September 15, 2021

Even on a perfect autumn day, the combination of frequent rains and clay soil here in Ann Arbor often leaves unsightly puddles in yards that just won’t go away. Not only are they an eyesore, with winter on its way, standing water can also signal danger to come, not just for your yard but for your home as well.

Of course, no one wants a boggy property. The standing water is unsightly, provides a breeding ground for mosquitoes, and creates a muddy mess. As colder weather sets in, frozen puddles can destroy your grass and damage your expensive hardscapes.

But there are more significant problems lying under the surface of that collection of water.

Dry creek bed with green foliage planted throughout.

Clay soils create a wide variety of landscape drainage challenges that frequently threaten structural elements, including your home’s foundation.

Poor Drainage Can Cause Major Problems

The drainage issues plaguing your yard may indicate a water issue at your foundation that can easily cause considerable damage to the structural integrity of your home. Poorly managed, expansive clay soils like ours can destroy your home’s foundation.

How is that possible? Water and clay soils move. Your foundation does not. Wet clay soils can easily exert up to 5,000 pounds of pressure per square foot on your foundation, causing cracks and even shifting your basement walls out of place.

The problem only gets worse in winter.  Our wet, snowy winters and freeze/thaw cycles frequently cause frost heaves in our clay soil. Frost heaving, which is a build-up of ice that shifts and pushes up the ground, can create enough pressure on foundation walls to make them fail. When water turns to ice, its volume increases by nearly 9%. If wet soil experiences a deep freeze, the wedging or heaving force that results is extremely powerful and may cause your basement walls to bow or even collapse.

Dealing with Drainage Issues

You must control the moisture content of the soil around your basement walls and quickly move excess water away from your foundation, not only in winter but throughout the year. Finding the right solution to drainage issues is not a do-it-yourself job. We recommend you engage an experienced drainage contractor like Twin Oaks Landscape to find the right solution to your water problem.

A proper drainage system will protect your home from damage and add to the value and beauty of your landscape.

Drainage Solutions

From French drains or dry riverbeds that direct water away from your home to more comprehensive solutions such as drains or sump pump systems, our expert drainage contractors will design the best solution to keep wet clay soil from creating problem areas in your lawn and protect your foundation.

We also offer a pre-season evaluation to assess any pre-existing conditions or damages which might increase the risk of structural problems. We’ll check your property carefully, warn you about any potential issues, and work with you to make whatever preparations are necessary to avoid any nasty surprises.

Take control of your drainage problems and protect your home from expensive damage. Contact Twin Oaks Landscape today to discuss the best solution for drying out your lawn for good.