Landscaping ideas for poor drainage in Sioux Falls

When it rains, it pours.

That’s especially true if your home suffers from poor drainage in Sioux Falls. After a heavy rainfall, you may be left dealing with leaks, floods, and even water damage.

However, with the right landscaping, you can actually improve your drainage issues and avoid water damage altogether! Try these five landscaping tips.

1. Grade Your Lot Properly

It’s simple geometry: if your lawn is sloping down toward your house, rather than away from it, water will flow down toward your foundation as well.

Experts recommend grading your landscaping at least six inches downward for every 10 horizontal feet from your foundation.

If water is pooling near your foundation, you may need a new drainage plan. Today’s Homeowner suggests you:

  • Spread dirt around the perimeter of your house.
  • Grade it downward.
  • Ensure your landscaping isn’t acting as a dam to prevent that water from flowing away.

2. Watch Your Mulch

Mulch can help your landscape maintain the right amount of moisture, enriching the soil and protecting your foundation. Mulching your flower beds can help direct excess water away from your home.

When mulching, be sure to leave a six-inch gap between the material and your siding. “Don’t go closer than that because moisture can wick up from the mulch bed and rot the siding,” warns landscape company owner Scott Michel.

3. Create a Swale or Rain Garden

A swale is a drainage ditch that channels rainwater from one place to another. Along the way, it helps filter runoff by allowing it to seep into the soil and saturate nearby plants.

A rain garden is a shallow basin planted as a flower bed that collects rainwater and allows it to slowly sink into the soil. For optimum drainage, make sure the rain garden is at least ten feet from your house and four times that far from a steep slope or septic system — you don’t want it to oversaturate.

While swales are more of a path for water, rain gardens are more of a destination. Both are excellent options for dealing with poor drainage in Sioux Falls. (Learn more about how to create a swale here.)

4. Use the Right Soil

Some drainage problems are simply due to the wrong soil. There are three basic types of soil: clay, sand, and silt. Heavy clay-based soils won’t drain well, while sandy soils right around your home will cause water to drain down the sides of your foundation.

Horizon Landscape Company says you can improve your soil by using a coarse aggregate, like sand or pea gravel and organic matter.

5. Plant the Right Trees

The right trees can help you reduce stormwater runoff and soil erosion by slowing and soaking up precipitation. Key word: the right trees.

Many tree species have invasive root systems that can actually damage your foundation. When choosing trees for your property, consider your soil composition, the distance between the tree and your foundation, and the species of tree.

Granite Foundation Repair suggests planting these tree species for poor drainage areas:

  • Tree-form evergreen shrubs (e.g. cherry laurel, ligustrum, or wax myrtle)
  • Low-growing shrubs (e.g. holly, boxwood, or juniper)
  • Vining plants for ground covers (e.g. creeping juniper, ivy, or liriope)
  • Small ornamental trees (e.g. star magnolia, redbud, or dogwood)

Remember to plant trees in the right spot (with optimal sun exposure and distance from your home) at the right time (in the early spring or fall) in the right way (by following these tree-planting steps from Reduce Your Stormwater). Consult an arborist for the best recommendations for your home.

What If You’re Too Late?

Water damage from flooding in Sioux Falls

If none of these landscaping ideas work — or if you just don’t have time to pull them off — you might find your home in a bit of a bind the next time heavy rains flood Sioux Falls. That’s when it’s time to call the professionals.

For the best water damage restoration services in Sioux Falls and Yankton, give INTEK a call. Not only will we dry and clean the affected area, we can also provide you with any further construction services or professional painting necessary.

At INTEK, we know that floods can happen on a moment’s notice, so whatever water disaster you’re facing, we can take care of it quickly and effectively. We’ve even got a 24-hour emergency clean-up crew that’s available day or night — weekends and holidays included.

So when your landscaping needs a little boost this summer, contact us. We’ll eliminate the rain, so you can focus on the shine.