The spring rains are certainly good for the lawn and garden but they can also be an excellent indicator of the drainage on your property. When puddles spread instead of soaking in or water backs up instead of draining away it is time to have a look at the drainage system in your lawn. Most times with the proper landscaping you can correct any problems and avoid damage from flooding and soggy conditions.
Dry Creek Beds
One easy way to create better drainage in your lawn is to install dry creek beds. Many times homeowners can actually take on this project themselves, although professional landscapers have access to equipment and expertise that will make short work of even the largest dry creek beds.
Essentially this project involves creating a pathway for the water that will carry it away from the house naturally. Using the grade of your property a dry creek bed can direct overflow and precipitation down to either a dry well, a swale or the municipal drains. Most often dry creek beds are laid with gravel and heavy stones so that they do in fact resemble a creek bed run dry, but they can also be installed under a shallow layer of soil and grass.
You will also hear the term French drain associated with backyard drainage. Basically the same as a dry creek bed, French drains often include a perforated drainage pipe buried along the bottom of the trench for more efficient flow. In some parts of the country a French drain more closely resembles a dry well though, so be sure to ask your landscaper to verify any drainage solutions involving this element.
Often installed at the end of dry creek beds or swales, dry wells are simple and effective when it comes to directing water away from your property. They consists of a very deep hole dug into the ground, reaching below the water table if possible. It is then filled with rocks and gravel that offer a fast, efficient path for the water, taking the run off under the water table where it can easily drain away.
More advanced dry wells or those installed in public areas and parking lots are left empty and lined with brick or another solid substance to avoid collapse. These are generally capped as well for safety, but can take on a much higher volume of water than dry wells filled with stones.
The Importance of Grading
Although permanent drainage solutions are important, the grading on your property has the most effect on water. Be sure that your ground slopes away from your home and that your neighbor's property is not situated in such a way that it drains into your yard.
When the grading is an issue it is time to call in the professionals. Excavation, retaining walls and even a layer of quality top soil can go a long way in altering the drainage of your yard. But this design needs to be handled by an experienced contractor that will properly assess the problems and find lasting solutions.
Landscaping is the only way to effectively fix any drainage problems in your yard. Whether it is a dry creek bed, a dry well or grading changes, with the help of a landscaper and a proper plan water will run away efficiently and you will avoid costly damages.Posted by: diana