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poor drainage around a house can damage its foundationDrainage in your landscape is one of those things you never really think about — you always just assume it’s there.

Until one day, after a heavy rain, you notice a family of ducks happily paddling through your flower beds. Next thing you know, your basement is flooded.

Maybe it’s time to turn your thoughts toward landscaping drainage.

Water can pool in any number of areas on your property, and while it may be great for ducks, it can cause serious and costly damage.

Let’s take a look at the signs your landscaping might have poor drainage — and what you can do to divert water away from your house.

The Red Flags Of Poor Drainage Around Your House

Drainage issues around homes can be pre-existing with older properties, develop over time with new properties or simply occur during storms.

Ideally, your property should be designed to properly handle the volume of rainfall it receives, whether it’s a storm with heavy rain or maybe just a particularly wet time of year.

When all goes well, a property will flush excess water through the public sewers, or towards naturally occurring outlets such as rivers or lakes.

But if it’s not able to do this, you have a drainage problem.

How can you tell? Some signs are obvious. Others are more subtle. But it’s worth keeping your eyes open. Discover problems early, and you can fix them before they get worse — and more expensive.

The obvious:

  • giant puddles on your lawn that don’t evaporate within a few hours after the rain
  • pools of water on your driveway
  • a flooded basement

Stealthier signs of poor drainage:

  • water stains in your basement
  • large cracks in your foundation, or cracks that are growing larger or wider over time
  • cracks in your concrete patio

Maybe you consider these minor inconveniences. But they’re signs of a much larger issue that could be dangerous and costly. Ignore drainage nuisances, and they can become big drainage problems over time.

What kind of problems?

Excess water can damage your home or building’s foundation. It will erode and crack sidewalks, patios, driveways and retaining walls.

Too much water will overwork your sump pump, create mold and mildew, cause cracks in interior walls and exterior surfaces. These damp conditions can even encourage insects and rodents to breed.

The Drainage Problem

Drainage issues involve two types of water.

The first is surface water, which occurs when excess water collects in pools on your lawn or in large puddles on your driveway. It collects there because it has no place to go.

The second type of water is sub-surface. This water collects underground, and becomes trapped when there’s poor drainage.

Excess water is bad enough. But when it freezes and expands, the potential for damage increases. The frozen water pushes against your foundation and paved surfaces, causing heaving, cracking, and structural damage.

Drainage Solutions To Drain Water Away From Your Home

Poor Drainage Solutions To Drain Water Away From Your HomeYour property needs to be able to handle the amount of storm water and rainfall it receives, so extra water doesn’t cause costly damage.

There are a variety of solutions, depending on the exact problem and the characteristics of your property.

Sometimes, a combination of solutions is the best plan.

Here’s a look at some options:

Dry Creeks

This is a subtle and creative solution for backyard drainage issues that offers a bonus: it’s pretty.

A shallow trough is lined with stones or rocks, offering excess a water a place to flow and run off.

Trench Drains

This is a great choice for heavily paved areas, such as walkways and parking lots. Trench drains are concrete-lined channels that help direct water flow, while filtering out debris using grates or filters to reduce clogging.

French Drains

One of the more intricate methods of controlling water flow around a building or property is by using French drains.

These are typically perforated pipes that channel water in a specific direction. These pipes are usually covered with rocks and gravel to help with filtration, water flow and ensure that the pipes stay in place.

French drains are the go-to choice for preventing flooded basements.

Site Grading

Site grading involves changing the landscape to encourage water to flow in the desired direction — away from the house.

Many drainage issues stem from improper grading techniques during a home or building’s construction.

Dry Wells & Reservoirs

When surface water has no place to go, it pools and floods. Building a dry well underground, or a reservoir on the surface, gives excess water a home.

Neave Knows How To Drain Water Away From Your House

Neave Storm Water targets these drainage problem areas and eliminates them, while preserving the structural integrity of any buildings or structures on your property.

It starts with a visit from a Neave Storm Water analyst, who visits your site to analyze your property.

Your Neave Storm Water technician will identify drainage problems and probable causes, then work with you to solve your problem.

Neave Storm Water also provides rainwater harvesting systems that repurpose stormwater other uses. We offer a number of different systems and can custom design a rain water harvesting system to fit your property perfectly.

If you’re in the Hudson Valley, call us at (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call (914) 271-7996; from Connecticut, dial (203) 212-4800. Or, fill out our simple web form, and we’ll contact you about setting up your free consultation.


new york and connecticut landscape maintenance

Image: Flooded lawn

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Thank you for the excellent transformation of our home.  It is fantastic!  We really appreciate all the effort and hard work that went into it.  We are truly happy that we chose Neave Group.  The dedication of your team is obvious.  Since we’ve been back from Asia, I’ve been impressed watching the work get done, especially when problems would arise.  One of the first things that I noticed and shared with my wife is that you don’t look for the easiest, cheapest or most expedient solut…
Bill Q.Croton-On-Hudson, NY

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