6 Common Yard Drainage Problems – Who to Call for Help?

Drainage problems in your yard can be frustrating. Excess water can damage landscape and plants or cause unsightly bare spots in your lawn. Pooled water can attract mosquitoes in the summer and turn to a dangerous ice rink in the winter.

Unchecked drainage problems can even lead to water in your basement or damage to your home.

What professional is best equipped to provide a drainage solution?

At M2 Landscaping in Northern IL, we specialize in landscape drainage solutions. Our goal is to stop the water before it enters your house and to create a beautiful and safe outdoor environment.

Some issues, such as standing water in your yard, are clearly an outdoor issue. A landscape professional can help you diagnose the cause of this problem and find a solution.

Water in your basement can be trickier to diagnose because the cause may not be readily apparent. At M2 Landscaping, we will assess your outdoor situation to see if it is causing the drainage issue.

If we determine the problem will not be solved by fixing something outside your home, we will refer you to a reputable waterproofing company that can help solve the problem from inside your home.

In most cases though, water inside the home starts from a problem outside.

Here are 6 common drainage problems we see regularly, and the most common fixes:

1. Improper Grading – Grading is the leveling or sloping of the land around your home. The way your soil is graded by builders, homeowners & landscapers can have a big impact on drainage.

Common fixes: Regrading portions of your yard to improve water flow may be the solution. Another solution utilizes drains to collect water and redirect it elsewhere.

2. Downspout Runoff – Downspouts disperse rainwater from your roof. In some cases, the downspouts are not extended far enough away from the home to disperse water. Instead, the water sits right next to the home and may seep down by the home foundation.

Do-it-yourself fix: Downspouts and gutters can also cause a drainage problem if they become blocked. Overflowing gutters cause a waterfall of water to land at your foundation when it rains. If this is the problem, an easy do-it-yourself fix is to clean the gutters (or have someone clean them for you if you don’t feel safe doing it yourself).

Common fixes: If clogged gutters are not the problem, other solutions involve extending downspouts away from the house with buried, underground downspouts. These systems are effective and preserve a clean look.

3. Location – Occasionally drainage issues are caused by factors you have little control over. One example might be if you live at the bottom of a hill you are going to have water runoff from your neighbors.

Soil conditions in your area may also be a factor. For example, clay soil does not drain very well, and sandy soil is more likely to wash away.

Common fixes: Depending on the situation, you may benefit from a french drain or yard drain to manage excess water. In some situations, re-grading may also solve the problem.

4. Sump Pump Runoff – The job of a sump pump is to pump water outside and away from your home foundation. But if the water is flowing outside at the base of your home, it may run back down your foundation, only to be pumped back out again. This cycle will keep your sump pump running almost continuously!

Common fixes: The sump pump needs to pump the water AWAY from your house. This may involve extended sump pump hoses or a design we created at M2 Landscaping for effectively handling sump pump runoff.  Also, be sure to check for proper sump pump drainage before the snow melts in the spring.

5. Water Pooling on Pavement – Common places for this to happen include walkways, driveways, and the pavement surrounding in-ground pools. This can be not only an irritant but a safety hazard.

Water pooling on the pavement near your garage threatens to flood your garage.

Common fixes: Channel drains are a common solution on impervious pavement.

6. Low Lying or Muddy Spots in the Yard – Low lying areas in your yard collect water because there is nowhere else for the water to go. This leads to a muddy, messy spot in your outdoor space.

Common fixes: This solution can vary, and depends on the situation. Some fixes may include an outdoor french drain, a yard drain or dry wells. Once we have assessed the low spots in your yard, we can discuss the possible solutions and make suggestions on which one is best for your yard.

If you are experiencing any of these common drainage problems you may need expert help.

We’d be happy to help you determine a solution. Just schedule a free drainage consultation with Michael by calling our office at 815-978-8061 or filling out our online contact form.