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AM Wall Anchor & Water Proofing Blog Article:

Common Yard Drainage Problems & Solutions

Front yard of a rural home with flooding in the front yard due to poor drainage on the property

If you’re tired of wading across your yard to check the mail on a regular basis, it’s time to contact a professional for yard drainage solutions that can help beautify and protect your property. Drainage problems can wash away vital topsoil, attract pests, and put your home at risk for damage from flooding and hydrostatic pressure. When your yard can’t adequately drain or move water away fast enough, you need to act. These are some of the most common yard drainage issues we’ve seen as foundation repair and waterproofing specialists and how to manage them.

Signs You Need Better Yard Drainage

It’s not always easy to tell when your yard drainage solutions aren’t keeping pace with the needs of your soil. While persistent standing water that takes forever to clear up after a rainstorm is an obvious indicator of advanced drainage problems, there are warning signs you can look for before it gets to that point. The appearance of soft spots or shallow basins in your yard indicates that under the surface, voids that allow for settling and shifting are disrupting the land. Areas where plants go through “feast or famine” cycles are also strong indicators that moisture and nutrient levels are not stable. Finally, surface-level concrete structures, like driveways or sidewalks, that change from even and flat to rising and falling in a short amount of time are potential symptoms of underlying issues.

Mold and moisture build-up on basement walls

The Danger of Drainage Problems

Drainage issues do more than leave you with muddy shoes and soggy socks. As the water accumulates, it introduces a variety of threats to your property. Worse, the longer you wait to improve your yard drainage solutions, the more damage is done, increasing the time, effort, and money needed to mitigate the drainage problems, restore your yard, and prevent future issues. Some of the most common risks associated with poor drainage are:

  • Erosion – Your topsoil contains vital nutrients for plants that keep them healthy and foster strong root growth, but this layer is also the most vulnerable to being washed away.
  • Plant Loss – Between the loss of topsoil and an overabundance of water, flooding can kill plants. 
  • Flooded basements – As the soil saturates, it looks for somewhere to send all that extra water, and that can mean forcing the water through cracks, joints, or drains into your basement, ruining any property in the area and creating the perfect environment for mold and mildew.
  • Sinking Concrete – Water can wash away loose soil supporting any concrete on your property. This creates voids that lead to sinking concrete that can break, crack, or require professional leveling.
  • Structural Damage – Saturated soil is heavier, and you have a lot of it leaning against the walls of your foundation. Too much weight for an extended period of time can cause walls to crack, bow, or pull away from the floor, damaging your home’s integrity and increasing the risk of flooding.
  • Pests – Rodents, bugs, and feral animals all want shelter, ready access to food, and plenty of water. A yard without drainage solutions can create the conditions they look for, inviting them to find a nest on your property.

Yard Drainage Solutions

Professionally installed yard drainage solutions can help move water away from your home and property faster, letting it return to natural drainage sources that can handle a greater volume of water. These mitigation efforts target the drainage problems your property is most at risk from.


Adjusting the pitch of your property to better direct water can be a great first step to solving drainage issues. This helps eliminate low spots while providing the gentle slope needed around the home to avoid pooling water that can put pressure against your foundation’s walls. In addition, purposefully landscaping to protect the topsoil with plants that aid drainage can help relieve the pressure on the soil by taking in water and holding it.

Maintain Your Gutters and Extend Your Downspouts

downspouts installed on a home to resolve drainage issues

Gutters and downspouts may seem unrelated to yard drainage issues, but as the structures that catch and collect the water over a larger surface area–your home’s roof–potential gutter problems can quickly translate into drainage problems. Blocked gutters can overflow, depositing large amounts of water where yard drainage solutions aren’t installed to account for it. Keep your gutters clear and install shields to prevent debris from accumulating that can cause blockages. Your downspouts, which guide the water from the gutters around your roof to ground level, can have extenders installed to move this water further away from your home and into your planned drainage routes.

Install French Drains

French drains, which are often used as basement floor drains and for yard drainage, consist of channels dug below the surface of your yard in which perforated pipes are placed to gather excess moisture from the soil. These pipes channel the water, directing it to an outlet that’s away from your home in an area where natural drainage can better handle larger volumes of water. When combined with other yard drainage solutions, they can be particularly effective at eliminating drainage problems while leaving you a yard you can be proud of.


Purposefully landscaping to protect the topsoil with plants that aid drainage can help relieve the pressure on the soil by taking in water and holding it. For more persistent drainage issues, constructing small creeks or swales that help move water from areas prone to becoming oversaturated toward natural drainage gives you a chance to install unique yard drainage solutions that can be beautified to complement your home and garden or mimic natural features.

Foundation Waterproofing

While professional drainage installations are often part of a comprehensive basement waterproofing plan, protecting your basement can also support these drainage solutions. Cracks in the floor or walls, gaps along joints, and poor sealing around pipes and drains can create low-resistance entry points for water pushed by the high pressure of over-saturated soil.  Professionally waterproofing your basement helps keep water moving away from your foundation and into your drainage systems.

Request Your Free Drainage Inspection

We’ve been Western Pennsylvania’s trusted waterproofing contractor since 2015, protecting hundreds of homes from the risk of damage related to drainage problems and unmanaged groundwater. When you schedule an appointment for a free estimate, one of our waterproofing experts will evaluate your property, looking at not only the existing damage but also signs that further issues could be lying just below the surface. They’ll talk to you about the challenges your property faces and the remediation and prevention steps that are most likely to give you the best results. 

Get the yard drainage solutions you need to protect your property and keep water moving away from your home. We guarantee our work and proudly use American-made materials to waterproof your home. Request a no-cost, no-obligation estimate from A.M. Wall Anchor & Waterproofing today.

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