Many Kansas City homeowners have come face to face with drainage problems in their yard and have turned to a professional to help them find a solution. But before you hire just any landscaping company, be sure to do your homework. Greenleaf Garden Services put together a list of five questions that you should ask before hiring a company to fix your yard’s drainage problem.
Where is the water coming from? Are my downspouts causing the problem or is water collecting because of a broken pipe, poor grade, or adjacent property?
The first thing to check if you are having drainage issues is whether or not your property is causing it. In some cases, a downspout may be detached or not extended far enough into the yard to allow proper drainage. If this is the case, a simple pipe extension or catch basin can be installed to help divert water away from your foundation.
Next, check the areas around where water is collecting. How does it get there? It may be that your yard is not properly graded or that the grade has changed overtime due to excessive erosion. As water collects and saturates the soil, sediment will become loose and may eventually move to other areas of your yard or be washed away to a storm drain or adjacent property. Erosion not only becomes a severe problem for you as a homeowner but can also have detrimental effects to the overall watershed that surrounds you.
If you are unable to determine that the cause of the issue is from your property, it then becomes important to look at adjacent properties. It’s quite possible that a neighbor’s yard or community amenity such as a tennis or basketball court has been graded to shed water away from the site…into your yard. Steps can be taken to catch and divert water from adjacent sites, but it may be important that you talk with your neighbors or HOA in order to make them aware that you are having an issue with your yard. Any help can go a long way.
Related read: Drainage Solutions – Mud Free Is The Way to Be
Should the water be diverted or collected ? Or both?
Now that you know where the water is coming from, it’s time to decide what you’re going to do with it. Remember, not all solutions are applicable to every site and each drainage problem is unique in its own way. Sometimes diverting water is a necessity because the total percentage entering your yard exceeds its storage capacity. The water may also be collecting close to your foundation or other site features such as patios, driveways, walkways, play areas, etc., and diversion is required to increase safety and minimize maintenance.
Other solutions may involve the use of water collecting systems such as rain barrels, cisterns, and rain gardens in combination with diversion strategies. These solutions offer a range of advantages including reuse for irrigation in the landscape, filtering water, groundwater recharge, evapotranspiration, and minimizing the amount of run-off. While these solutions are often more costly, they also offer the greatest returns for the health and well-being or your landscape as well as others. Whatever your budget may be there are still several affordable ways to ensure our water systems stay clean and Mother Nature remains happy.
Should the water be controlled above or below ground?
While it is often cheaper to dig a trench and run drainpipe to other areas or your yard, above ground solutions like rock riverbeds and rain gardens can add a nice feature to your landscape and stand as a constant reminder of the resource we are working with and trying to protect. Above ground solutions may require annual maintenance due to sediment and other debris collecting in them but often require less digging than underground solutions because you can use the natural slope of your yard and allow gravity to run its course. Underground solutions may also require additional digging because of a collapsed pipe or normal wear and tear.
Is this a permanent solution and/or what maintenance is required?
Let’s face it; water is one of if not our most precious resource and should be treated as such. We all must manage our home watershed in order to protect the health and well-being of the overall watersheds we live in and the bodies of water they feed. Again, in some cases the amount of water that falls on your yard far exceeds what it is capable of storing, in which case, steps can be taken to ensure the most water is collected or diverted while minimizing run-off. Annual maintenance to drains, riverbeds, and rain gardens may be required but can be accomplished by the home-owner without needing to hire a company to do the work.
How will this affect my existing landscape as well as others?
It is important that you assess the current state of your landscape and see how trees, shrubs, grasses, etc., potentially use this water as it percolates into the ground or drains downhill. If it appears that plants around your property may use this water, riverbeds leading into catch basins or rain gardens may be necessary to insure water slows down, and plants keep receiving the same amount of water that has made them thrive thus far. If your plants are dying because of too much moisture, then diverting water away from them may be necessary.
The list of questions to ask goes on and on, but we think that these are the most important when looking for a professional company to help with your landscape. If you are in the Kansas City area and are looking for a quality company to hire, don’t forget to start with this list!
For more information about Greenleaf give us a call today at (816) 916-5171.