Signs You Have a Yard Drainage Issue

When you don’t have proper yard drainage, it can not only make your lawn look like a muddy mess. A lack of proper drainage can also cause structural issues in your home.

When you notice the signs that potentially you do have a drainage problem, it’s important to take care of them as soon as possible.

Indicators there’s a problem can include the following.

Water Stains In Your Basement

The first red flag, if relevant in your home, are water stains in your basement. Where the water shows up is relevant as well.

If you see water stains high on the foundation walls, then that means the water is likely coming from an overflowing gutter or perhaps the surface runoff backed up against your house because the soil surrounding your foundation isn’t sloping adequately.

The worst-case scenario for water stains in your basement is when there’s a line that goes around your basement. This can be due to a fluctuating water table, or it’s possible your basement floor is below the level of the storm drains that back up during heavy rain.


Have you ever walked around your yard and found that it was soaking wet with puddles even several days after a rain? Water will usually get soaked up once the sun comes back after a rain.

When your lawn dries out pretty quickly, you have good drainage – see more. However, if there’s puddling and not absorption, you may have drainage problems.

Some other signs of a problem in your lawn itself include moss growing in your yard and bushes or plants that look limp. Your grass may be dying as well.

When there’s low drainage, your lawn shows signs of overwatering because the roots are stuck in the water, causing rot.

Soil Erosion

If the soil isn’t absorbing water or there’s no clear drainage path, several things can happen. First, the water can wash over your soil and mulch and push it into your walkways, gullies, and dips.

Then, this can end up clogging things which will worsen the drainage problem.

Your soil might also erode. When there’s too much water, it weakens soils. Then the soil drops and slides away.

You might notice pits in your soil, for example. If you have garden beds, erosion will ruin them.

There’s also more damage that can occur when soil erodes around your foundation, patio, or walkways.

Too much erosion can even lead a patio or walkway to collapse. If your home’s foundation is overexposed because of soil erosion, it can diminish your home’s structural integrity.


If you notice more mosquitoes than usual every time you go outside, you may have an issue with standing water. Standing water gets stagnant and then is a breeding ground for bacteria, leading to mosquitoes.

There can also be smells that occur with stagnant water, making for an unpleasant environment overall.

Flaking Or Deposits on Your Walls

If you have a basement and there are areas of crust that are gray or white, it might be mineral deposits left beyond by water as it evaporates. You might also notice the wall flakes in patches, which is called spalling.

The mineral deposits are called efflorescence, and those can show you where moisture is condensing.

If you see the crust, you should look at the soil’s grading around your foundation and check your gutters and downspouts.

If you notice wall spalling, water may be getting inside the masonry, which can be a superficial or deeper issue.

Attic Mildew

Attic Mildew

It can seem counterintuitive to search for drainage problems in your attic, but you can actually see ground-level issues if you take a look at the underside of your roof.

In one situation, your bathroom fans might be blowing hot air into your attic. That air can then condense on the roof’s cold backside, leading to the mildew.

You can re-vent your fan to solve that problem.

A more significant issue might be if moisture from your crawl space or basement is rising through your house, where it’s ultimately condensing on the attic ceiling.

If so, you have to identify the source of the dampness down below, and if you don’t, you may have to replace your roof.

Finally, if you see water pooling under your gutters and downspouts, where it’s then collecting around your foundation, you need to fix the problem.

This usually stems from either gutters that are clogged or too small.

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