How to Divert Rainwater Away From Your House

A heavy rain storm with an overflowing gutter on the corner of a house.

Is water pooling against the walls of your home or on your lawn—or maybe even in your home, overwhelming your sump pump? Then it’s time to see what a drainage contractor can do to fix your rainwater problems before damage accumulates and your home or lawn becomes the site of a costly disaster.

Lawn Grading and Swales

Ideally, when a home is constructed, the land around it is chosen or shaped to allow for a natural diversion of rainwater. The hills and slopes of your lawn are natural drainage areas called swales. These are what determine how water moves along the surface before it settles and starts sinking into the ground.

If, for some reason, your lawn isn’t graded properly—changes in construction, changes in neighboring drainage, increased rainfall, etc— and water pools and flows where it should not. Landscaping and drainage contractors are skilled in understanding these issues and have the expertise needed to repair this problem before it gets more expensive.

Left unattended, poor grading can lead to areas washing out, ruining your lawn, worsening your drainage problem, and possibly damaging the structural integrity of your home.

Mulch Management

In some cases, drainage problems stem from a very simple source: mulch. Mulch too close to your home can stain siding or encourage damage from water and moisture, mulch too light for the job or placed improperly can become waterlogged and cause water to flow in unpredictable ways, etc. Make sure you have a landscaper check your mulch if you’ve noticed issues with rainwater around the areas where you have mulch.

Downspout Direction

It’s not enough to simply have downspouts installed to control the flow of water from your roof—you want to manage where that water is heading once it reaches the ground, too. This is an unnatural point of entry for water into your lawn, so a downspout in the wrong place can overcome whatever natural protection against drainage problems your lawn grading may have.

Grass Barriers and Rain Gardens

Lawn grading isn’t the only aspect of landscaping which can help divert water away from your home when it’s raining hard; the plants and grass present in your lawn can do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to water management.

Install the right grass or plants in your yard, and water will be wicked away or blocked accordingly. Install a rain garden in a problem area, and suddenly water pooling in that area becomes a bed for thirsty plants you couldn’t easily maintain otherwise.

Gravel Drains, Stone Driveways, and Artificial Streams

Gravel allows water to pass through it more easily than dirt without washing it away easily or creating unsightly drainage paths or ditches of mud and bare ground. A ditch full of gravel will guide water naturally wherever you want it to go—and it can look great if you plan it right. Similarly, you can turn a driveway or foot path into a similar drainage system by using looser stone construction instead of less permeable materials.

If you don’t mind managing the water and have a proper place for it to drain, building an artificial stream into your landscape might also work.

Drain Lines

If the water falling into your lawn can’t be guided to better areas of your yard naturally, then it may be time to consider installing full drainage lines to carry away the excess water. Drainage contractors will be able to look at your lawn and determine the best combination of drainage systems—lawn grading, drains, pipes, culverts, the options are endless.

Be sure to keep an eye on your lawn during rainfall prior to speaking to a contractor, so you can paint a full picture of the way your home and lawn interact with the water—the fewer guesses your landscaping and drainage contractors need to make, the better the end results will be. If you’ve got water pooling in your yard, contact our drainage experts today! We’re confident we can find a permanent solution to your soggy yard.