Many of us have observed yards standing in water following the first hard rain of spring, resulting in rapid snow melt while the ground is still too frozen to absorb the runoff. We’ve all sympathized, on occasion, with that friend or co-worker who discovered their formerly dry basement suddenly, seemingly without warning, underwater.
Does your landscaping affect the drainage of water from your property? Absolutely! The ground immediately surrounding the structure of your home should be sloped away from your house to allow water to run off in a safe direction. Away from your house, drainage problems can be avoided by planning your landscaping in such as way as to have the majority of extra water absorbed into the ground, returning to the natural ground water table. This can be affected by your large scrub plantings, gardens and flowerbeds, retaining walls, paving of driveways, walking paths, porches and patios.
Whether you choose to absorb or drain off excess water on your property can be affected by the position of your home on the property and the amount of hardscape in your immediate vicinity. The best scenario, of course, would be to capture your runoff water and use it in your own landscaping needs. The capacity of your property to handle large volumes of water effectively following severe storms is critical, not only to your property but to the overall environment as well.
Ideally, how drainage will be affected by your new landscaping project should be reviewed by your local landscape professional, before anything is put in place.