Everything You Need To Know About Dealing With A Waterlogged Backyard
When you have an issue with the backyard being waterlogged you want to get it handled as quickly as possible. It can be a massive inconvenience, but it can also cause damage, both to your landscaping if you have it, or any construction that you have there, or any equipment that may have become inaccessible because of the water.
If it is something that is intermittent you can start to work on the solution once the water has drained away, with the aim of making sure it doesn’t come back. If it is something you haven’t experienced before you are going to want to work out what caused it.
The solutions that are available range in price, and may need to be used in combination, but it is something that can be handled. If you aren’t able to see how to solve it immediately yourself, someone who is an expert with construction and landscaping is going to be invaluable.
Determine The Cause
When you are looking at the problem that you are having with your backyard and drainage, you need to make sure that you eliminate every possible cause.
If you are looking at your own yard and it is not immediately obvious what the cause might be, you may want to look a little further afield.
It is unlikely that you are the only person in your neighborhood that is having issues with drainage, but it is possible that other people may have found solutions that handle their problems, but just create more for you.
Your neighbor's answer to their own waterlogged backyard may have displaced all that water by routing it towards yours. It may not even be something they are aware of, so tread carefully. No need to start a neighbor dispute when you don’t need to. They may be looking for help with the issue too.
This may seem like a really obvious source of the waterlogging in your backyard, but if there hasn’t been any rain recently, or the problem predated the rainfall then you may have more than one issue.
Knowing whether there is something structurally occurring with drainage elsewhere on your property, or if it is just that your property is not set up to deal with the elements is going to be crucial in deciding what kind of solution you are going to need.
Unless the waterlogging is causing immediate issues that you need to handle (aside from the water problem obviously), if it has been a period of heavy rain, you may want to observe whether it does eventually drain or if it remains long after the rain.
Grading is the angle at which your yard slopes, and it may just be incorrectly graded to allow for the water to go anywhere.
Not every landscaper is necessarily going to be thinking with drainage as a top priority in your garden, and the unfortunate thing is, you may not have had any drainage issues until the landscaping was put in place.
The good thing about this is that it is not that difficult to correct. Sure, it is going to involve some reshaping of your garden with the purpose of avoiding that standing water and making it sure goes somewhere else, but any good landscape company is going to be able to do that for you.
If you don’t want to correct the grading there are other options, such as installing a sump pump or a French drain, which is a slightly sloped trench filled with gravel and a pipe that directs water away from your house.
One of the things that you may not have looked at when you bought your house was what kind of soil was in your yard. You may have known, but not foreseen the consequences of it, or know how to handle it.
It can have a big effect though, as clay holds water, and while the soil is not likely to be made up of this one type of soil, it can be enough to cause problems.
Thankfully you can handle this in a number of ways, one of which is to actually change the composition of your soil by working in other organic materials, and even different types of soil to even out the consistency of your soil.
Local Plants That Prevent Flooding
Plants are a great way to soak up some of that water, and they have the benefit of making your garden look amazing.
There are actually gardens that you can design that thrive in the kind of conditions that can cause flooding. Shrubs, ferns, wildflowers, and small trees are all a great way to turn that problem into something you don't have to worry about at all.
This may be affected by the size of your backyard, but it can be a very cost-effective solution, and you aren't going to have to worry about watering your plants.
If you pick from indigenous plants they are likely to be even better at surviving in the local conditions because that is something they evolved to handle.
Mulch may not be the first thing that you would think of as a solution for excess water, but it is designed to hold water in the soil for your plants, and it holds the soil in place as well.
Whether this is the solution for you is very much going to depend on the severity of the issue, and the size of the space that you have to work with. It may be something, as with some of these other solutions, that you need to use in combination with each other.
If you do use it you are going to want to make sure that you keep it at least six inches away from your home’s exterior so that the moisture it is holding doesn’t wick into your home’s exterior and cause damage.
Plant New Grass
Grass has a root structure which is great for absorbing water. You are going to want to check which grass is going to be best for the area in which you are living, as some non-native species are not popular if they run rampant and spread their seeds everywhere.
Going with breeds that are local is a great idea because, in the same way, that certain native plants are going to handle the native conditions in an area better, the same is true of grasses.
Once you have grown it you want to avoid cutting it too short as this can weaken the roots, and you are not going to be able to rely on it as a solution for handling water.
Add A Drainage System Near Driveways
If you have paved driveways you are likely getting a lot of runoff and that can contribute to flooding. A lot of issues with flooding are that the water doesn’t know where to go, and just needs to be provided with some direction.
One way to handle this may be to use spaced pavers instead, but if you don’t want to have to redo your driveway there are other options.
You can use channel drains near your driveway, or adjust some of your landscape design to redirect the water. A channel drain is basically a trench you would have running alongside the driveway that would serve to contain and direct the runoff.
Get A Swale
If you don’t want a drain, there are some things that you can do with your landscaping that will look really aesthetic, and will still move that water out of the way, and a swale is a great idea.
Whereas the grade of your yard affects the slope of the whole yard, a swale is a depression in a landscape that is existing or can be excavated that redirects water drainage, using sloping in a more strategic way.
It combines functionality with the added bonus that you aren’t going to really be able to spot that it is not a choice driven by how it looks. adding rocks and deep rooting plants are going to enhance that feel, and are also going to make it work better as well.
One thing to bear in mind is that it needs to channel somewhere it can be released easily when addressing yard drainage issues, you have to make sure that you aren’t, as aforementioned, causing a problem for someone else.
Your backyard may be something that you have invested a lot of money in, and you want to protect that investment. You also want to return that yard to being functional as soon as possible, so that no long-lasting damage occurs.
As well as handling the short term issue you also want to make sure that you address the long term issue and any underlying causes as well, which may not be rooted in the garden, and which someone in construction and landscaping is going to be able to tell you about.
It may be something simple that is required, or it may be something that is more involved. Whatever the case, your landscaping construction expert is going to advise you on what the best way is to handle any issues with drainage while keeping the space looking great.