How to Fix Drainage Problems in Your Yard

To fix your drainage problem you need to look at different elements of your yard, slope, gutters, proper drainage, landscaping, and hardscaping.

Neighbor’s yard flooding your lawn? Muddy, Standing water on side of house? Drainage problems between houses?

If you live in a residential planned community in the greater Houston area, you are more than likely aware of the close proximity between you and your neighbors. These small spaces between houses can leave you with less than desirable areas, dead grass, mud and even standing water. Any dog owner will tell you about the tremendous mess that is created due to foot traffic and wet conditions. Not to mention the muddy paw prints that are unknowingly tracked onto your floors. 

Is the side of your house flooding at times; causing you problems? As we move into the winter months, frequent rain showers and cooler temps are causing access water to stand in these areas of your yard.  In most cases, there can be five feet or less between your fence and your residence. This bodes the same on your neighbor’s side. The angle of the sun is much lower in the sky, creating shaded areas that were once sun soaked spaces. 

Here are a few solutions to reclaim these narrow spaces and eliminate some potential problems:


Check the slope of the area, back to front, between your house and the fence. You should see a positive slope, allowing excess water to drain away from the house and possibly toward the street. High spots and low spots are causing water to back up and creating small retention areas. A few wheel barrows of soil can go a long way once overlaid with sod. If the area is always wet in dry climate conditions, and it’s not your irrigation, the problem is most likely your neighbor irrigating the lawn way more than they should and they probably don’t even know. This is extremely common. 


Check to see if you have gutters along the sides of your residence. Roof water is the number one culprit, forcing hundreds of gallons to fall into your side yard.  Installing gutters will divert water into downspouts and redirect the flow into well drain areas. We recommend at least a 5’’ or 6’’ gutter regardless of the size of the home. The extra money spent toward this is well worth it. A neighbor without gutters can cause a great deal of issues too, but handling your end of the bargain will address this significantly.   


Even with gutters, downspout water can be an issue if your yard, or side yard in this case, is not properly sloped. In these cases, we install 4” drain pipe, connecting the downspouts and burying them all the way to the street.  Most homes that come with drains from the builder will have a black corrugated pipe, but we recommend a solid 4’’ PVC with PVC gutter adaptors primarily due to durability over time. This is one of our most highly recommended solutions to remove excess water from the sides of your yard.  This pipe must be installed at a slope allowing gravity to move the water toward the street. When using PVC drain pipe, having a slope of 1’’ every 4 to 8 linear feet should get the job done with precision.  Once installed properly, the only standing water on the ground in the event of a rain will be from the sky.

Remember not to connect more than 4 downspouts on the same 4’’ PVC drain line because if the pipe reaches capacity, it will then overflow at the gutter. This all depends on the pitch of roof and the amount of gutters that you are catching in the pipe. Catch basins can also be added to the system at the same time or down the road, allowing excess water to channel toward them, entering the system and emitting to or toward the street. These catch basins can help catch water coming from an adjacent yard as well. An NDS pop-up emitter can be purchased from Home Depot or Lowe’s in the drainage section and you can install this level at the curb and water will release at grade and into the street. Another alternative to this would be to saw cut the curb, but make sure to get HOA approval prior to doing this.                         


If the area is just too shady and does not receive any sun, gravel and stepping stones may be the solution for you.  Removing the grass, re-sloping the grade, installing weed barrier fabric and finishing it off with gravel, is the most cosmetic and attractive alternative. Different colors, shapes, sizes and types of gravel are available and come in different price ranges.  By adding some decorative stepping stones, an architectural pathway can be created to enhance the aesthetic value of your yard. Here are a few instances where we have tackled these issues recently.

If you live in The Woodlands, Spring, Cypress, Conroe, Magnolia, Tomball or Houston are and are interested in learning more about these options, please call Envy Exteriors for a free consultation today, 281.357.0007. Allow us to solve these troubled areas in your lawn and yard for you today.