, and although Texas is generally known more for its hot, dry weather than it is torrential downpours, even small rainstorms can wreak havoc on your property if you don’t take the proper steps to correct any possible drainage issues. From minor cosmetic issues like dead grass or muddy spots to potentially causing serious structural damage to your home or other buildings, poor yard drainage can be a major problem that could easily end up costing you some serious money. Luckily, there are a number of ways that landscaping can help you eliminate these yard drainage issues before they lead to cracks in your foundation or other major issues.
How Landscaping Can Help You Avoid Foundation Problems
Many foundation problems are caused by the general settling of the building over time. All buildings will eventually begin to shift slightly as the sheer weight causes them to settle into the ground over time. However, should the land around your building not allow water to drain properly, this settling can become much more pronounced due to the constant expansion and contraction of the soil. This means that one of the best ways to avoid the need for foundation repair services is to ensure that water is allowed to drain away from the building instead of pooling up in certain areas.
Common Yard Drainage Problems and How to Fix Them
Water that pools up next to the house is usually a big problem, as this can potentially cause a range of foundation issues and also possibly lead to your basement flooding during a rainstorm. In some cases, this problem could be caused by improper grading, meaning that the slab wasn’t sufficiently raised to a level where the water would naturally drain away from the home. In this case, it may be necessary to bring in some dirt to regrade around the home, ensuring that there is a sufficient enough slope to allow the water to flow away from the foundation.
GUTTER AND DOWNSPOUT PROBLEMS
Another possible cause could be your gutters and downspouts. If the gutters leak or the downspouts don’t extend far enough away from the home, this could easily lead to water pooling up against the foundation. Leaky gutters are an easy enough fix, as is adding an extension to your downspouts to ensure that the water drains out away from the home. However, you also need to make sure that the area where the downspouts drain out is properly graded to ensure the water can drain away.
UNEVEN YARD SPOTS
If the water pools up in certain places in your yard, you may need to either install an underground or above ground drainage system to prevent the standing water from killing off the grass and other vegetation. Similarly, you can also use raised flower beds and gardens as a way to effectively channel the water where you want it to go. Alternatively, flower beds and even potted plants can be a major source of drainage problems, so it’s always important to take the grade and slope into account when designing and installing them.
PROPER GRADING AND SLOPES
When landscaping, it’s not only important to consider the slope of any grassy areas, but also to ensure that any concrete, pavement and other hard surfaces are properly graded. If you find that your driveway, sidewalk or other hard surface is causing drainage problems, you will either need to have a French drain or a dry well installed or tear out the surface and reinstall it at the proper grade.
DRAINAGE SYSTEM OPTIONS
If you do end up having to install a French drain or some other type of drainage system, you can always look at this an opportunity. By installing this type of system, you can direct the excess water to wherever you want it to go. This means that you can easily use this opportunity to install a rain garden or even create a cool creek bed to channel the water through your property.
In some cases, it may also be necessary to seek out mechanical solutions, such as a sump pump, should your drainage issues be too severe to be fixed with simple landscaping solutions. As well, if the drainage problems have existed for some time, you may also need to have your foundation inspected and repaired in addition to correcting the drainage problems. For these reasons, it is important that you take the proper steps as soon as you notice any potential drainage issues, as it could save you a lot of money and headache in the future.