Landscaping plays role in water management

An above-average winter for snowfall, combined with rainy spring weather, can make managing water flow around a home or structure an important topic to address, and a vital problem to fix.

Dan Vera, owner of Mohawk Nursery, 2950 SR 231, said landscaping can play an important part in water management, helping direct the flow of water on a property to prevent flooding and other damage caused by excessive water.

Proper backfill of gravel and soil around a home, he said, is a vital step to keeping water away from a foundation. The ground should be “built up to direct water away naturally,” he said, and graded to allow for proper water flow away from a house.

Clay soil in particular, Vera said, acts like a tarp when used on the surface of landscaping, allowing water to flow easily away from a home or structure. He said good growing soil should be used under clay, however, to provide a healthy environment for plants to thrive.

Gutters and rain barrels, Vera said, also can be useful for water management, and must be maintained and working correctly to be effective.

Gutters can “clog and get overdrawn” he said, and must be cleaned out and cleared of blockages to allow water to flow freely. Also, he said, extensions and downspouts must be installed to ensure runoff is deposited eight feet from a house.

Rain barrels are effective to collect excess rainwater, Vera said, but have to be drained continually to keep algae and mold from growing.

Also, he said, homeowners should make sure a home’s footer tile, which runs along the foundation, is functioning appropriately.

Some homeowners, Vera said, choose to install an underground drainage system, called a bubbler, which can be more aesthetically pleasing than traditional drainage methods. A bubbler, he said, runs a few inches underground and leads to a French drain in the yard, allowing water to be routed away from the home invisibly.

Vera said Mohawk Nursery works mostly with the “cosmetic end of things” when homeowners and other property owners seek to address water and drainage issues.

Many landscaping methods, however, not only serve to beautify a property, but can play a significant role in water management, helping to keep foundations and basements dry.