As the area’s #1 landscape design company, we field lots of questions from the clients we work with. Among the most frequently asked is the question ‘how do I get rid of standing water in my College Park MD yard?’
It’s easy to see where this question arises from. After all, nobody likes having pools of water in their yard that can often linger for days on end. Unfortunately, there are no quick and easy answers because there are so many different possible causes. In this article, we’ll discuss the most common of those, and the optimal solutions for each case.
Broadly speaking, there are two categories of issues to consider here. Those that are habit-based, arising from specific things you’re doing or not doing, and those that are design-based, which arise from specific characteristics or features of your property.
As you might expect, answering the question ‘how do I get rid of standing water in my College Park MD yard?’ tends to be easier and more straightforward when dealing with habit-based issues, so let’s take a look at those first.
The two most common habit-based issues are overwatering and issues relating to the design of homemade decorative planting beds.
Overwatering is the simplest issue to correct, and any time you see areas of standing water around your plants, the first thing you should try is watering them less. Odds are excellent that doing so will eliminate the problem.
The most common issue where homemade decorative planting beds are concerned is that the homeowners who build them often fail to build adequate drainage channels into their designs. This problem is compounded if the beds are built up against your house, because quite often, no consideration will be given to the downspouts connected to their rain gutters.
Any time it rains, these will wind up emptying into the decorative beds, and absent an adequate drainage channel, the water has nowhere to go, so it pools there. This is especially dangerous because when you’ve got water pooling right next to your house, it will invariably begin seeping into the foundation of your home, where it can cause considerable damage leading to expensive repair bills.
The answer to the question ‘how do I get rid of standing water in my College Park MD yard?’ in this instance is two-fold. First, make sure any decorative planting beds you create have an adequate drainage channel and second, angle your downspouts well away from those beds, so that the water isn’t draining into them.
Now, let’s talk about those trickier design-based issues. Here are the biggest and most common ones you’re likely to see:
Thatch is the layer of organic material that sits just out of sight under your grass, resting atop your topsoil layer. Over time, this layer will become increasingly tightly woven and ultimately, the day will come when it’s so thick and so tightly woven that it’s all but impossible for water to filter past it to get to your topsoil layer where it can drain away.
In this instance, the answer to the question ‘how do I get rid of standing water in my College Park MD yard?’ involves removing the thatch layer and aerating your lawn. This requires the use of some specialized equipment but is a project that a committed do it yourselfer could handle on their own. If you’re not a DIYer, or you just don’t have the time to deal with it, we’re more than happy to assist.
Hardpan can be a manmade issue, created by moving heavy equipment over a section of your yard, or it can occur naturally. Basically, it’s a layer of soil beneath your topsoil that’s so compacted that it’s almost impossible for water to pass through it, which makes it quite similar to the thatch issue we described above.
In this case, the answer to the question ‘how do I get rid of standing water in my College Park MD yard?’ revolves around breaking up the hardpan. Unfortunately, that’s a much bigger job than removing the thatch layer and is beyond the capabilities of most DIYers.
This is far and away the most serious of the design-based issues. If your properly wasn’t graded properly, or time has significantly changed the lay of your land, anytime it rains, water will collect in the lowest-lying areas on your property and will have no place to go.
While it’s possible to bring in heavy equipment and completely transform the lay of your land, changing the grading of your property, in most cases, the simpler and more cost-effective solution is to install a drainage system, most often a French drain. This will redirect the water away from that area and into a drainage ditch, a nearby pond, or the like.
In this instance, before you have the drain installed, it’s important to look into the future, especially if you have other landscaping you’d like to do on the property. The best way to do that is to create a Master Landscape Design document which captures all the landscaping initiatives you’d like to undertake, allowing you to prioritize them.
We can help you create the document, and armed with that information, we’ll be able to position the drain such that it accommodates the future landscaping plans you’ve got.
Whatever the case, and whatever your needs are where the landscaping on your property is concerned, we’ve got you covered. Call our office today.