They say April showers bring May flowers, and our blooms this year have been outstanding. But did you know that May and June are usually our wettest months in Northern Virginia? There’s more rain on tap for late spring and early summer. So if you’re noticing drainage issues, the time to act is now. Of course, rain is much-needed for healthy mid-Atlantic lawns and landscapes. However, standing water can hurt your plants and damage your home. It can also create health hazards inside and outside your home and invite bugs and pests. Our goal is to keep water flowing away from living spaces and avoid pooling on your lawn. Fortunately, we have a range of drainage solutions when too much water is a problem.
What Are The Best Yard Drainage Systems?
We have several options for yard drainage, and we often use them together as part of an integrated system. An experienced landscaping company can help you choose the best approach for your yard size, soil type and landscape.
- Downspout extensions move the water away from your house and foundation by collecting water at the downspout and trenching it to another location.
- Channel drains help keep water off hard surfaces and prevent pooling on walkways, driveways, patios and other hardscaping. A channel drain is usually a slatted drain on your hard surface connected by a pipe to a dry well or catch basin.
- Dry wells are gravity-fed stormwater tools that collect water at a low spot in your yard. They are full of small holes that allow water to gradually soak out into the soil instead of saturating your lawn.
- Catch basins are a type of storm drain located at a low point on your property. They use a metal grate to filter out large debris and store water in an underground tank. Catch basins are similar to dry wells but move water to another location through an outlet pipe instead of releasing it into the ground.
- A swale is a simple trench drain covered with turf grass or gravel. It’s a surface drain intended to deal with rainwater immediately. It’s an option for larger properties with more space to move rainwater away. Your landscaper will often use swales with berms, which are raised areas of turf that help control water flow.
- French drains are a popular option for solving drainage problems–especially in areas where the ground frequently gets saturated. French drains get below the surface to deal with groundwater and keep it away from your house’s foundation. Your landscaper digs a trench and places a pipe with holes in the space. Then they cover the line with rocks, which guide runoff water into the tube. The tube draws runoff away from your home and other landscape features. Your landscaper usually fills the trench with gravel but can put more aesthetic decorative rocks on top. French drains are often used with dry wells or catch basins to disperse the water.
What Are Other Tips for Tackling Drainage Problems?
A well-designed drainage system is your best bet for comprehensive management of runoff issues. However, you and your landscaper can take additional steps to prevent drainage problems.
- Use gravel or stones to line driveways to create a water runoff zone.
- Create attractive hardscape features with water-permeable pavers. Make sure hardscaping slopes away from your house.
- Plant a rain garden full of water-loving plants in low-lying areas of your yard.
- Don’t block yard drainage areas with raised beds, playsets or other structures.
- Beef up your downspouts and make sure they direct water away from your foundation and flower beds next to your house. Keep downspouts and gutters clear of debris so they can do their job.
- Use a rain barrel or storage well to prevent runoff and provide an environmentally friendly water source when the dry months arrive later this summer.
Got Drainage Problems? Your Landscaping Pros Can Help
If drainage issues create challenges in your yard, your landscaping team can help. We’ll look at your precipitation levels, soil type and size of your yard to help you develop a system that protects and preserves your landscape. Our professional team at Epling Landscaping and Lawn Services includes experts who can install French drains, dry wells and other vital tools. We can also incorporate unexpected drainage elements–using both landscaping and hardscaping– into your outdoor spaces in the most beautiful and creative ways.