Just like the plants in our yard, we can’t survive without water, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. If you have too much water in areas of your yard, creating swamps and pools in the middle of your lawn, you may need to rethink the drainage on your property.

Excessive water can cause damage to plants, soil, and even your home if it gets close enough. Understanding where the water goes in your yard is crucial to keeping your yard and home undamaged and free of mosquitos or other water-loving pests.

Here are some ways you can address common drainage problems with hardscaping.

Gravel and Decorative Rock

If the mulch in your flower beds or garden area does not stay in place due to excessive erosion, consider lining the edge of the beds with gravel or decorative rock. Rock can help keep the mulch in place.

If you have a walkway that gathers a lot of water, gravel or stepping stones may be a good option to create a defined space but still allow rainwater to pass through easily.

Creek Bed

If your yard is not graded properly, you might have areas where water depresses and becomes trapped. These marshy areas will kill the plants around them.

To avoid trapping water in these depressions, you can install a creek bed that allows water to flow across the surface. A creek bed is a trench lined with fabric, gravel, and then larger stones around the edge to allow the water to flow without disrupting the soil around it.

Gravity should be able to direct the water where you need it to go, but adding a sump pump is another option if it doesn’t.

Even when there is no excess water, the dry creek bed is still a beautiful addition to any yard.

Paved Surfaces

Whether you have a driveway, a terrace, a walkway, a patio, or a pool deck, any paved surface needs to be graded properly to allow the water to drain in the correct direction. If one of these areas is sloped the wrong direction and is causing problems, a retaining wall could help assist with drainage issues.

When you do install a newly paved surface in your yard, here are some tips you may want to consider to ensure drainage runs smoothly:

  • Drains. An underground drainage system may be necessary to collect and remove excess water from your yard.
  • Proper grading. In addition to the installed hardscape needing to be graded properly, you may need to adjust the grading of the landscape around it. Water will need to be steered away from the new hardscape installation to prevent it from wearing away and eroding it.
  • Landscaping. A strategic landscape that includes vegetation that will soak up excess water in all the right places can help you prevent water where you don’t want it.

Correct Gutter Installation

If your gutter or downspout is the cause of water-related headaches for you, make sure they are installed correctly and cleared out. Water from a downspout may need an extension to take it farther away from your house. An underground french drain can direct runoff further away from your home without unsightly above ground drainage piping.

Self-Watering Garden

You might be lucky enough to live near a natural spring, where the soil is soggy regardless of how long it has been since the most recent rain. A self-watering garden could be the solution to your excessive water problem. If you excavate the area and then fill it with a gravel and soil mixture, you can then plant water-loving plants there to create a low-maintenance, beautiful addition to your yard.

Catch Basin

Installing a catch basin is a very labor-intensive investment, but it does allow water to flow through a grate and then be funneled away through an underground drain.

Retaining Wall

If the grading on your property is tricky due to different slopes, choosing to build a retaining wall may help you direct the slopes in a way that benefits your drainage goals.

Water Etiquette

Imagine taking the time to correctly direct your drainage to where it needs to go, only to wake up one morning and find your yard flooded in an unforeseen way. This is how your neighbor might feel if your new route for water directs the excess to their yard.

If you install a new hardscape and your water drainage needs to change, do not reroute the water into your neighbor’s yard. In some cases, you may be able to work with your neighbor to find a mutually beneficial solution but don’t assume that your property line is where the problem ends.

While you may be able to tackle some of these projects on your own, others might require a professional hardscape company. If you are in the Richmond, VA, area and in need of hardscaping services, contact us for a consultation and quote.