My Kensington MD backyard floods. Will a retaining wall help the yard drainage? This question comes up a lot, and it’s not hard to understand why. A great many area properties suffer from drainage and flooding issues of one type or another. It’s a problem, no doubt, but depending on where the water is pooling, it may not be a dire threat.
If you’ve got water pooling well away from your home, garage, or other buildings, it’s still an issue because it’s an eyesore that detracts from the amount of yard space you can actually use on a consistent basis, and it could play host to mosquitoes and other backyard pests, but it won’t cause any serious damage.
On the other hand, if you’ve got water pooling right next to your house, it’s a much more serious issue. In this case, if something isn’t done to address the matter quickly, the water will seep into your foundation where it will cause tremendous damage, leading to catastrophic repair bills.
If you’re suffering from either problem, you’ve likely asked the same question that we led with, and if so, this article is for you. Below, we’ll take an in-depth look at drainage problems and how to deal with them.
My Kensington MD Backyard Floods – Will A Retaining Wall Help The Yard Drainage?
The short answer is, most of the time, yes. A retaining wall can play a powerful role in addressing many types of drainage issues. Unfortunately, the question in that form doesn’t capture the full context of the question, so we’ll take a closer look.
One of the things you don’t want to do is to solve one problem and create another, so it’s important to ask if you have any other landscaping you’d like to do on your property, above and beyond solving the current problem.
If you do, then it pays to take the time to create a Landscape Design Document before any work begins on any front. Haven’t heard the term before? Not to worry, it’s just a document that allows you to collect all of your landscaping ambitions under a single umbrella.
Taking the time to do so nets you a number of powerful advantages. Among other things, it lets you:
1) Organize and prioritize your projects in order of importance, as well as spot projects that have dependencies.
2) Spot big, expensive projects and break them into smaller parts so you’ll be able to make steady progress toward your landscaping goals without breaking the bank.
3) And make sure that all of the elements you have planned mesh together well to form a cohesive, aesthetically pleasing whole before you spend any money on them.
From a practical perspective where your drainage issues are concerned, if we know and understand what other projects you want to undertake and where the various elements will sit on your property, we can plan around them and design your drainage system accordingly.
Another important consideration is the fact that there’s actually not a single generic type of retaining wall. There are several different types, and depending on your preferences, your budget and the lay of your land or the composition of your soil, one might be more appropriate than another. Here’s a quick overview:
Wooden Walls – These types are retaining walls are incredibly common. Once you start thinking about adding a retaining wall on your own property, you’ll start seeing them just about everywhere.
They tend to be somewhat shorter than other types of retaining walls, and usually have about 40% of their height beneath the surface. They feature support beams spaced a minimum of one foot apart and are anchored into the soil itself for additional support.
Sheet Pile Walls – This type of retaining wall is an ideal choice if your wall needs to be built in a confined area and provide support for loose soils that shed water fairly quickly. They’re almost always made from steel or wood plank, and about two thirds of their height are buried, with only the top third visible.
Gravity Walls – The largest type of retaining wall, these hefty structures rely on sheer mass to hold back the soil and water. These tend to be resource intensive and constructed of heavier materials, being much thicker at the base and gradually thinning out near the top of the wall.
Cantilevered Walls – Structurally similar to gravity walls, but they require less material to construct because they feature a concrete base which extends deep into the soil.
As you can see then, there are actually a number of interesting and important considerations related to answering what seems, on the surface, to be a simple, straightforward question: My Kensington MD backyard floods. Will a retaining wall help the yard drainage?
Yes, absolutely. But there are other factors at play that should be taken into account.
Now, let’s get specific. All retaining walls, regardless of type, are designed and built to include robust drainage systems. The wall itself is responsible for holding back the earth, which limits the effects of erosion, and the drainage system associated with it diverts the water.
There are a number of options where diverting the water is concerned. If you have a drainage ditch on the edge of your property, we can route it there. If not, a dry well or swale might be a better option. We’ll work with you to design the best system for your particular situation. Just give our office a call when you’re ready to begin!