Drainage problems can lead to major issues on your property, including standing water, clogged drains, soil erosion, ruined landscaping, and interior leaks. And in order to get ahead of them, you need to know what sorts of water drainage issues you should be on the lookout for – and how to efficiently respond to them.
Whether you own hundreds of acres or less than one, here are three common drainage issues that can take a toll on your land, your plantlife, and your physical structures, plus tips on making them go away.
The Issue: Improper Land Grading
Many common water drainage problems can be traced back to a single culprit: inadequate grading. Land that is too flat or that pitches or slopes in undesirable areas (such as down toward the foundation of a building) makes it easy for water to pool up when it rains. This can lead to a whole host of costly and frustrating issues, from flooded basements to soggy land that turns into a breeding ground for pesky insects.
The fix: There are a couple of potential fixes you can pursue, depending on the extent and location of the problem. The ideal solution is to naturally redirect water through grading improvements. Other solutions like French drains and catch basins can come in handy too, but will require more maintenance over time.
The Issue: Water Accumulation on Paved Areas
It’s not just grass and soil that can be affected by standing water. Driveways, walkways, and patios are also regularly impacted by drainage issues, and can become temporarily or permanently unusable as a result. Depending on the slope and location of the paved area, this problem can also result in damage to other areas of your property, including garages and basements.
The fix: Prevention is easier than resolution. If you know you have a paved area that is prone to flooding, take action to prevent it from happening by strategically installing trench drains, also known as channel drains. These drains rapidly remove water from the surface of land and send it underground to prevent overspilling and pooling.
The Issue: Impacted or Eroded Soil
When water sits where it’s not supposed to, it can take a major toll on your soil. Erosion, degradation of nutrients, and destruction of plant life can all result from this tricky issue, in turn changing the natural landscape of your property and making it harder to maintain vegetative areas. And in the case of soil erosion, it can also lead to subsequent drainage issues that become more complex and more expensive to deal with the longer you let them sit.
The fix: To fix this problem you need to know what’s causing it. One culprit is having hardpan clay soil that doesn’t allow for efficient natural drainage. Soil exposed to heavy landscaping or improper grading can also take a hit from heavy rains. Possible solutions? Break up hard soil with a rototill and replace it with a good top soil, a heavy layer of mulch, and a drainage system. Alternately, it may just be a matter of re-pitching or sloping as needed, or installing a dry creek bed where water can pool without harming surrounding areas.
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