standing water

Spring is the time to start preparing your yard to enjoy it all summer long. Unfortunately, spring can also bring heavy rains which flood yards and leave homeowners with a headache when it comes to extra clean up. Standing water can cause damage to your lawn and prevent future growth. For many Minnesota homeowners, standing water is a problem year after year as spring rains are slow to drain leaving a mess in their wake. If you’re tired of cleaning up after standing water, and want to learn how to prevent it, we’ve got 6 ways you can start preventing standing water in your yard this spring.

Redirect your gutters

Your gutters collect water and drain it through downspouts in your yard. One of the easiest ways to lessen, or even prevent yard flooding, is to inspect where your downspouts are pointing. If your downspouts are emptying in areas that run uphill, or in a spot in your yard that tends to collect water – it may be time to redirect those gutters. For a somewhat simple fix, you can attach a rigid drain pipe to the end of your gutter to carry water away from the problem areas.

Clean up your thatch

Thatching can leave organic debris on your lawn which can prevent water from draining. If you do have organic thatch on top of your lawn, take some time to clean it up with a rake or dethatcher. After that, you can aerate your lawn by making small holes in the soil 4-6 inches deep which can create better drainage in your soil. If you are experiencing consistent standing water, dethatching and aerating can help.

Divert water underground

If options 1 & 2 don’t seem to be helping, it’s time to make some improvements to your yard to prevent standing water. Typically, gutters drain into downspouts which will drain into your yard. A big issue with standing water is that you may have low lying spots that prevent water from running into a storm drain. You can fix this with a French drain which is a perforated underground pipe that collects and directs surface water to your storm drain. Installing a french drain includes digging a trench from your low-lying areas to your street, insert a perforated and flexible pipe into a bed of gravel, cover the pipe with gravel again, and then bury it with soil and grass. A french drain will help your low lying areas drain more quickly keeping your lawn healthy all year long.

Improve your yard grade

Did you know that the slope of your yard determines where and how rainwater will drain? Yard slope is one of the most important factors in preventing standing water in your yard. Effective drainage requires a minimum slope of 2% away from your house, which would mean a 2 foot drop for every 100 linear feet. If you don’t have an adequate slope to your yard, water can pool in various areas and lead to lawn damage or even flooding along your home’s foundation. You can improve grade by spreading topsoil along your foundation and in low areas to facilitate drainage.

Clear water from flooded patios & walkways

If your patio and walkways are set lower than your yard, you will experience flooded walkways. One option is to raise your patio & walkways to be equal to your yard, but this is a costly option. You can also install storm drain channels that direct water away from these areas. Make sure you install these along the lowest slope of the patio and/or walkway, and connect the channel to the french drain mentioned above.

Install a dry well

If you experience flooding frequently with water that soaks into the ground quickly, then you may be a candidate for a dry well. Dry wells are typically positioned underground in low lying areas of your yard to collect water. Excess water is held in underground tanks and then slowly releases water into the surrounding soil.

No one wants to spend their spring cleaning up after standing water from heavy spring rains. If you frequently experience standing water in your yard, these 6 ideas can help you prevent that standing water before it starts – so you can get back to enjoying your spring instead of working through it.