Owning a home is hard enough work already, without additional complications. If you’re dealing with backyard flooding, understanding why it’s happening can be confusing. Sometimes the cause is apparent, while other times, backyard flooding can seemingly come from nowhere.
While causes vary, one truth remains the same–backyard flooding is hazardous not only to your outdoor space, but your home as well. Flooding that happens near the perimeter of your home can seep into basements and your foundation and cause significant water damage.
Because of this, figuring out why your backyard is flooding is crucial. Read on to learn some of the most common triggers for backyard flooding and what you can do to fix it.
Why Your Backyard is Flooding
One of the most common causes of backyard flooding is issues caused by your property’s elevation. If you live in a low-lying area with a high water table, then your home is regionally more vulnerable to flooding. You can determine if this is the problem by checking your home’s elevation and the local water-table.
Another common cause of flooding can actually be caused by your neighbor’s properties. If your neighbor’s homes are built on a higher elevation than yours, this is likely to cause trouble. Homes graded above your own will have water flowing away from their yards and directly into yours. Next time backyard flooding occurs, take account of your property’s perimeter. Is it lower than that of all of your neighbors? If it is, this could be the source of your problems.
We all want green grass, but too much of a good thing can quickly cause problems. If you notice regular puddles of standing water in your lawn, then you may be overwatering. Overzealous sprinkler systems will cause issues when the ground becomes too saturated to take on additional water.
Poor Soil Quality
Another reason your backyard may be prone to flooding is the soil quality. Over time, soil in your backyard can become compacted from years of heavy foot traffic. The more compacted your soil becomes, the more difficult it becomes for water to permeate the surface. Additional flooding only compacts soil more, creating a vicious cycle.
The final common cause of regular backyard flooding is poor drainage. Yards that do not allow for proper drainage after heavy rainfall are a recipe for disaster. Clogged gutters or rain pipes prevent water from passing through. This creates flooding around the perimeter of the home that may significantly damage your foundation.
How to Fix Backyard Flooding
There are a few different ways to fix and prevent backyard flooding. Figuring out the best solution for your yard may take some trouble shooting. However, if you have a clear idea of what the problem is, then finding the right solution will be much easier.
The key to preventing backyard flooding after large rain storms is efficient evaporation. However, in a heavily shaded yard, evaporation can be a challenge. In cooler weather, moisture is dried more rapidly by sunlight. To increase evaporation rates and reduce sunlight, try to reduce the amount of shade in your backyard.
Add more Plants
Bare, compact soil floods far more easily than soil anchored by grass and other plant life. Flooding on bare soil not only causes worse soil compaction, but also causes erosion over time. Adding erosion control plants like moss, tall grass, and other native plants and trees with deep roots will help to mitigate flooding in rainier months.
One of the most common solutions for backyard flooding are French drains. French drains are water redirection systems. They consist of trenches made from earth, and contain a long length of perforated piping. Surrounding the pipe is gravel which acts as a disbursement tool, funnels the water throughout the yard. It also filters out soil that may clog the pipe.
French drains can help reduce pesky backyard flooding caused by low graded area and runoff rainwater. If you have a low lying area that suffers from regular flooding due to grading, French drains may help.
Dry wells are backyard wells that are placed underground in your yard. They collect groundwater and work to disperse it throughout the soil. Dry well can be a good solution for soil that is prone to overwatering.
If you have a green thumb, rain gardens are great tools to protect and prevent backyard flooding. A bonus? They’re nice to look at, as well. Rain gardens are gardens built in shallow trenches or sloping hillsides. Rain garden plantings are water-lovers with deep roots to help protect your foundation against run-off and combat erosion.
For backyards with major flooding problems, sump pumps may be your final option. While sump pumps are extremely effective, they are also more complicated to install. You will need to consult a professional to understand where and how to place a sump pump.