Effective grading and drainage are crucial to landscaping, both in the initial process and in maintaining the land afterward. Well-developed landscape grading not only allows for better development on the surface but also improves soil quality. Conversely, if this is neglected, the result can be damaging to your home, lawn, garden and more. Learn how to identify draining and grading issues so you know when to find professional help.
Spotting Drainage Problems
In many cases, if your landscape isn’t draining properly, the symptoms will be easily spotted. Following rainfall, take the time to inspect your yard. Some common signs to look out for include:
• Standing or pooling water, especially at the bottoms of slopes or under downspouts
• Formation of rivulets along slopes
• Fissures, large mud puddles or other soil erosion
• Soggy, unstable ground
• Water stains found on the home’s foundation
The presence of one or more of these is a good indicator that runoff is not able to drain properly. The causes can vary from dense soil that cannot absorb water to gutters or downspouts getting clogged to a high water table or water pooling in lower sections of the yard.
How Grading Affects Drainage
Landscape grading is important to manage for various reasons; one of these is how grading can improve or hamper draining. Naturally, water will flow according to how gravity directs it, and this always means downhill. A yard sloped to lead towards a building is a red flag: water will collect there and threaten the foundation, so addressing it should be a top concern. Grading can be used to your favor, though, by adding landscape features such as swales that accumulate water and then direct it away.
Getting Help with Landscape Grading
Heavily packed soil and high water tables are usually not easily managed directly, but proper landscape grading can still provide a solution to keep your property from getting waterlogged. If you find signs of current or probable drainage issues, consult with a local contractor for help. Adding or moving soil can mitigate troublesome slopes and help preserve your property.