Yard Drainage Problems

Yard drainage problems can be challenging to understand and know how to solve. It seems that water wants to do its own thing.

Let's discuss drainage systems for yards and simple solutions that remove water from wet yards. What are the best drainage systems for yards?

Poor Stormwater Drainage Devalues Properties

Wet yards devalue your home's value and are a nuisance. The good news is that they are fixable. I will explain some of the most straightforward systems for improving yard stormwater drainage issues.

In Atlanta, the drainage experts estimate that 60 percent of homeowners have water problems in their yards. When purchasing a new home, homeowners rarely consider that the yard might be a problem. They look at the kitchen and the master bedroom but hardly ever explore possible drainage issues. It is only after a few rain events that they discover they have a drainage problem.

Advising homeowners about yard drainage problems has helped us to understand these problems and how to solve them.  Let's take a look at some of the ways you can solve your drainage problems.

Ground Settlement Against the
Foundation of  Your Home

One of the most common problems I have investigated in the past 25 years is stormwater pooling against the house's foundation.

Why does yard drainage problems exist for so many homeowners?

It starts with the grading of the yard during the construction of the house.

The first step is to excavate for the footings and the foundations. The excavation allows space for workers to construct the forms for the foundation wall. The contractor pours concrete for the foundations and backfills around the foundation with soil. Too often, the contractor backfills the foundation with loose soil. Rarely is the soil appropriately compacted. And over time, the ground against the foundation settles, and water flows against the foundation.

Later, the landscape company plants shrubs around the perimeter of the house. The shrubs and plants make correcting the sunken soil around the foundation difficult and expensive.

Building codes for Atlanta require a slope to direct water away from the foundation. The ground should slope a minimum of six inches in the first ten feet. This slope ensures that the water will not drain to the foundation but away from the foundation. Good grading contractors always provide adequate drainage by following the building code which prevents yard drainage problems.

 

How to Construct Grass and Rock Swales

Another standard construction method is to construct grass and rock swales to direct stormwater away from the house.

Grass and rock swales are shallow ditches for conveying stormwater. Swales collect stormwater and carry the water to an appropriate discharge point.  Properly designed swales intercept stormwater and direct the water to an exit point.

Drainage swales are shallow, U-shaped grass or rock ditches constructed to collect surface stormwater. They vary in width and depth depending on the amount of stormwater. 

Designers use grass swales when the quantity of flow is small and the water's velocity is slow. Rock swales work best for greater flow and higher flow rates of water. They are constructed with sufficient capacity and slope to carry the stormwater away from the house.

The discharge point should not create drainage issues for the neighbor's property. Always be aware of where the water discharges. Take precaution to ensure that the discharge location will not affect the downstream neighbor.

Drainage systems for yards also include the stone swale. Stone swales are very popular with homeowners. 

Protect Your Foundation

Water is an enemy of building foundations, and any measure you can do to prevent water from reaching the foundation will help protect your home. Water that sits against your foundation will eventually seep into your basement or crawl space. Water damage experts recommend drainage systems for yards to drain water away from house foundations.

Gutters and downspouts serve an essential function for carrying water from the roof to the ground. Never allow water from a downspout to directly splash onto unprotected ground surfaces. The water from the downspout will erode the yard and create pockets in which water will stand. Standing water will seep into the ground and saturate the soil around the foundation. Eventually, the water will seep through the concrete walls.

Standing water around your home is never a welcome sign. They often become a habitat for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are more than a yard drainage problem issue.

Yard Drainage Problems
Require Professional Assistance

Seek out a stormwater specialist with experience in residential yard drainage problems. Civil engineers have hydrology training and can advise homeowners about their yard-stormwater drainage problems.

If you need on-site consultation, call us at Atlanta Engineering Services. We have been designing drainage systems for yards and evaluating drainage problems for more than 25 years. We provide consultation to homeowners about stormwater drainage issues.

 We are certified by the American Institute of Hydrology.

More Articles About Yard Drainage Problems

Find a Drainage Specialist for drainage consultation

Yard Drainage Problems Devalues Property

Simple Solutions to Residential Drainage Problems

Learn the Benefits of Stormwater Drainage Swales

Solving Wet, Soggy Yard Problems

Common Drainage Problems of Homeowners

Preventing Crawl Space Drainage Issues

Do you have a Groundwater Spring on your Property?

Stormwater Damage from the Property Upstream

Stormwater Yard Damage Expert

Stormwater Utilities and Detention Ponds

Forensic Hydrologist Evaluates Stormwater Runoff

Hydrology Expert Contact Information

Additional Services by Atlanta Engineering Services


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