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Efficient backyard drainage has a more important role than only maintaining the aesthetic value of your backyard garden. Those puddles of water you’ve been noticing on your lawn could endanger the structural integrity of your home if the water seeps into the building’s foundation. However, there are plenty of simple and effective backyard drainage solutions that can help you maintain a healthy backyard.
Types of backyard drains
Before we get into backyard drainage maintenance, it would help to be aware of the different types of backyard drains.
Are usually installed on the boundaries or on pavements near a home’s garden area. Their purpose is to collect water before it forms puddles in the lawn or flows into your garage or home and redirect it to a larger drainage system. Expect to spend between $1,000 to 10,000 per 100 linear feet.
Are designed to redirect water from areas that are liable to get saturated. It works in almost the same way a trench does. These cost between $3,000 to $9,000 per 100 linear feet.
French drains are made of multiple layers, usually with a layer of dirt on top, followed by a layer of geotextile fabric, washed gravel, a perforated pipe, followed by washed gravel, a layer of geotextile fabric, and a layer of dirt at the bottom.
Very often, French drains empty out into dry wells. An easy way to describe a dry well would be a large garbage can with holes at the bottom buried in the mud.
Dry wells collect excess water and then allow that water to slowly percolate into the soil. Like French drains, dry wells are surrounded by geotextile fabric and washed gravel. A dry well could cost as little as $400 and go all the way up to $20,000. The national average cost is $3,632.
Or catch basins as they’re popularly called, are large drains that collect excess water and direct the water through plastic piping away from the area. Very often, yard drains are a part of a larger drainage system. Yard drains cost between $50 to $100 per inlet.
Backyard drainage solutions
While hardscape materials like concrete may be great for patios and driveways, they may not be ideal for backyards. Something as simple as a tree root can cause concrete to shift and redirect water into your home. So if you have an asphalt or concrete driveway, avoid having to deal with a wet basement or a compromised foundation by replacing it with pea gravel or crushed gravel.
Another way to avoid water being misdirected from your concrete driveway and potentially causing damage to your home’s foundation is by cutting a narrow trench in the driveway and installing a channel drain.
Consider using rain barrels to collect rainwater from the downspouts. Not only will you reduce the amount of water flooding your backyard, but you can also always use the stored water to irrigate your garden.
Read more: Drain tile system
As for french drains…
A French drain is a great, low-cost idea to control the flow of surface water in your backyard, especially if the source of the water is off your property. The water enters the trench-like French drain, trickles through the gravel onto the perforated PVC drainage pipe, and is redirected out of your backyard.
Aerating your lawn periodically has multiple benefits. Not only is it a great way to introduce nutrients and air into the soil while breaking up the compacted soil underneath, but it also allows surface water to trickle down into the soil, essentially working like a backyard drain should.
If the wet spots in your yard are being created by a misdirected downspout or a discharge pipe from your sump pump, simply redirecting the flow of excess water by extending the pipe may solve the problem.
Another simple solution to standing water caused by downspouts and other pipes is to have a catch basin at the bottom of every downspout to collect and lead the excess water away to a drain emitter.
Add to the landscaping elements and solve yard drainage problems by building a dry creek bed. Built using rocks of all sizes, from river rocks to small boulders, these beds act as a planned stormwater channel. You can direct the channel into a catch basin or even out of your backyard. This is one home improvement that gives you the best of form and function.
If you’re planning a backyard renovation, consider adding a drainage project to it and installing yard drains. Yard drains function the same way the drain in your shower does. It redirects unwanted water through hidden pipes to a larger drainage system, making sure you don’t have stagnant water pools in your backyard.
Make sure your backyard has a dry well. Not only is it a great solution to drain out excess water, it reintroduces that water into the soil, allowing the soil to stay fertile.