Ways to tackle drainage problems

  • Written by News Company

Most of the problems of drainage systems that every landscape designer and gardener faces are quite general. We all have often witnessed situations where it was not possible to grow plants, basements were flooded, and lawns turned into marshy puddles due to an improper drainage system, paving slabs and paving stones broke due to soil subsidence. Correction of the drainage system and the correct classification of the problems of the drainage system in the first stage is crucial for each garden. Before you get your hands dirty with your drain repair, take notes of the following tips you help yourself save time and efforts.

Soil lift

Plants require the interaction of air at the base of the soil for the healthy development of the root system. Soil that is marshy lacks oxygen, which can lead to root rot and decay of healthy plantings. A common mistake is to amend the soil, such as landing in a pit or low landing. This decision will only aggravate the accumulation of water and rotting of the roots, installing a fence, fences can also disrupt soil drainage. The best solution is adding compost to the soil, or raising the topsoil by 15-20 centimeters. This solution will help the roots develop in well-drained soil.

Gutters and pipes

An ineffective drainage system around the house can cause a lot of trouble for the homeowner. The accumulation of water around the foundation can lead to flooding of the house. Over time, water can make its way through the walls of the basement, where mold growth will begin, which can become a source of severe allergic reactions in most people. If soil compaction or erosion is visible near the foundation walls, a good surface inspection should be the first solution. Perhaps the rain gutters in poor condition? Clogging, corrosion or improper installation of rain gutters can result in significant loss of rainwater in the rainy seasons. Gutters are a very effective solution because they can match any style of the house and drain water efficiently. Gutters can be blocked by leaves and various debris, which leads to the filling and overflowing of the gutters with water. Sometimes moss can grow inside the pipe. I have repeatedly seen peat and mulch clog a pipe, as a result of which water spills onto the walls of the house.

Inspection of drainage systems and problem-solving

The next time it starts to rain, use an umbrella and conduct a thorough inspection of the drainage system of your home. The results may surprise you. After fixing the gutters and drainpipes, probably the next line of defense may be an increase in the level of soil near the house. The generally accepted rule is to increase the soil to reach 5% of the slope from the building line. Of course, do not raise the ground too close, otherwise, you risk damaging the construction of fences siding at home. If you are experiencing serious problems with flooding, it is worthwhile to conduct a thorough inspection both inside and outside the house to detect the problem. Waterproof membranes are often used at the base of a house; they are also used in large drainage systems and large construction projects. It is worth turning to a professional landscape designer for advice, as he can offer a solution to most of the classified problems.

Five steps to diagnosing a drainage problem

It is important to act quickly when faced with a drainage problem, otherwise, the loss of harvest income will accumulate, not to mention the fact that the situation will only worsen.

Step 1. Locate the area. This involves identifying the area that remains wet while the entire field is dry. With the drainage plan on hand, the producer can identify the collectors and the outlet of drains associated with the problem area.

Step 2. Check the drain outlet. Before digging anywhere in the field, it is important to start with the most visible element: the drain outlet. Thanks to this operation, the mystery can be solved at a glance: the outlet is often surrounded by tangled or submerged roots. In some cases, the producer can make the corrections himself.

Step 3. Contact a professional. If the cause is not obvious, contacting a professional will be beneficial. His experience will allow him to find the origin of the problem and to propose the repair work necessary to correct it.

Step 4. Perform repairs in accordance with good practice. The drainage system should last as long as possible. With this in mind, it is better to carry out repairs perfectly, which may require the installation of an outlet for plastic drains comprising a geotextile membrane, riprap, etc. Part of this work can also be financed by the Prime-Vert program.

Step 5. Assess whether only the drainage system is involved.

Check water accumulation

An accumulation of water on the surface sometimes results from different causes, all of which must be corrected at the same time. Some producers have removed ditches believing that drainage would suffice. However, this is an error in several cases. In fact, drainage drains percolating water through the ground. However, if 30 mm of rain falls, the surface water must drain quickly, otherwise, accumulations will form. In addition to an efficient drainage system, it must be checked whether the relief of the ground allows surface water to be evacuated correctly, whether the water trapped in the depressions could be evacuated by gullies or rock wells, etc.

Underground drainage is not everything!

If a connector that has been plugged for years has created a wetland, let's not assume that fixing it will fix the problem. In reality, the producer certainly did not prevent himself from sowing or doing his work simply because a small section remained wet. It circulates there anyway and, unfortunately, the earth compacts. However, once the system is repaired, drip will still be problematic, since compaction also prevents water from reaching the drain. Soil-subsoil work carried out not at random, but well under the compacted area, will then be necessary. In short, if underground drainage remains very important, surface drainage is just as important. And both must be addressed at the same time.

The sources of problems around a drain outlet

The obstruction of the connectors by roots represents one of the first sources of problems of a drain outlet. Let’s watch especially for elms, poplars, maples, and willows. Their roots, in search of water, quickly penetrate into drains or connectors and roll up there for a certain distance. They can occupy half the diameter of the drain. Some completely prevent water from flowing. If it stays cool along the ditches, it's a good clue. The situation can only be corrected by changing the connector or the drain. In prevention, it is better to cut down these trees. Be careful however, this does not mean eliminating your windbreak hedge!

Drainage - poor condition

The integrity of the drain outlet is another element to watch. The pipe protruding from the bank must not have been cut or torn off. In addition, it must have a grid in place. The issue here: preventing rodents from entering through the exit of drains. A drainage system is a luxury condo for muskrats! Once inside, they are used to drilling holes vertically to the surface. The holes then let the earth collapse in the drain, which clogs it. Learn more about solving drain problems.


Submerged drain outlets reveal an important problem. If the place where the outlet spills already has a water level equal to or higher than that of the drains, drip is obviously compromised. On the one hand, the field remains wet, on the other hand, standing water can cause a deposit of suspended particles. This build-up of sediment in the pipes then hinders the circulation of water and ages the system more quickly. In short, a drain outlet must be at least 15 to 30 cm above the normal water level of the ditch where it drains. It is important to clean it accordingly.

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