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Drainage Issues? We’ve Got Answers!

It’s not uncommon to find families with drainage problems in their yards, and that can pose a huge problem when heavy rainstorms come through. In the last few weeks, hurricane weather brought 5-7 inches of rain into the Mid-South, and we received tons of calls about drainage problems as a result. Many homes were flooded, and those that weren’t could end up having problems with a rotting lawn or pests due to standing water. Here at Memphis Landscape, we want to make sure that no natural disaster adds any unnecessary damage to your yard. We understand the dangers that come with poor drainage and want to help you keep your yard resilient no matter what disasters come your way.

Good water drainage can be created with an assessment by a professional and just a few simple steps. The most important thing about drainage is making sure that water is being carried away from your house quickly and consistently. If not, it can cause your lawn to rot, which will keep your garden from thriving and make it easy to harbor pests. Standing water is dangerous and water draining against your home is even worse. The last thing you want is for it to water to leak into your house and cause damage.

Since drainage problems are common in the Memphis area, we’ve put together this list of common drainage problems and how they can be solved.

 

flooded street

Common Drainage Problems

Problem #1 – Yard Pitch or Slope

Most of the problems we find with drainage are the lack of slope or pitch in a yard, which prevents water runoff from being diverted away from the house. The issue can often be made more complicated by downspouts that don’t pipe away the rainwater from the property. A lot of issues can also be caused by houses that are set too low by the builder.

Fortunately, there are several solutions to this problem! When lawn areas are set too low, a French drain or catch basin can be used. However, keep in mind that French drains can get clogged after three to five years of use. You can also create a lower area called a swale (shallow gully) to direct water away. It is always preferable to have runoff water flow naturally over land without resorting to catch basins and French drains.

 

Problem #2 – Front Entrance Walkway

One of the biggest problem areas we see is the space between the front sidewalk and the house. Usually the sidewalk is parallel to the house and creates a piece of land in between them. The sidewalk will then act as a dam and will keep standing water in that area. What makes the problem worse is that downspouts are often directed to this area which means that all the water from the roof will be routed here as well.

One of the more aesthetic ways to solve this problem is by taking a portion of the walkway out and replacing it with stepping stones or you can cut the sidewalk in a design that lets the water through easily. Another solution is to install a pipe and catch basin underneath the sidewalk that can pipe the water away.

 

Problem #3 – Downspout Issues

It’s not uncommon for newer homes to have issues with drainage because builders don’t install downspouts, and this causes water to stay in one spot and not get diverted away from the house. There are also some downspouts that divert water towards the house rather than away from it. This is an issue because water that is directed to the house can end up in the basement or too close to the foundation of the house.

Your solution should not be to send the water to your property line and into your neighbor’s yard. Instead, what you’ll want to do is redirect the water into other areas into your yard where it could do some good.

If your yard is flat, then your only option is to create a pop-up. You start by pitching the slope of the drain pipe. It’ll go down below grade and when it gets to the street, it “pops-up” out of the ground and spills water out onto the street. The only problem with this is if there’s a major storm or water issue, since this can cause water to get backed up in the downspout. The alternative to this is to route the downspout to a dry creek bed or another sub-surface drainage system.

 

Problem #4 – Erosion from Water Runoff

Some problems can occur from excessive downspout water that comes from pipe openings, and this creates erosion areas in your yard. One way to fix this is by installing a dry creek bed to carry the water off. Not only are they functional, but they can become a nice feature in your yard. You can create a natural look by you can use river slicks and boulders. Although it may cost more than it would to install a catch basin, it’s a much better solution to have water running over the surface in a more natural way rather than underground where clogging problems can come up. We can put down a rubber liner and then put rocks on top of it and it acts as a water slide so that there isn’t any silt build-up.

 

Problem #5 – Soggy Trouble Spots

Child standing in flooded yardA lot of people with drainage issues seem to have certain spots in their yard that never dry up, no matter what the weather’s like outside. There are several different reasons this could be happening: you could have a spring or underground creek that might have fractured and is emerging on your lawn, or it could be caused by a large depression in your landscape where all your water is draining.

One solution is to install a rain garden in the location of the problem. It’s a great way to keep water on the property instead of sending to the street curb or into creeks. The best kind of rain garden is an area that has been excavated out and a gravel soil mix being put back in so that the water can be absorbed into the surrounding soil. You can fill these spaces with water-loving plants, and if the area is in a sunny spot, you can plant colorful flowers like perennials to create colorful accents to your yard.

 

How Memphis Landscape Can Help

Whether your problem is small like soil improvement or big like a whole new drain system, you can trust Memphis Landscape to help you get the yard you’ve dreamed of without standing water. We want you to be able to enjoy your home without the worry of storms ruining your property because of flooding and water damage.

If you’re in the Memphis area and have noticed that your yard doesn’t drain as well as it could and need assistance identifying and fixing the problem, get in touch with us so that we can come out and have a look at your yard and decide the best solution for you. Contact us here for more information or give us a call at 901.343.6400

Current Trends in Landscape Design

Whether you are purchasing a new home or you are looking to update your current home, you probably want it composite decking style, that you’re are proud of. You want a place that you use to get away from the toils of the outside world and enjoy the company of your friends and family.  Having a front and backyard that reflects your personality is what makes landscape design such an exciting adventure.  The designer has to find the balance between form and functionality and what matches your desires.  That being said, there are many stylish landscape designs to fit any homeowner’s dream.  Having an experienced landscape designer is important to not only help you decipher what attractive designs to employ but also how to make them work cohesively in your yard. Memphis Landscape has the knowledge and experience to help you decide on what classic or modern landscape designs to employ in your front and backyard to fit your lifestyle. 

Personalized for your Comfort

Most homeowners are looking to make their experience outside specially customized for them.  Depending on what you are looking for this can include anywhere from an outdoor kitchen, fire pit, water garden or a beautiful patio. Making the yard a place where you can enjoy any activity or just relax with friends and family is the goal of a professional landscaper.

Tech in the Garden

Landscape lighting in Memphis yard

Everyone loves today’s technology; it can make life so much easier and entertaining. But when we are without some of that handy tech, we can feel a bit handicapped in our life.  We have the ability to use it freely around the home, and now homeowners want the freedom to use their tech outside the house as well. Landscape designers have heard the call and are starting to incorporate the ability to use technology outside.  This means putting TVs and stereos up to enjoy the football game or music around the patio.  Another comfort is being about to use the wifi on any of their devices while outside, so now people are putting up wifi routers outside as well. You may want to light up your yard at night; there are now solar panel lights that you can put around your yard without the hassle of any wiring.

Locally Grown

Landscaping TrendsNowadays people are looking less for the exotic plants and shrubs from around the world and focusing more on what grows locally. Having exotic flowers or trees is nice, but they require a lot of care.  Some may not do well in the Memphis heat or the random ice storms we have in the winter/spring.  Professional landscapers look for the right kind of plants that will thrive in your native climate.  It will mean less upkeep for you and more time enjoying the yard.  A Lot of people are looking into shrubs and plants that benefit the lawn as a whole. Some plants can help keep away bugs and insects, while other plants and grasses perform better with water absorption and runoff. Ask your landscaper what kind of turf is best for your lawn.

Beauty and Function

Current Landscaping Trends

Having a beautiful backyard that serves both the function of beauty and relaxation is great but what can make it even better is one that feeds you as well.  Planting herbs and vegetables is not only an excellent way to keep your yard beautiful but keep your family healthy as well.  This a perfect addition to that outside kitchen you have; now you can just pick what you want right from the garden.  Herbs do not take a lot of upkeep, and it’s always nice to have fresh produce when seasoning your favorite dish.  Vegetables can take a bit of work with the amount of sunlight or watering needed, but your professional landscaper should be more than capable of assisting you.  

Water is Life

Once you have your dream front or backyard, the next step is keeping it alive.  In Memphis, we are all too familiar with the heavy rain in the spring and the dry, unforgivingly hot summers.  The water runoff from the spring can sometimes ruin your flowers and lawn. In the summer, you might not have enough water to make sure that the garden and yard live to the next year.  That’s why it’s important to think about water irrigation and management system around your yard.

Landscapers have been employing these tools for many years, but nowadays most people are thinking of how to make it fit in with their yard instead of hiding them behind bushes or trees.  Ways that you can conserve water and halt runoff for your shrubs and garden is to incorporate water barrels or catch basins and make them a beautiful part of the yard. You may also want to look into French drains; they are easily concealed and perfect for protecting your lawn from water runoff.

Also having an efficient irrigation system is an important part of having a healthy yard. It will allow you to maintain your lawn and garden during those dry summers.  Being eco-friendly is a popular trend that many homeowners are embracing. You may want to look into a drip-irrigation system.

Classic vs. Modern Styles

There are many methods that you can decorate and center your yard around. Professional landscapers know all the new and traditional techniques that can help make your dream garden come true, whether it’s classic, modern, or maybe even one of the more popular trends that meld the old and newer styles together.  Whatever your desire is your landscaper will be there to assist through the process.

Memphis Landscaping has a knowledgeable and experienced team that would be happy to help you with any of your landscaping needs. If you are in the Greater Memphis Area, please give us so that we can come by and give you a consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!

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