7 Tips for Improving Yard Drainage

Having problems with a waterlogged lawn or standing water in the wrong areas? You’re probably dealing with poor yard drainage. If this is the case, then look for drainage specialists in Naperville who can help you by providing solutions. There could be several reasons your lawn has too much water, like soil compaction, debris, and poor slope.

The next time you have ongoing drainage issues, try these seven yard drainage tips for improving drainage in your lawn.

Front yard with dry creek bed

Why doesn’t my yard drain well?

When it comes to diagnosing your lawn’s drainage problems, it could be a variety of things. Your soil might be in poor condition, your lawn’s slope is bad, you don’t have enough downspouts — or plenty of other problems. 

Some of the most common reasons for poor yard drainage are:

  • Too much clay content – Clay in soil helps retain nutrients and moisture. But if it’s too dense, it retains too much water.
  • High water table – The water table is an area where the soil is completely saturated with water, causing the water to fill all the gaps between sediment, rocks, and particles. If the water table is too high, it may take in more water than it can drain.
  • Buried debris – If your yard has areas that look dead or discolored, check for underground wood, rocks, and other debris that can impede the drainage of your soil.
  • Compacted soil and hardpans – When heavy machinery and foot traffic push down the soil, it reduces pore spaces for water and air. Too much compaction can lead to hardpans, which are hardened layers of soil or clay just below the surface. Hardpans don’t absorb water, making the top layer of lawn waterlogged.
  • Slope – Areas at the base of hills or slopes tend to have drainage problems because stormwater collects there.
  • Gutter downspout – The downspout is the vertical pipe that attaches to your gutter and channels water down to the ground. If the downspout is not long enough, it could release water into the soil too quickly, causing muddy pools to form in your garden.
  • Walkways Pathways near your home can obstruct runoff from making it to a storm drain, leading to poor landscape drainage. This causes the water to collect in the soil, potentially damaging plants and grass.

Now that you know what causes drainage issues, let’s look at 10 yard drainage tips to address drainage problems.

Puddle in a flooded lawn with green grass

Install a french drain

A French drain is a trench dug in your yard that is filled with gravel or rock. It redirects surface water and groundwater away from one area and toward another. Choosing the right spot for a French drain is critical because it relies on gravity to draw the water downward toward it.

Putting in a French drain isn’t a simple task — you’ll have to take a lot of measurements and determine the depth of the drain pipe. If you want a French drain installed properly, and in the right spot in your yard, you may want to contact a professional for help which can help you with French drain installation in Naperville.

Build a rain garden

A rain garden is an area of your lawn that’s been dug out or is naturally depressed. It collects rain water from your roof, driveway, street, or wherever water tends to gather. You fill your rain garden with plants that help absorb and filter the excess water. This prevents it from flooding your lawn.

To build a rain garden, you’ll need to remove about two or three feet of soil, make sure your base is level, build a berm, and install a catch basin for any overflow.

Grade your landscape

When your lawn has a natural slope to it, it’s common for rainwater to gather and flood the base of the slope. To correct this problem, you may need to have your lawn regraded. This involves leveling out the land so water flows properly, without flooding.

Leveling your landscape can be a big job, so you might want to call a professional landscaper to help you with this yard drainage tip.

Install permeable pavers

A permeable paver is a specially designed paver to help promote good drainage. They’re usually made of a porous material so that stormwater can flow through them or between the gaps in between pavers. They also tend to be wider than normal pavers.

Installing permeable pavers in areas where there tends to be a lot of storm runoff can help prevent the water from flowing to your lawn.

Cement drain basket for french drain with grate on top

Clean your gutters and add downspouts

One of the simplest things you can do to promote healthy lawn drainage and prevent water problems inside your home is cleaning out your gutters. It’s not a fun chore but it’s necessary to do about one or two times per year.

When gutters and downspouts are full of leaves or other debris, it can cause them to overflow and release excess water on your lawn. This can lead to a situation where the basement will become flooded, and you will require a team who specializes in Naperville flooded basement maintenance.


Lawn aeration is piercing your lawn with a lot of holes to help break up the soil and let it breathe. It allows more air to get into your soil and can also help resolve compaction problems. Additionally, it also encourages the growth of worms and other tiny plants and animals that need oxygen and can enrich your soil.

The best time of year to aerate your lawn is usually late spring or early summer — during peak growing season so that it recovers quickly.

Build a dry creek bed

A dry creek bed is an area of your lawn where you add rocks or gravel. When it rains, water flows through the bed, turning it into a small creek. It helps with redirecting water in a quick, controlled way, thanks to the use of river rock.

When you build a creek bed, you’ll want it to lead to a drainage area such as a catch basin. By running over the rocks rather than seeping into your soil, a dry creek bed is an esthetic way to deal with lawn drainage problems. These are just some ways that make your drainage beautiful.

Solve drainage problems in your yard

When your lawn has too much water, don’t lose your cool. Try one of these DIY yard drainage tips to see if the problem goes away. You can opt anytime for a Naperville professional landscape drainage. Or, you might consider calling a professional landscaper to help with your drainage issues. It is important to solve your drainage problems before winter.

At Ware Landscaping, we’ve been helping homeowners and business owners in Naperville and Chicago with their lawn drainage problems. Contact us today for a free consultation for your lawn.