When it comes to any new landscaping project, most people tend to focus on things like deciding what type of trees, bushes and flowers to plant and choosing the color and style of stone for their beautiful new garden paths. This obviously makes sense as these various factors are what determine how the finished landscaping will look. However, there’s one other factor that’s at least equally important and that many people tend to overlook, which is ensuring that the yard has proper drainage.
Without proper drainage, you could easily find that water starts pooling up in different areas, often with the result of killing your lawn, trees, bushes or other plants. Worse still, poor drainage could also end up causing structural damage or cracks in the foundation should the water pool up next to the home. Alternatively, improper drainage can also lead to problems with erosion or simple end up costing you money in the form of wasted water.
Should you not properly consider these issues and just jump straight into landscaping, any drainage issues you do have are sure to rear their head after the fact. If you’re lucky, the solution could be something as simple as making some minor changes to your gutters or downspouts. Nonetheless, it could also be something major enough that you’re forced to basically tear everything out and start again.
All of this makes it essential that you consider drainage issues before undertaking any landscaping project. As you’ll see, there are numerous options for improving and eliminating drainage problems, all of which are much cheaper and easier to do before the landscaping is complete. This is true even of more minor things like installing drains, but especially so should it be necessary to bring in heavy equipment to ensure that the property is at the correct grade.
Common Fixes for Drainage Issues:
In many cases, the landscaping itself can be used to help compensate for drainage problems, while other times it may be necessary to install drains. Depending on how severe your drainage problems are, any of the following solutions could help to correct them.
Installing French drains to direct water away from the home
- Using area drains to keep water from pooling up in low spots
- Positioning channel drains to keep patio runoff from ruining the lawn or garden
- Using a sump pump system for any particularly bad areas
- Building a creek bed or other water feature to channel runoff
- Strategically positioning a rain garden or other feature to catch excess water
- Choosing more water-tolerant trees, plants and shrubbery
The problem is that drainage problems and their possible solutions are determined by a number of factors, including the slope of your property, the condition of the soil, size and shape of the house, location of any outbuildings and overall design of the landscaping. This means that the best way to find out about your property’s possible drainage issues and your options for fixing them is to consult with a professional, as this will hopefully ensure that all that time and money you spend on your landscaping isn’t in vain.