Drainage issues are fairly common on properties in the area, and one of the more common questions we get from the clients we work with is some variation of: ‘My North Potomac MD backyard floods, will a retaining wall help the yard drainage?’
It’s an excellent question, and if you’ve been wondering the same thing and dealing with your own drainage issues, you’re in luck. We’ll answer it in full and provide you with a variety of related details just below.
Before we do that though, let’s talk a little bit more about why it matters. If you’re stuck dealing with water pooling in various places in your yard after a rain, you know what a problem can be. Of course, not all drainage issues are created equally.
If the water on your property is pooling at a safe distance from your home or any outbuildings you have, it’s more of a nuisance than a dire threat, but even so, it creates an unsightly mess that takes away from the amount of space you have available for planting and outdoor entertaining, and it can be a breeding pool for mosquitoes or other pests.
A much more significant problem though, is if the water is pooling right up against your house or other buildings on your property. Few things are more destructive than water, and if left unchecked, it will inevitably seep into your foundation where it can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.
So now that we’ve talked about the why, let’s dig into the how.
My North Potomac MD Backyard Floods – Will A Retaining Wall Help The Yard Drainage?
The quick, pat answer is yes. In the vast majority of cases, a well-placed retaining wall can play a significant role in solving for any drainage issues you might be having. There’s more to it than that though. While it’s absolutely important to resolve those types of issues, it’s also important to look at the bigger picture.
In this case, the bigger picture takes the form of a question: Do you plan to do any other landscaping on your property? If you do, then it pays to press pause on fixing the drainage issue long enough to create a Master Landscape Design document.
In its most basic form, this is just a laundry list of all the landscaping you want to do on your property, all captured under a single umbrella. Properly used though, it can be much more than that. Here are some of the benefits of taking the time to build out your document:
1) It allows you to organize and prioritize the landscaping you want to do, including spotting projects that have dependencies and ordering them accordingly.
2) You’ll be able to spot those big, budget-busting project and break them into smaller components which will allow you to make steady progress on your landscaping goals, whatever they might be.
3) You’ll be able to look at all of your ideas at a high level, which will allow you to ensure that the various pieces hang together to create a cohesive, aesthetically pleasing whole and that none of the elements clash. Finding that out on paper is much less expensive than building something, only to have to tear it out later when you realize it just doesn’t work with everything else you want to do.
If you need help putting your design document together, we’d be happy to provide assistance, and once the document has been built, we can take your other landscaping ambitions into account when planning, designing and building the drainage system on your property.
Here’s another factor to consider: Many people don’t realize it, but there are actually several different types of retaining walls. Exactly which type we build depends on a number of factors, including your budget, personal preferences and the particulars of your property. Here’s a quick overview:
Wooden Walls – One of the most common and ubiquitous types of retaining walls in the area, 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.
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.
Whichever type best meets your needs, all retaining walls are built with robust drainage systems, by design, which brings us full circle.
My North Potomac MD backyard floods, will a retaining wall help the yard drainage? Absolutely, but there are a lot of details that lie behind the question, and there are a number of other considerations to take into account. When you’ve had enough of the water pooling on your property and you’re ready to get started, we are just a phone call away!