5 Tips for Improving Your Yard Drainage

Rose Morrison – June 23, 2021

When excess rainwater sits in your yard, you can experience numerous issues. This buildup can turn your lawn into a soggy mess — but your home can also endure foundational damage. It’s key for all homeowners to prioritize proper water drainage to maintain their outdoor spaces.

Water will seep into your home’s foundation if it pools around the base of your house. It wears away at the concrete, resulting in major or minor cracks that cause roof damage, framing issues and even leakage problems with your windows. Use these five tips to avoid these costly challenges and improve your yard drainage.

1. Add a rain barrel

If you’re after an especially eco-friendly way to improve your yard’s drainage, you should consider a rain barrel. These inventions collect rainwater that flows down your home’s gutters and downspouts. Then, you can use the rainwater to water your garden.

  • Arrange a solid raised foundation, like an array of bricks, under a downspout.
  • Install a mesh opening at the top of a plastic barrel (this helps keep out critters, leaves and other debris).
  • Add a faucet and hose to the bottom of the plastic barrel.
  • Set up the plastic barrel under the downspout.

When you’re ready to use the rainwater, you can empty the water through the faucet and hose.

2. Create a french drain

A French drain will help you improve your yard’s drainage system without any unsightly features. Here, you’ll create a small trench straight across your lawn to a point where you want the water to flow. After, you can lay a perforated PVC pipe in the channel. Add gravel on top.

This setup allows the water to drain through the gravel into the pipe, allowing the water to flow to the designated area.

3. Construct a retaining wall

Add a design element to your backyard with a retaining wall. These walls are the perfect way to contain excess dirt, so it doesn’t flood into your backyard. Retaining walls can also allow you to increase the area’s drainage capacity at the same exact time.

If you already have retaining walls in your yard, you should ensure they have holes or pipes incorporated into the construction. Those measures are necessary to ensure proper water flow. Make sure any new builds are the right height for your yard so they can prevent erosion.

4. Aerate your backyard

Here’s a super-simple trick you can do to aid in water drainage. Sometimes, water likes to sit atop grass — and in large amounts, you have a problem on your hands. To ensure all the water can absorb into the ground, you can use a lawn aeration tool.

If you live in an area that experiences significant rainfall, you should aerate your lawn every one or two years to achieve the maximum effects. This trick involves pulling cores of soil from the ground to let in air. Then, rainwater can have a faster way to soak into the yard.

5. Build a rain garden

A rain garden is the perfect way to add form and function to your backyard. This idea works well for low spots in outdoor areas that tend to collect water. Rather than let the water sit, you can construct a rain garden.

Recreate the space by adding soil and compost and planting water-loving plants and flowers before redirecting the water. Then, you can route a downspout toward that area. French drains are great for rain gardens, as they add to the aesthetic appeal.


No one wants a wet and soggy yard. That’s not only potentially bad for your home, but it’s also a factor that affects the plants and flowers you have outside. These ideas will help you create the best possible environment for your garden in a way that doesn’t harm the planet.


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