Feb. 23, 2022
Drainage problems can be a major issue for homeowners. Not only does poor drainage cause standing water in your yard, but it can also lead to leaks and foundation problems with your house depending on where the water collects. As if that wasn’t bad enough, landscaping and lawn upkeep becomes a lot harder when your yard doesn’t drain well. Is there anything that can be done about these problems?
Fortunately, yes. There are actually a few different ways to treat drainage issues in your yard, and this is a great time to undertake a project to correct them. By taking action now, you can avoid problems that might arise from heavy spring rains. The exact solution to your drainage issues will depend on the cause of your problem, so here are a few different options to consider.
One common cause of problems with drainage is inconsistent grading in your yard. This can cause problems if your home is at the bottom of a big slope across your yard, but it can also be an issue if the grading is inconsistent and as a result has one or more low spots in the yard. Water flows along with the soil wherever the grade leads, so this can cause it to collect around your home or in low areas which can then become swampy and overgrown.
Regrading your yard can be done either with specialized tools that scrape soil from higher areas into lower onesv or by bringing in additional soil to completely change the grade. Each method has its advantages, with redistribution being favored when there are both high and low areas in your yard, and the addition of new soil being best when you need to change an otherwise mostly good grade. Once the regrading is finished you can seed the graded area and have grass growing by the time spring arrives.
Another big problem with drainage comes when the water simply can’t penetrate down into the soil in time to be absorbed. This is especially problematic because you end up with way too much water in the areas where water collects but the soil in other areas might not get enough. Sometimes this is because the soil has too much clay in its composition so it’s difficult for water to penetrate, and sometimes it’s a result of other issues such as thick thatch. In some cases, it’s even just a matter of the soil being too compacted by traffic and time. Regardless of the cause, though, there are solutions.
Clay-heavy soil is the most work-intensive to correct, but the solution is also pretty simple. You simply need to break up the clay and add soil or sand into the mix to make it easier to drain. Sometimes this is as easy as adding a few holes in the clay-heavy area and mixing it together, especially if the clay is in a relatively small area. In some instances, though, you may need to do some tilling or another heavy mixing to break up larger clay beds.
Other issues can be fixed by using a dethatcher on your lawn to break up the thatch buildup or running tools over the ground that punch small holes to break up overly compacted topsoil. Dethatching and aerating the soil like this are often done together, as the loosening of soil is good for the growing grass as well even if it wasn’t excessively compacted.