Let’s talk about landscape drainage on your Kensington MD property. If you’re like many people, you probably love the home and property you bought, but there are a whole list of improvements you’d like to make one day.
If you’re having to contend with pools of standing water in your yard after every heavy rain, attending to the drainage issues of your property is almost certain to be somewhere on your list of improvements, and probably fairly high up on that list. After all, few things are more damaging to home and property than water, and if you’ve got standing water near the foundation of your home on a regular, or even semi-regular basis, doing nothing could lead to significant damage and staggering repair bills.
Even if you don’t have pools of standing water collecting dangerously close to hearth and home, pools of water anywhere on your property are still problematic because they’re an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests and they reduce the amount of usable yard space you have to work with.
Even so, before you jump in and start spending money on landscape drainage on your Kensington MD property, it pays to take a moment to take stock of your other landscaping plans. The best way to do that is to create a master landscape design document.
This is simply a document used for collecting all of your landscaping ambitions in one place, but the master design document is much more than a simple laundry list. By collecting all your projects and goals under a single umbrella, it gives you the ability to look at the big picture.
You can start prioritizing projects. You can spot projects that depend on other projects being completed first and arrange them accordingly. You can identify big, budget busting projects and break them into smaller chunks that you have a realistic chance of accomplishing without draining your bank account. Those are all good things.
Here’s an example of how a master design document can save you time and money. Let’s say you need some time of landscape drainage system on your Kensington MD property, but you know you want to do some other landscaping as well.
Knowing that, and knowing where you want to build retaining walls or do some strategic planning will help determine the layout and position of whatever type of drainage system you design to deal with the standing water issues. That’s far better than forging ahead with the plan of installing a landscape drainage system on your Kensington MD property, and then having to rip it up later because it’s in the way of other work you want or need to do.
Here’s another thing to consider: If your property has steeply sloped areas, one of the best things you can do to create more usable space on your property is to build one or more retaining walls to terrace those slopes.
This gives you more space for outdoor entertaining and strategic planting, but in addition to that, a retaining wall is built to include a drainage system and its presence may well solve the drainage issues you’re having.
Many people are surprised to learn that there are actually multiple types of retaining walls. There are, and depending on your needs, one type may be much superior to another. Here’s a quick overview:
Wooden Walls – 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.
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.
Gravity Walls – Rely on their 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.
Whether you want or need a retaining wall of some kind, the most common and most widely utilized drainage system is the French drain. It’s time tested technology that hasn’t changed much over the years. Essentially, a trench is dug. A perforated pipe is placed in the trench and then covered with gravel that allows water to percolate down through it and into the pipe where it can be redirected to some other area.
There are lots of possibilities here. If you have a stream either on or adjacent to your property, you could redirect the water there. The drain empties into the stream and the stream carries the water away; problem solved.
Another approach would be to redirect the water to a dry well or a decorative pond, or if you have a drainage ditch on your property that carries the water off to a county or municipal treatment plant, that works too. Mostly, it comes down to the particulars of your property, your budget and your personal preferences.