Why is My Lawn Filled With Water and Not Draining

lawn filled with water

A common problem for many homeowners is having your lawn filled with water and it not draining anywhere.

Water is necessary for the care of the lawn and plants, but too much water or water in the wrong places can cause extensive damage.

There is also a health risk with mosquito-borne diseases as well as various algae and pathogens. Determining the cause of the water problem is an important first step in being able to resolve it.

There are some issues that require much more intensive labor to fix like having the wrong grade or a high water table, but there are also some problems like lawn thatch or low spots in the yard that can be fixed more easily. For any of your lawn care problems, hiring a lawn care professional to help solve your problem may save you a lot of time!

This article will explain the common reasons there is standing water on your lawn and potential ways to fix the issue.

Wrong Grade

A serious and potentially expensive issue that is far too common is having the ground around the home at the wrong grade.

Grade is the angle or slope of the lawn around the house and it should be graded so water flows away from the house. The wrong grade can affect new homes just as easily as older homes.

Having the wrong grade allows water to either run along the foundation of the house or into the basement or it can lead to standing water along the house.

This can lead to structural damage, making the house unsafe.

Therefore, if the grade is wrong and water is becoming an issue, it’s definitely time to call in the experts.

They will be able to evaluate the property along with the grade and determine what is necessary to fix the problem.

Clay and Compacted Soil and Hardpan

Another frequent problem is having clay under the topsoil. Clay doesn’t allow water to easily drain.

The best way to handle having clay soil is to amend it with a fertilizer like manure or compost that will eventually allow more places for water to drain.

However, having clay under a lawn can present the problem of not being able to amend it easily. It may be necessary to replace the lawn in extremely bad situations.

Compacted soil has similar results but is usually caused by excessive foot traffic or large machinery used in building or landscaping.

Preventing compacted soil can be as simple as creating a specific walk area with bricks or rocks. If the soil is compacted it can be amended with organic material to help loosen the compacted areas and allow water to drain. 

Hardpan is a third type of soil-related problem. Hardpan is the subsoil below the topsoil and it can occur naturally. The simplest way to deal with the hardpan is to dig down below the subsoil to break it up, allowing the water to drain through it. 

Clay, compacted soil, and hardpan all create a barrier that water has a hard time soaking through. The best way to attempt to fix the problem is to amend the soil so water has a place to go.

However, sometimes an expert is necessary as amending the soil may be too difficult in certain circumstances and the lawn may need to be torn up or re-graded.

Lawn Thatch

Lawn thatch includes any debris like sticks or leaves or even roots that are between the grass blades and the actual ground. This layer of debris prevents water from absorbing into the ground.

Your lawn filled with water will either accumulate on the surface or run to a low spot. One way to get rid of the thatch is to rake the grass with a dethatching rake or, for larger areas, use a mower with a dethatching blade.

This will remove the debris and allow the water to seep into the soil. To prevent any issues it’s a good idea to rake or mow before the thatch has a chance to build up.

High Water Table

One of the tougher problems is living in an area with a higher water table, meaning the water underground is closer to the surface.

This means any rain or runoff will have a hard time dispersing because there is already a lot of water and nowhere for it to go which will cause your lawn to be filled with water.

First, it is possible to have the area graded to direct the water to a specific location where it can then drain.

Another solution is to use plants that can live in a wetter environment thereby allowing them to utilize some of the excess water. There are not many other options when the water table is high.

Low Spots

Water always travels to the lowest places so if there is a part of the lawn that is lower the water will accumulate there. Sometimes a low spot can be fixed with a ‘French drain’.

A french drain usually uses a plastic pipe with holes in it placed into a gravel-lined trench which allows the water to be directed to a suitable place away from the home or a low spot.

Often the french drain will end in a deeper pit with rocks that allow the water to seep into the ground without flooding the lawn.

Another solution is a dry creek, basically using how the water naturally flows and putting rocks down to direct it to a preferred place.

One further option is to create a rain garden or even a pond.

Both the rain garden and the pond allow water to collect in a designated area and then slowly seep back into the ground without causing damage.

Poor Draining

Poor draining can also be the result of structural deficiencies because of how a sidewalk is placed or where a street drain is located.

These can be difficult to fix because they are city or county property even though they are diverting water into your lawn or home.

One solution is to incorporate a berm that directs the excess water to a dry creek or a rain garden.

Another possibility is installing pipes to allow the water to flow under the sidewalk or road and run into a better drainage area.

A final possibility is getting in touch through a phone call or email to the proper city or county department with documentation of the problem.

Lawn Experts at Gecko Green

The lawn experts at Gecko Green are ready to help evaluate your lawn. They can help pinpoint problem areas and explain the best options to get them fixed.

With any type of water problems, it’s best to call in the experts as early as possible because the problem usually only gets worse and more expensive as time goes on.

Call for a free quote today!