How Do I Fix a Drainage Problem in My Yard

Is standing water in your yard a big deal? Many homeowners are not that concerned about areas of the yard that stay wet all the time, until of course the basement, slab, or crawl space floods. Then they are asking, “How do I fix a drainage problem in my yard?”

In some areas of the country, pooling water in the yard is not a concern due to the soil in their region. In coastal homes where soil tends to be sandy, water drains better but water tables can be higher. Good soil drainage with constant rain and high water tables can still cause slab houses to flood.

In clay soil regions or rock regions, soils don’t allow the water to enter very well. This slow soil absorption mixed with heavy rains and thunderstorms creates flash floods. Eventually, the water drains, but it could certainly use some help.

We did a video about how to install yard drainage in tough to drain soils. It is listed at the end if you’d like to watch it.

5 Yard Drainage Tips

We visited a home just yesterday that had horrible odors but no evidence of flooding or water issues in the basement. The homeowner had several contractors look at the odor issue. They called HVAC, plumbers, and even their insurance company for help. No one had a solution.

Even with a radon system installed in the basement, the odor did not dissipate. The reason is the basement walls are wet. Not wet enough to flood the basement but wet enough to keep the finished materials wet. Baseboard, drywall, fir strips, and carpet can give off some serious odors when damp. Plus they can grow mold which is a whole other indoor air quality problem that should be addressed.

Video – What is Radon and Should I be Concerned?

Tip 1 – Installing a Slab Patio with Drain Pipe

They had a small, grassy area in the back where water was running toward the door. Most people would say to slope the soil away from the door but the lay of the land made this impossible.

They had decided to install about a 4×4 foot slab in front of the door to make it less muddy. The strange thing is the concrete company doing the work was not going to install any type of drainage to move the water from the area.

It would be a lot easier to install a perforated drain pipe during the install of the slab patio versus later after the slab begins to flood. Have a solid slab over dirt is actually going to do nothing for drainage. Sure, you may have no mud around the door as you step out, but the area is still saturated and flooded.

Tip 2 – Install Drain Pipe with Retaining Wall

This is always overlooked by weekend DIY landscapers or when people hire the Joe pick-em-up-truck pro to do a little extra around the house. Building retaining walls can be a pain. Having to rebuild a retaining wall is even worse.

Just like basement walls and foundation walls in crawl spaces, they are affected by hydro-static pressure. The taller the wall, the more pressure. Most people just throw up a wall between the home and the wooded hill and think that will stop the water.

If you build a retaining wall, make sure you have a proper drainage system installed high up the back of the wall. That retaining wall drainage system will need to drain downhill to daylight around the home.

Stay Tuned

This article turned out to be fairly long so I will pick up on the next 3 tips to yard drainage in a few days. Don’t forget to watch the video below. Also, feel free to list some tips for our readers about how you were successfully able to drain your yard during flooding.

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