Without adequate drainage, heavy rainfall can saturate a lawn, causing damage to grass and crops. Constant moisture also creates the perfect environment for disease and fungus growth. While you can’t control the weather, I’ve found a variety of solutions for preventing backyard flooding. If you’re tired of dealing with backyard flooding, identify the source of your lawn drainage issue and incorporate a fix into your landscape design.
Dig a Swale
Create a swale in your backyard to direct water in low spots to a shallow drainage ditch. In a swale, water slowly soaks into the soil, producing little to no runoff. Swales should be placed at least 10 feet away from buildings. Most are found along sloping driveways, on the contours of hills, or adjacent to roads or parking areas.
Plant a Rain Garden
Rain gardens are not only aesthetically pleasing but can also be useful in preventing backyard flooding. A rain garden is essentially a depression in the ground that receives rainwater and rain gutter runoff. Once the water reaches the garden, it slowly infiltrates back into the soil. Rain gardens are often used in combination with swales to channel water from the higher areas of the yard.
Spread Heavy Mulch
Rain can cause lightweight mulch to wash away, creating a mess in your backyard. When adding mulch to your yard, opt for heavier hardwood mulches such as pine bark nuggets. Heavy mulch can also be used to elevate your yard in areas where waterlogging tends to occur.
Divert Rain Spouts
Rain gutters are designed to funnel water off of your roof and away from your home. In addition to keeping your rain spouts clean so that they flow freely, it can be beneficial to divert them to a downward-sloping area of your yard. It may be necessary to add extensions to your existing rain spout to redirect water.
Create a Green Roof
Green roofs help decrease runoff by retaining water through gradual drainage and evaporation. These unique roofing designs feature vegetation planted over a waterproof membrane. Nearly any pitched roof at a 25-degree angle or less is suitable for use as a green roof. Homes with steeper roofs may also be transformed into green roofs but may require additional measures to prevent erosion.
Install a French drain
A French drain is a simple, yet effective way to drain standing water from problem areas in your backyard. Creating a French drain requires digging a trench in the soil to transport water. The gravel-lined ditch connects to a pipe that carries water away from the home. A French drain is also an effective solution for basements that collect water due to the gradual leakage of water around the foundation.
Use a Sump Pump
A sump pump is a small pump used to remove water that has accumulated due to rainfall and flooding. While somewhat costly, a sump pump can help collect runoff and pump it away from the home to prevent damage to your property. In addition to the initial cost of the pump, you will also need to pay for the ongoing costs of running and maintaining the machine. Sump pumps can be used in both your home and backyard.