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Drainage for Back Yard Flooding

Image by, courtesy of David Rowan

One of the problems for backyard flooding is improper soil drainage. In many situations, you do not need to hire a landscaper to alleviate the problem. Ascertain the cause of the poor drainage to decide which method is best to reduce or improve the area. Proper backyard drainage will improve your home’s quality and value.


Backyard flooding can cause water to seep into the crawl space or basements, resulting in home structural damage and the buildup of indoor mildew or mold. Repairs can be time-consuming and costly. Backyard flooding reduces the quality of soil resulting in poor-quality lawns and unhealthy landscaping plants.

Clay and Soil Drainage

Clay soil can often be a leading cause for poor soil drainage by holding water into the soil and the general area. Remove as much excess water from the area as possible. Fill the area with a top-quality compost mixture. Use a garden till to combine the compost mixture into the clay soil. Repeat the procedure several times over several months. You should notice significant improvement in the backyard drainage.

Compact Soil Drainage

Soil that is compact does not allow for water to seep deeply into the ground and prevent flooding. Compact soil is a problem often found in very sandy soils. Fill the area with top-quality, organic gardening mulch. Use a garden till to combine the gardening mulch into the sandy soil. The quality of the soil and drainage will improve.

Elevate Backyard Area

Add topsoil and organic mulch to elevate low-grade areas to improve the drainage in the backyard. Keep an eye on the area to ensure that you are adding additional material to the appropriate areas to alleviate the problem of flooding. Pay attention to the water drain-off and flow pattern as build the backyard as a higher area.


Some homeowners make the mistake of digging narrow drainage ditches filled with gravel (French drains) to create a new path for the water to drain from the backyard. This misconception can cause worse drainage problems, not only in the backyard but in other areas of the landscape. Only install French drain systems if you are an expert to steer clear of increased draining complications.

Time Frame

Keep in mind it will take several attempts and often several months to a year to completely solve drainage problems to get rid of backyard flooding. Examine your backyard regularly over several months as you implement the changes. Re-use methods that are yielding the best results and reducing the backyard flooding.

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