Drainage Problems in Yard

Roughly 60 percent of all homeowners experience water problems in their yards, according to Readers' Digest.com. Obvious signs of drainage difficulties are a soggy yard or wet basement. The first step to correcting a drainage problem is determining what's causing it, whether it's overwatering, poor soil or some other reason. Drainage problems cause damaged plants and puddles in the yard which can lead to mosquito infestation and mud tracked into a home by pets and children.


Yards can fail to drain properly due to overwatering. Additionally, when lawns or plants are overwatered plant tissues can die and injure or or even kill plants and grass. Common symptoms of overwatering are plants that wilt or appear as though they're suffering from drought. By reducing the amount of water on a yard, homeowners can help lawns and plants develop better root systems and avoid drainage issues.

Poor Soil Composition

Poor soil composition is a major reason for a yard failing to drain water. Soils that drain poorly cause a problem known as "water ponding," which is standing surface water. Signs of this problem include blue or gray soil, foul odors and soil mottles, which are red, orange or grey spots within the top 2 feet of the soil surface, according to LJWorld.com. Compost added to soil helps with drainage problems caused by a high content of clay in soil.

Runoff Water

One of the most common drainage problems that homeowners fight is runoff water trickling down from higher elevations. This problem is typical of a property in a downhill location such as a valley. Runoff water causes flooding, erosion and pollution. One way to solve the problem is by installing downspout fittings, found in most home supply stores. Downspout fittings can direct water to a low-impact area such a creek or drainage easement.

Poor Land Grading

Poor land grading can result in a yard that doesn't drain water. Because gravity pulls water downward, water is forced to collect in a particular area and is unable flow away from a yard. Even worse, mold, fungus and mildew grow in this type of soggy ground. This problem can be corrected by grading parts of the yard to allow surface water to drain away from a house or surface depression. An underground drainage pipe is another way to help solve the problem. Adding topsoil in low areas, aerating and thatching can also help correct land grading issues. Aerating involves poking holes in soil so the soil receives air, while thatching helps move water and fertilizer into the root zone.

Keywords: yard drainage problems, poor yard drainage, yards that drain poorly

About this Author

Venice Kichura has written on a variety of topics for various websites, such as Suite 101 and Associated Content since 2005. She's written articles published in print publications and stories for books such as "God Allows U-Turns." She's a graduate of the University of Texas and has worked in both Florida and Connecticut schools.