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The Vandenberg Blog

Common Drainage Issues & How to Fix Them

What to do when your lawn starts puddling

flooded lawn

"When it rains, it pours" applies to a lot of problems in life.

Your landscape is not exempt. One of the most common issues in our clients' landscapes is a lack of drainage, which means big puddles, bugs, unwanted wildlife, damage to your home and more!

The Lower Mainland receives, on average, 65% more rain than four other major Canadian cities combined. Don't let that ruin your yard and stop you from enjoying the sunny days because of drainage issues.

Improper grading

Having a proper slope surrounding your house is very important particularly in our mountainous region. If you're at the bottom of a steep slope or hill, the water could run down toward your home with disastrous consequences.

Improper grading means the slope around your house is ineffective at moving the water away from your home, causing damage to its foundation and leading to cracks and mold. The area surrounding your house should have at least a 5-degree downward slope to direct water away from the foundation.


Geographical features

Some regions are susceptible to poor drainage solely based on physical features like mountains and bogs. In our region, there are two types of issues we see:

Peat soil is essentially part of wetlands. It's soil with little to no drainage at all. A great solution is to include rocks and gravel to your landscape by replacing sections of your lawn with gravel walkways. Water drains faster through gravel which helps drain the poor soil. 

If you have peat or boggy soil, consider creating a beautiful rock garden or gravel paths that use lots of gravel to help drainage.

Rocky landscapes and soil are a common occurrence in landscapes around our region. It can be difficult and costly to dig to build drainage systems with this type of landscape. 

At Vandenberg Landscapes, we bring in our own soil mix to ensure that the landscapes we build have proper drainage and good quality soil. This soil is created with 70% sand which helps water run through the soil and properly drain instead of becoming stagnant and saturated.

man in puddle

Excessive rain and flooding

Without proper drainage systems in place your property could quickly flood in heavy rains. This issue is common in hilly areas with groundwater runoff. The water will run down, flooding under the surface and can be hard to detect before damage like fungus and diseased plants occur on your property. Our most common drainage system solutions are:

  • Catch basins are installed at the lowest point of your property to collect rainwater and runoff. Catch basins are connected to a system of pipes that distribute the water away from your yard to the basin.
  • French drains, which consist of a trench that’s filled with gravel and has a pipe running through it. The purpose is to reroute the flow of water away from an area towards a basin.
  • Dry wells are used at the end of your drainage system. Dry wells are holes with gravel that act like a filter while the water is dispersed deep underground.

Get back to enjoying your landscape

The first step to fixing any drainage issue is to understand how to control the water. Start by asking yourself if your drainage issue needs to have water rerouted entirely or if you need a design solution that helps soil absorb and drain the water. Here at Vandenberg Landscapes, we have plenty of solutions and would be happy to help you. You can schedule a consultation with us to see how we can help.

Written by  Matt Vandenberg