Diverting water away from the home can prevent a number of problems in your house. Foundation erosion, basement flooding, and soil and grass deterioration to name a few. As your home foundation wears down water can seep into the walls and cause mold and dampness.
Paying attention to water around your home is critical and drawing water away from the structure is one of the most important steps you can take. Here is a list of ways to direct water away from your home:
Lawn Grading and Swales
When a home is constructed, the land around it is chosen or shaped to allow for a natural diversion of rainwater. The hills and slopes of your lawn are natural drainage areas called swales. If your lawn isn’t graded properly—changes in construction, changes in neighboring drainage, increased rainfall, etc— and water pools and flows where it should not. Left unattended, poor grading can lead to areas washing out, ruining your lawn, worsening your drainage problem, and possibly damaging the structural integrity of your home.
It’s not enough to simply have downspouts installed to control the flow of water from your roof—you want to manage where that water is heading once it reaches the ground, too. A downspout in the wrong place can overcome whatever natural protection against drainage problems your lawn grading may have.
Grass Barriers and Rain Gardens
Lawn grading isn’t the only aspect of landscaping that can help divert water away from your home. The plants and grass present in your lawn can do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to water management. Install the right grass or plants in your yard, and water will be diverted away or blocked accordingly. Install a rain garden in a problem area, and suddenly water pooling in that area becomes a bed for thirsty plants you couldn’t easily maintain otherwise.
Gravel Drains, Stone Driveways, and Artificial Streams
Gravel allows water to pass through it more easily than dirt without washing it away easily or creating unsightly drainage paths or ditches of mud and bare ground. A ditch full of gravel will guide water naturally wherever you want it to go, and it can look great if you plan it right. Similarly, you can turn a driveway or footpath into a similar drainage system by using looser stone construction instead of less permeable materials.
If the water falling into your lawn can’t be guided to better areas of your yard naturally, then it may be time to consider installing full drainage lines to carry away the excess water. Experts will be able to look at your lawn and determine the best combination of drainage systems—lawn grading, drains, pipes, culverts, the options are endless.
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