Importance of Proper Drainage in Your Yard

Whenever it rains, we have standing water in our yard. Is this a problem, and what should we do about it? -Emily

Standing water and poor drainage in your yard can cause several serious problems, including:

  • Attracting and increasing mosquitoes in your yard.
  • Causing fungus and other diseases in your lawn.
  • Allowing water to seep into your basement or crawlspace.

To fix drainage problems in your yard:

  • Fill in any low spots in your yard with topsoil.
  • Slope the ground next to the foundation away from your house.
  • Make sure planting bed borders aren’t preventing water from draining away from your foundation.

Watch this video to find out more.


Further Information


Emily Asks: Every time it rains, we have standing water all around the back patio. Is there a way to stop this?

Danny Lipford: Having water pond around your house anywhere is not a good idea, even out in the yard. This can attract mosquitoes, and it’ll certainly encourage fungus and disease growth in your yard. And that means a lot of dead grass, just like we have here.

Even more importantly, you don’t want the water ponding next to your house. That can affect the integrity of the ground; and, sooner or later, you’re going to have some foundation settling. That’s not a good idea. Also, water next to your foundation, can force its way into your basement, creating a really wet basement.

Now, the solution is simply to spread dirt around the perimeter of your house and grade it, so that it encourages the water to move immediately away from the house. Also, make sure your landscaping is not acting as a dam to prevent that water from flowing away.


  1. Our front yard has no grass – landscaped with ornamental grasses, perennials and bark dust. Water gathers in middle of yard away from house but somehow gets into the basement. We suspect it follows a plumbing pipe. Do we need to dig down to pipe and put gravel under it? Ground is clay. Thank You so much.

  2. My neighbor(catercorner from me) put in a pool too close to his fence and now when it rains I get water backing up , by my fence, ( where I have cavern stones) .I have rods and screws in my neck, is there any way , besides putting in a drain, that I can easily , get the water moving.

    Thank You

  3. This was excellent in assisting us with our program with our standing water. It was carrying approximately 12feet through our back yard and killing our grass from the left side of our garden area. My garden I’d beautiful until heavy rain. We had tried everything until I read this article! Such a magnificent French Drain. It has been raining for 3 days….No Problems! Thank you from The Country Garden!

    My house has a sub pump when it raining we’ve to close the valve behind the washer otherwise sewer water will come in! Last week we open the valve so we can wash clothes,there was about half a cup came out of the valve. The city tried to clear it on the public sewer line but didn’t solve issues so we called the plumbers and they run a snake type of tools and he said it stop about 15 foot from the house.
    So they said the pipes maybe had collapsed and the will dig the yard Monday,but we can’t wash 2 full loads,I wonder if he’s being honest.Im so scared for the water to back up,we going to have more than a dozen people for Thanksgiving

  5. Hi. I live in the corner house. My neighbor build another room with bathroom sauna room. It’s next to my back yard. But every time they use the water our back yard has cement and. Grass and dirt . The cement gets stain like if it had rained. We want to know what’s wrong. Do I go tell the city? Also we are separated buy a cement wall. The bottom of the cement also gets wet and stain. I would like to know what’s happening. Thank you. Please Advise

  6. patio installed now water coming through holes that are drilled in basement floors. I called the landscaper to relay problem he said there was frozen drain line. I am perplexed why the water was coming through the holes. Are the holes in the floor weep holes

  7. The neighbor across the road has about 7 acres of farmland, which drains through a 24″ culvert , under the road nto our yard.
    The other neighbors, to the South of us also have a 24″ culvert under their driveway that also drains into our yard.
    There is a beehive drain in our yard to drain excess storm water, but that pipe is only 8″ in diameter.. Needless to say, our yard and 3 other neighbors have to deal with this flooding every spring thaw, & heavy storms.
    Who is responsible for the management & maintenance of these storm sewers? How about the property damage it causes?

    • Hi, Lisa!
      It depends on where you live, but generally, the property owner is responsible for sewer lines under his or her property. Good luck!

  8. Our neighbor has a underground spring. Our house was built after there’s. We only lived here 9 years, they 35 years. The past 4 years it’s now coming into our yard making it so we can’t mow our lawn. I have a picture of this. There is a drain pipe going under our drive way to the sewer. Leaves clog it up. So it goes over our drive way. Help we don’t have any money to fix this.

    • Hi, Teresa! We recommend contacting your area home builders association. Many of these organizations have local community service projects in which volunteers donate their time and expertise to someone in need.
      Use this link to find the home builders association near you:
      You might also try the U.S. Rural Housing Repair Loans and Grants Program. Find out if you’re eligible for this option here:
      Good luck!

    • Hi, Russell!
      That’s an interesting question, and since we do home improvements — not law — we suggest contacting an attorney for the most up-to-date advice. 🙂

  9. Water comes off the house even though it has gutter & is running down beside the deck making a funnel path(water digging it out). Is there a easy way to fix this because I will have to do it myself. I am 73 & a woman with no money to pay someone.


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