5 Ways To Stop Your Yard Flooding From Rain
Every region has its own storm season, and when yours comes, will you be ready? Storms mean rain, and rain often means flooding. Floods can come slow and steady, rising a few inches every few days, or they can come all at once.
No matter where you live or how floods come in your area, you should be prepared to protect your lawn from flooding. Flooding doesn’t have to mean raging waters carrying your car off. Your yard can flood and cause irreparable damage without even necessarily seeing the water.
So, why do yards flood, and how can you stop it?
Why Do Yards Flood?
Most properties, even older ones that haven’t been recently regraded or had a new foundation laid, have some kind of infrastructure in place to run off excess flooding. Whether that means underground drainage, French drains above ground, gutters that deposit rainwater six feet from the house, or any other method, flood prevention is a standard design feature of most properties.
However, many homeowners find that the existing drainage infrastructure in place isn’t enough. Every year homeowners choose to re-landscape, regrade their property, and reconfigure the drainage system to avoid costly damage control down the line.
How do you know when it’s time to put better drainage systems in place? First, you have to understand why yards flood. There are two big reasons why yards can flood—freak weather occurrences, such as hurricanes and downpours, and insufficient or broken drainage infrastructure.
If you notice water pooling at the edges of your yard or the crack between the soil and the foundation, it’s time to check the gutters, pipes, and other systems you have in place and consider getting an upgrade.
Read more: How to maintain your french drains
How To Stop Your Yard From Flooding in the Rain
The time to look into renovating the way you prevent flooding in your yard is now. It can be a costly, time-consuming process, but it pales in comparison to how time-consuming and expensive a bad flood will be for you without these protections in place.
1. Regrade your yard
The “grade” of a property is another word for the incline or slope of the land that it is on. The grade of your yard has a lot to do with how rain falls, collects, and runs off of it.
The most efficient yards when it comes to water drainage have a slope of at least 2% away from the house, which means that for every 100 feet, there is a downward slope of two feet. It’s simple physics. If there’s no hill for the water to run down, it will stay in place and cause you all sorts of problems.
2. Install a dry well
Soil has a lot to do with drainage, and some soils absorb water faster than others. If your yard seems to suck in the water quickly, don’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet. That water isn’t disappearing. It’s simply moving underground, and it can flood there too.
Dry wells are tanks installed within the ground that use perforated pipes to collect and slowly release excess water into the surrounding soil.
3. Plant a rain garden
Shrubs, flowers, and trees are a great, natural way to prevent flooding. The complex root system of these plants burrow deep in the earth in trees, sometimes 10, 20, 30 feet, and more.
Those roots not only absorb water that seeps into the ground, but they also provide a rigid structure that compacts the surrounding soil, making it firm and harder to be damaged.
4. Invest in a sump pump
A sump pump is almost like a dry well, but it is mechanical. These machines are housed in the basement of houses prone to flooding. Switch the device on, and it pumps water manually away from the foundation.
Sump pumps are common in places like the Florida Keys, where rain, hurricanes, and humidity are common.
How To Stop Water Runoff From Neighbor’s Yard: 5 Simple Ways
1. Build a Berm
In short, berms are large mounds of soil. While it’s typically a feature for landscaping, it can be an excellent way to prevent water from reaching your home.
You can plant grass or other vegetation on a berm to enhance the aesthetics of your landscape. The primary purpose of using a berm is to stop water from reaching areas of your home you wish to protect.
Before constructing your berm, you’ll need to measure where the water will run off to. You can also think about what kind of plants you want to grow on it to match the rest of your landscape.
Most people cover their berms with grass because it’s easier to maintain, but you can plant a wide variety of vegetation if you want to add style to your property.
Here are a few factors to consider when constructing a berm:
- Start small and add more soil if necessary.
- Make sure you plan out how the water will flow before building your berm. You could prevent it from reaching certain areas of your home only to find it damaging another part of your property.
- A lot of people try to make their berm circular. However, C-shaped constructions tend to work better for diverting water.
- Compact your soil carefully as one bad rainstorm can destroy your berm.
- If you’re adding plants, choose ones that like to live in drier environments.
Read more: Landscaping to prevent flooding
2. Route the Water into a Dry Well
If you want to prevent runoff coming from your neighbor’s yard into your property, then a dry well is an excellent solution. Dry wells create an underground area where the water can gather.
However, creating one isn’t easy and requires some hard work. That said, it’s by far one of the most effective solutions out there. It will collect water from the soil and run it through a downspout into a tank.
You can purchase dry wells at most home and garden stores, but make sure you find one that’s durable and simple to install.
After installing your well, be sure to check it occasionally to see if there’s any sediment debris clogging the tank.
If there’s too much debris, the tank can’t drain water as efficiently. Too much debris may require you to repair or replace your dry well, so it’s best to remove any sediment before it has the chance to over clog.
3. Use a French Catch Basin
A French catch basin (also known as a French drain) is another fantastic way to get the pesky water coming from your neighbor’s house away from your property.
In short, a French catch basin is a linear structure made from gravel and piping that transfers water from the top of a slope downward.
It’s an excellent defense against flooding and water damage not only from your neighbor’s yard but also from severe rainstorms.
Here are a few tips to consider when installing your French drain:
- Plan out the area you wish to place your French drain thoroughly. This may involve breaking up the gravel you’ll place inside.
- You’ll need to think about where you’ll put your removed dirt. If the soil is good, you can consider using it to start a small garden.
- Hand digging can be hard work. If possible, try and assemble a small team to get the job done faster.
With the right tools and a little extra help, installing a French basin isn’t too tricky.
Before you start digging, make sure you reach out to your utility provider to see if there are any community pipes below your property. The last thing you want to do is burst a pipe and allow even more flooding into your yard.
Factors Affecting Water Runoff From Neighbor’s Yard
Residing at the Bottom of a Slope
If your home rests at the bottom of a hill or slope, it’s more likely that water will eventually make its way to your structure.
If your neighbor’s home has a flood, some of that water could reach your yard and cause property damage.
However, applying one of the above methods will help stop the water from entering any important areas of your house.
Your Neighbor Makes a Change to Their Landscaping
Anytime your neighbor makes any major changes to their landscaping, it may cause flooding into your yard. If their previous yard design diverted water in a different direction from your home but now that structure is gone, the water can flow in freely.
While there’s not much you can do about stopping your neighbors from changing their lawn, you can construct preventative measures to keep water from entering your yard.
Severe Weather Conditions
If there’s a massive rainstorm, chances are your lawn is going to get soaked.
If you put the above factors into the picture, even more water can flow in from next door.
Once again, having the right structures to divert the excess flow away from hazardous areas is your best defense against water damage.
Effects Of Water Runoff From Neighbor’s Yard
Having too much water around your house is a recipe for disaster. Although the soil does soak up a significant amount of moisture, any water left sitting there can cause a wide variety of problems.
Here are some of the effects of water runoff if you don’t handle the problem right away:
Drowns Your Plants and Grass
It takes a lot of hard work to keep your lawn looking good, especially when you have a vast array of plants. Too much water on your property can drown your plants and grass, putting all of your efforts in vain.
If you want to protect your valued vegetation, make sure you drain your yard right away if it becomes flooded.
Turns Your Yard Into a Pest Paradise
You can probably count all the people in the world who enjoy having mosquitos around on one finger. When your yard becomes overrun with water, it becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes and numerous other pests.
What’s more, those creatures can and will eventually make their way inside your home.
If you want to keep your home free of pests, keeping your yard dry is one of the best defenses.
Your Lawn Becomes Slippery
When your yard gets extremely wet from water runoff, the surfaces become slippery and potentially dangerous.
People can injure themselves by slipping and falling, so it’s best to avoid this if possible.
What To Do After a Neighbor’s Water Floods My Yard?
If your lawn becomes flooded due to water runoff from your neighbor’s house, try your best not to panic.
While the situation may seem drastic at first, it’s quite easy to fix.
As you can see from the information above, there are numerous ways you can manipulate your landscape to prevent water from flowing in.
Here are some additional tips:
- Plants can be powerful tools for preventing water from reaching delicate areas of your home. Not only do they help block the excess water, but they also absorb a significant amount of it. Furthermore, plants do an excellent job of filtering pollutants and other hazardous compounds.
- If your home is on a slope, you’ll need to stack soil to divert the water from your structure. If you don’t have the time or tools, consider getting professional help.
- Take good care of your soil. Unhealthy soil doesn’t do that great of a job at absorbing moisture. If your soil is dry, consider mulching or replacing it.
- Trees are one of your biggest allies for keeping your yard free of floods. Keep all your trees in gold health, and they will return the favor by soaking up all that excess water.
Can You Sue Neighbor For Water Runoff?
When figuring out who’s responsible for the water runoff, there are typically two factors to consider.
If the flooding is the result of the weather, then suing probably isn’t the best option.
However, there may be grounds for legal action if your neighbor does something negligent that creates excess flooding into your property.
Anyone who receives constant flooding and property damage due to water runoff from their neighbors could seek legal advice from an attorney. However, this is bound to create a lot of tension between you and the family living right next to you. You should avoid legal action unless there are simply no other options.
If you do have to turn to a lawyer, make sure they take a good look at your insurance policy to see if there’s any way your plan can offset some repair costs.
Read more: How to dry a flooded garage
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is responsible for water runoff?
If water is on your property, you must clean it up as soon as possible for safety. Once the problem is resolved, you can confront your neighbor and determine culpability.
Can I sue my Neighbour for water damage?
If your neighbor was negligent with their landscaping or construction, you might have grounds to pursue a lawsuit. Always consult with a lawyer before taking any legal action.
How effective are dry wells?
A dry well is an excellent way to capture water runoff. However, if it overflows, the dry well no longer functions. They can also become polluted by collecting all water and debris (during flooding, this includes sewage).
Don’t Go it Alone – Call in the Pros
No doubt, dealing with water runoff can be extremely frustrating. Not only is it a time-consuming project to remove, but it can also cause a great deal of damage to one of your most valuable investments. If you’re struggling with constant flooding in your yard, perhaps you should consider seeking help from a professional.
Have you decided you want to install French drains to deal with yard flooding? Are you sure you want to do that on your own? When in doubt about flood prevention, call in the pros at All Dry USA. Our 24/7 services are available 365 days a year. Simply call to get a quote.
Here at All Dry USA, we provide quick and easy home restoration services to protect your property from severe damage. Our team of technicians has extensive knowledge of home restoration and is equipped with cutting-edge gear to get the job done promptly. We’ve helped countless families with flooded yards, and we’d love to help you next.
Call our team today to speak to an expert and get a free estimate