Waterfront property is something many covet, and with all the rivers, lakes, and coastlines here, North Carolina has some of the best waterfront property in the country. It’s a great thing.
When you have waterfront property due to drainage issues, though, it’s not such a great thing. In fact, it can be a terrible thing.
Sometimes especially heavy storms or unusually wet periods can result in “ponds” or marshy areas in a yard. Sometimes drainage problems occur due to faulty home construction. Sometimes they occur due to erosion over time.
Whatever the cause, drainage problems can cause a lot of trouble. Uncontrolled runoff can erode ruts into a yard. Grass and other plants can die from becoming overly saturated. In other instances, grass growth can become unruly because you can’t mow due to the sogginess.
There can also be unsightly muddy areas, and people and pets can track mud into the house. Basements can leak or flood, causing expensive damage to flooring and furniture. Water close to the house can seep into the foundation, creating or expanding cracks, and fixing that can run into thousands of dollars.
So what can you do to fix or prevent these problems from occurring? We’ve compiled a list of 10 of our favorite yard drainage solutions to give you some ideas.
Aeration is the creation of small “holes” in a lawn to clear out the thatch, a layer of decaying organic material between the top of the grass and the soil. This “churns” the soil and allows sunlight, water, and nutrients to penetrate to the grass roots. Most lawn-care providers offer aeration among their services.
Your gutters and downspouts have the important job of getting water off your roof, but a properly functioning system also has to ensure that it’s getting water away from your house, not letting it pool. Catch basins are something you can install at the bottom of downspouts. Using PVC piping, catch basins capture water and send it away from the home and sensitive areas of the lawn.
Water running off a driveway can pool in spots where it’s unwanted. Channel drains are narrow indentations or trenches cut into asphalt or concrete, and they will send water on the driveway in a different, more desirable direction.
Dry Creek Beds
This is one of our favorites because it not only works as a yard drainage solution but also adds a touch of beauty to a property. Using stones of different sizes, you can create a creek bad that will channel runoff and direct it where you want it to go, often to one of the other solutions we’re looking at here.
This is a popular yard drainage solution because it’s relatively simple to do and it’s cost-effective. French drains entail digging small trenches and then adding perforated PVC piping surrounded by gravel. With this system, you can direct runoff away from your property.
When creating a patio, pathway, or driveway, using paving that has small gaps between the pieces improves drainage by allowing more water to seep into the soil instead of running off into the yard. It also adds a very attractive touch.
Rain barrels add a rustic touch to a yard and are also very utilitarian. You can attach them to your downspouts, and they will collect water during a storm. Then you can use that water later for watering flowers and other plants. Make sure you keep rain barrels covered when it’s not raining so that they don’t become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Rain Gardens and Water-Absorbing Plants
Like dry creek beds, this is another way to combine beauty and function. When you create a rain garden, you make a spot where you actually want water to pool and then absorb into the soil. The lush growth that results has the added bonus of attracting colorful visitors like birds and butterflies.
Weeping willows, red maples, white cedars, primroses, and violets are examples of trees and plants that absorb water well. If you’re unsure of what to plant, consult a professional landscaper who can help you select plants that work best for your region and its climate.
Swales and Berms
To create a swale, you dig a trench or depression that will collect water when it rains. This helps slow runoff to improve absorption and decrease erosion, and it can filter out trash and debris. You can also end up with beautiful plant or grass growth in that spot.
A berm is almost the opposite. Here, you create a mound, usually just a couple of feet high, that diverts water from plants and areas you want to protect from excessive moisture.
Spots that tend to see pooling can benefit from yard drains. Water goes down into the drain and, via piping or other channels, to places where you want it.