Fixing Drainage & Grading Without Hiring Excavation Contractor

With spring comes warmer temperatures and melting snow, which can lead to water pooling in different areas of your property. Water pooling in your yard or around your home’s foundation is an indicator of a drainage or grading issue that needs attention. This article discusses how to identify a water problem, the common causes, and the fixes you can try before hiring an excavation contractor.

Water buildup in your yard can attract bugs and rodents, ruin the health of flowers, plants, and trees, and cause shifting under your home. Standing water around your home is the most problematic because it can cause cracks in the foundation, water leaks, flooding, and mold. If you see any water buildup, it should be dealt with before it becomes a bigger problem, especially before the rainy season.

Hainvg standing water is a sign of a grading issue.
If you see standing water in your yard, you may have a grading issue that needs to be fixed.

Common Causes of Drainage and Grading Problems

Understanding how drainage and grading issues happen is key to resolving them correctly the first time around. There are several potential causes, including:

  • Improper grading or sloping of your lawn. Land should be slightly higher at the foundation of your home and then slope downwards towards alleys and streets to encourage natural water drainage. 
  • If a home’s foundation was not level or has settled more on one side, water cannot drain away from the home as it was meant to. 
  • Gutters that are clogged, too small, or in need of repair will cause water can runoff in the wrong areas. 
  • Poorly placed trees, plants, or flower beds can impede the flow of water across the yard. 
  • Underground structures like swimming pools or septic tanks can lead to certain areas retaining moisture, especially if they were not installed with the help of a professional excavation contractor.
A clogged gutter may cause drainage issue.
A clogged gutter may be the cause of your drainage issue.

How to Fix Water Drainage Problems on Your Own

While many drainage or grading issues require the work of a professional excavation contractor, there are some steps you can take to address the minor problems or when the problem area is relatively small.

  • You are reducing your watering schedule. Simply avoid watering trouble spots where water is already pooling or cut back on the water in general. 
  • Check your gutters. Clean them out regularly and replace broken pieces. If necessary, install more oversized gutters or add leaf guards to keep them clean. You may have to adjust the slope of your gutters if the foundation is settled.
  • Dig a shallow trench, called a swale, to direct water from problem areas to the street. You can fill the swale with river rocks to make it a decorative landscaping feature. If you do decide to take this on yourself, check out our tips on excavation safety.
  • Alternatively, instead of digging, add material around your foundation to improve grading and guide water away.
  • Replace sections of your home’s walkway and driveway with river rocks or gravel to prevent water blockages

When to Use a Professional Excavation Contractor 

Sometimes, the trouble area may simply be too large to deal with without the help of heavy machinery. Furthermore, many drainage and grading issues are complex and require the work of a professional, especially to avoid problems in the future. If you are having issues with a swimming pool or septic tank or need underground pipes or trenches put in, we’d recommend hiring an excavation contractor like us. For example, fixing grading throughout the property is a larger project that requires a dedicated team, and any excavation around existing buildings or underground structures is best left to experts. A professional can identify the water flow on your property to design a practical and long-term solution in any situation.

No matter what the right solution is for your drainage problems, whether it’s digging a trench or installing underground pipes, a fraction of an inch can make a difference. Leaving this project to an excavation contractor ensures you get the right solution the first time and won’t deal with the same problem again. Our team here at Serbu can diagnose the problem you’re facing and create a custom solution, along with helping you purchase the grading materials you need.

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