5 Common Landscape Drainage Issues

March 26, 2020

houston landscape drainageDrainage issues can not only be annoying in their own right, they can be something that impacts your foundation! If water is kept too close to a home, and left to sit around a foundation, it can weaken the soil or sand that it sits on, or it can cause wooden beams or piers to start to rot and lose their ability to keep your foundation where it should be. There are a variety of different drainage problems that you should look out for, but we are going to focus on the top five most common landscape drainage issues that might impact you!

Foundational Elevation

While this may seem pretty basic, it is one of the most common drainage issues! Problems with foundational elevation can be seen where water is being held right around the foundation of a home. This could be because the foundation was not elevated the appropriate amount, and now it sits within a divot, gathering water. This kind of poor drainage can result in issues with not only the foundation of a home but also the interior. Wood floors, drywall problems, and other interior finishes can be damaged by the water sitting on the foundation. The solution, in this case, is to grade the land around your foundation to create a flow to move water away from the home out into the rest of the lawn. Another possible solution is to install a sub-surface drainage system, though this may be slightly more difficult to achieve.  

Plant Beds

Most people think that when it comes to plant beds that it's all about the plants going into them - but it's also about the design of the plant beds! Improperly designed plant beds can result in a disruption of the natural water flow of the lawn, which, if properly configured, is doing its job to prevent swampy areas or water sitting around the foundation. Plant beds can redirect this water, or even retain it, which can kill the plants or cause damage in other areas. When designing your plant beds, please be sure to use a site level, and calculate out the proper slope to encourage your water to keep moving. 

Water Traps

When it comes to having a nice lawn, one thing that you need to avoid are water traps. These areas are sections of the lawn where the grading is improper, leaving the water to kill off the grasses or plants in that area and turn the lawn into a swampy mess. There are a variety of solutions for this! Creek beds are an aesthetically pleasing way to resolve your water trap issues, and so are French drains. There are pros and cons to creek beds and French drains, so it is important to look into both and know which is best to have for your lawn. Sometimes, it might be necessary to use a mechanical option such as a sump pump - it just depends on the lawn.

Paved Areas

Though many do not realize this - the paved surfaces around your home can have as much impact as the lawn can. It is important to make sure that these paved surfaces also have the proper grade, but if they do not, then it is important to make sure that some kind of retaining wall is installed to assist the paved surface with its draining. Paved surfaces around your house can be anything from driveways and walkways to pool decks and terraces.

Gutters

Gutter spouts are a great asset to maintaining proper landscape drainage. If the gutter spouts fall too short, however, they can leave a big puddle, and oftentimes it will be way too close to the foundation. Be sure to be mindful of where your gutters are emptying. Emptying them into plant beds may seem like a good idea, but they can oversaturate the plants and leave them wilting. Redirect the water to other areas of the lawn, being sure to be mindful that the water run-off does not empty into a divot in the lawn and become a water trap.

Fixing these drainage issues can range from simple and easy to something that takes a little more time and effort - but either way, you are in good hands! As experts on all things landscape drainage, do not hesitate to reach out with questions about your own lawn, and what you can do to fix those drainage issues and keep your foundation in the best possible condition that it can be in. 

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Mark Jacobs

Written by Mark Jacobs

Customer Service Manager Mark developed a passion for foundation repair in his formative years. Growing up in the family business has shaped the way he looks at homes and his ability to solve problems - from the ground up! He loves to read and keep up with the new technology that is constantly developing in the foundation repair industry. Outside of work, he loves adventuring with his family, spending time by the water, and has a passion for cooking.

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