My Silver Spring MD backyard floods. Will a retaining wall help the yard drainage? It’s a common question because a surprising percentage of properties in the area suffer from drainage problems of one degree or another.
If you’ve got water pooling at a distance from your home or any other buildings on your property, it’s a nuisance but falls short of being a dire threat. It’s still a problem, to be sure, because it’s an eyesore and a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests, but it won’t cause any direct harm.
Contrast that to water pooling right up against your home, which can seep into your foundation and cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage in short order. Wherever the water is pooling though, it’s a legitimate issue and one that still needs to be addressed.
If you’re facing drainage issues of any type and have been wondering how to fix it, you’re in luck. In this article, we’ll address the issue in detail. Let’s take a closer look.
My Silver Spring MD Backyard Floods – Will A Retaining Wall Help The Yard Drainage?
In the vast majority of cases, a well-placed retaining wall can play a pivotal role in solving for whatever drainage issues you might be having, yes. The question itself though, doesn’t tell the whole story. There are actually a surprising number of other factors to consider and take into account, so let’s take a closer look at those in order to answer the question more completely.
First, although the term ‘retaining wall’ gets used generically, there are actually several different types of retaining walls we can build, depending on your budget, personal preferences, and the particulars of your property. Here’s a quick overview:
Wooden Walls – One of the most common types of retaining walls, these tend to be shorter 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.
Gravity Walls – The largest type of retaining wall, these rely on their sheer size and 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.
Sheet Pile Walls – An ideal choice for a retaining wall that needs to be built in a confined area and provide support for loose soils that shed water fairly quickly. These are usually made of steel or wood plank, and about two thirds of their height are buried, with only the top third visible.
Regardless of the specific type of wall built, all retaining walls basically work the same way. They hold back soil and divert water. Both are important.
Holding back earth helps solve for erosion issues, which is especially important if you have steep slopes on your property because erosion will only make your flooding issues worse over time.
In addition to simply holding the earth back, the presence of a retaining wall has the impact of smoothing out those steep slopes by creating terraced spaces you can use for planting or entertaining, giving you more useable yard space to work with. Also, any planting you do behind the wall will help to create a more robust root structure which will also help keep the soil in place.
All properly constructed retaining walls also create a robust drainage system that is used to divert water and prevent it from pooling or otherwise causing problems. There are lots of possible options where water diversion is concerned, including diverting it into:
- A swale or dry well
- A drainage ditch on the periphery of your property
- A stream, if you have one running through, or immediately adjacent to your property
- Or even a decorative pond if you decide you’d like to add one.
Mostly, this comes down to your budget and your personal preferences. Whatever you decide, we can help you design and build a system that will get the job done, solving the problem in the way you want it solved.
There’s one more thing to consider here. Simply asking the question ‘My Silver Spring MD backyard floods. Will a retaining wall help the yard drainage?’ does not take into account any other landscaping you may want to do on your property and that matters too. Here’s why:
If you have other landscaping ambitions, we want to be sure that the drainage solution we design and implement for you doesn’t interfere with those other projects you have planned for later. The best way to ensure this is to create a Master Landscape Design document which captures and prioritizes all of your landscaping goals.
If we know about your other projects upfront, we can include them in our planning process and ensure that the system we ultimately build for you won’t be in the way of the other work you want to do. If you’re a little intimidated by the process of creating a robust, complete design document and ordering your projects appropriately, we can help with that too. When you’re ready to get started, give our office a call and let’s get started!