How to Fix Landscape Drainage Issues

drainage - pooling water on lawn

Do you notice soggy grass and pooling water near your home or on your lawn when it rains? Then you probably have a problem with your landscape drainage.

Landscape drainage issues are something we see a lot of in the landscaping industry. Improper drainage can cause all kinds of issues for your home and property from basement flooding to topsoil erosion to foundation damage.

Don’t make the mistake of letting your landscape drainage issues get out of hand. In this guide, we will help you determine the source of your drainage issues and direct you to the appropriate solutions. 

Common Sources of Landscape Drainage Issues

When it comes to residential landscaping, there are many reasons why your yard might be retaining water. The first thing you need to do is determine the cause of the problem. Then you can find the appropriate solution.

Insufficient Slope or Pitch

In order for water to flow away from your home, your yard needs at least a three percent pitch. Yards that have insufficient pitch are too flat, causing water to pool.

Short Downspout

The locations of your downspouts are integral to the process of diverting water away from your home. Look around your house to see where the downspouts are pointing.

If your gutters’ downspouts exit directly into your landscaping (such as a flower bed), water will collect and pool in that area instead of draining.

Impacted Soil

Impacted soil is hardpacked and difficult to drain. You may have impacted soil on your property after a construction project. Installing an in-ground pool is one example of a project that can leave you with impacted soil.

This type of soil retains moisture, too, which makes it prone to pooling.

Concrete Walkways

Does your home have concrete walkways leading up to its entrances? If so, the walkways could be an obstacle to water drainage.

Concrete acts as a blockade. It can prevent water from moving through your yard to get to your storm drains.


Another issue is erosion when it comes to effective drainage. Erosion strips away the topsoil from your yard. When this happens, water begins to pool rather than absorb into the soil or move through the yard.

Professional Landscaping Drainage Solutions

Now that you understand the potential causes of your landscape drainage issues, we can talk about how to fix them. We’ve provided a few different solutions for each type of problem.

Some of the solutions are things you can do yourself, while others require calling in local landscapers.

Insufficient Slope or Pitch

If your yard is too flat for adequate drainage, there are a few things you can try.

Installing a French drain, or catch basin, is one option. A French drain is a gravel trench containing a pipe that diverts water away from the home. The downside to french drains is that they tend to clog over time.

If you have a cement basement foundation, you can install a sump pump to remove the water. However, this will backfire if you have a cedar or brick basement.

Another option is to create a riverbed. You can design a riverbed to be attractive whether or not there is water actively flowing through it. When it rains, water will naturally divert away from the house through the riverbed.

You can also direct the water toward a rain garden filled with plants that need a lot of water.

Short Downspout

If your problem is that you don’t have downspouts on your home, start by installing them where you know water naturally exits your roof.

In the event you have downspouts that drain into your landscaping beds, the first thing to do is to adjust them. Ideally, you want to recirculate the water into parts of your landscaping where it will be beneficial.

If your yard is entirely flat, you can try making pop-ups. This means pitching the slope of the downspout. Keep in mind that major storms might overwhelm your downspouts and cause them to back up.

Another option is to direct your downspouts toward a creek bed that diverts the water to the edge of your property or into a rain garden.

Impacted Soil

If your drainage obstacle is impacted soil, the first thing you can do is to install a french drain or surface drain. A surface drain is the most basic form of landscape drainage.

A surface drain is a system of tubes buried beneath the ground. The water flows into the drain and through the tubes, which move the water to lower points in your yard.

If a French drain or surface drain won’t solve the problem, the next solution is to regrade the soil. Regrading is common when installing an inground pool.

It’s also helpful to regrade your soil when installing new landscaping features.

Concrete Walkways

If a concrete walkway is creating a drainage obstacle, the easiest fix is to break up the walkway. This can be done by replacing a portion of the cement walkway with stepping stones.

Then the water that runs off your home can find an escape route through the spaces between the stones.

Another option is to angle your walkway so the water does not get trapped. Finally, you could consider installing pipes that allow water to pass underneath the walkway.


If erosion is your problem, try installing a retaining wall. A retaining wall not only solves the problem of water drainage but also prevents erosion.

They do this by containing the soil and preventing it from getting carried away. If your yard is uneven or has an insufficient slope, a retaining wall can also prevent flooding and water damage.

A retaining wall can be used to prevent erosion, holding soil back and stopping it from running off into the rest of the yard. For uneven yards with a slope, a retaining wall can save the landscape by preventing flooding or water damage caused by runoff.

How to Fix Landscape Drainage Issues

Landscape drainage is an essential part of protecting your home from water damage and flooding. The most common sources of drainage problems include erosion, insufficient slope, impacted soil, and short downspouts.

For professional landscaping solutions to your drainage problems, consult the best landscaping company serving the state of Texas. Get your free estimate from Circle D Construction today.

Drainage Solutions

A well-performing lawn is an eye-catching sight, but it can be a difficult goal to achieve when your yard is plagued with drainage issues. The key to having a lush, green, and healthy lawn is installing a well placed landscape drainage solution.