How well does your yard drainage system work? Does it completely remove rainwater from your property? Or is your yard left with soggy patches and standing water? Excess rainwater can do more than just disrupt property appeal. It can cause rainwater to enter the home and interfere with its structural integrity. 

Yard drainage systems are an important component of having a healthy home. When not properly cleaned and maintained, clogged drainage systems can cause costly issues and even health problems. Learn how to avoid uncomfortable situations and large bills by taking care of your yard drainage system through routine home maintenance. 

The following tips can assist with maintaining a high functioning yard drainage system.

Routinely Snake Drains

Snaking drains might not be anybody’s favorite chore, but it is a necessary project. Check out the setup of your yard to locate your drains. They are likely located near the house or by the street near the storm sewer. Homeowners need to find their drains and ensure that they are not clogged with any debris.

To check if your drains are clogged, you can run hose water through the yard drain and measure how well the water flows out. Pay attention to where the water flows as well. 

snake drain

It should be redirected into an appropriate channel, such as a storm sewer. When drains and gutters are not directed at an appropriate angle, the rainwater can instead pool around the home and enter into the structure. If the water is not flowing steadily through the drains, there might be a serious clog or broken pipe. Homeowners who have many trees on their property should be mindful that roots are not intruding in their yard drainage systems. If you suspect there is a clog, a drain snake or hydro-jet can be used to clear the drain. Fortunately, these tasks can be performed professionally if you do not wish to do them yourself.

Clear Excess Debris

Another thing that homeowners can do is clear debris. Obvious blockages include leaves, rocks, dirt, trash, and similar articles. Homeowners who have children or dogs might also experience clogs due to toys. Any of these obstructive items should be removed to avoid further blockage.  If the yard drain is covered by a grate, it should be removed so that the drain pipe can be inspected. This process should be done very carefully to avoid having anything break. 


If any grating or pipes are broken, then they should be replaced. You can use a flashlight to better examine your yard drainage system and check for clogs or broken parts.  Sometimes debris can become wedged deeply into drainage systems. It’s best to always remove it as soon as possible to prevent the problem from getting worse. Again, make sure to do so carefully to avoid breaking any parts of the drainage system. To finish the process off, you can use a drainage hose to test the efficiency of the drain. If drainage problems persist, you may need to snake the drain.

Repair Broken Grates

While performing drainage inspects and maintenance work damage can sometimes occur. If you notice any pipes are punctured, bent, broken, or otherwise damaged, then they will need to be mended. To keep the yard drainage system functioning efficiently, damage should be fixed as soon as possible. Purchasing finer grates and screens can help prevent damage by keeping large amounts of debris and dirt out of the drainage system. 

broken grate

However, too fine of a covering will make rapid water flow difficult and can lead to more frequent clogs. Therefore, it is important to purchase the best grates and screens to suit your yard drainage needs. 

Always Avoid Chemicals

Some people think that chemicals provide a quick solution for clearing out clogged drains. Those people, however, are always wrong.

Always, always avoid using chemicals for your yard drainage system. Chemicals are almost always apt to cause more harm than good. 

Chemicals are never a professionally recommended solution for unclogging yard drainage systems. 


They can lead to environmental problems, as the chemically infested water often drains directly into a waterway. Do the world and your yard a favor by steering clear of chemical solutions for clogged drains. 

Devise an Annual Plan

Routine maintenance is necessary to ensure that yard drainage problems don’t arise. Therefore, homeowners will need to perform routine yard inspections and be on the lookout for issues in both the yard and home. Vegetation death and landscape disruption are both signs of excess yard water. Excess rainwater can also lead to standing water, muddy yards, and pest infestation, such as mosquitos.

Crawl space walls might also be damp if excess rainwater is entering the home. Additionally, a white salt deposit might form on the walls, and mold, mildew, bacteria, and fungi can breed and cause musty scents. To prevent these issues from occurring, yard cleanouts should be performed routinely. Devise a yearly plan detailing what areas of the yard should be cleaned when. It also helps to draw a map of where all of the drains are so future cleaning and inspections can be made more efficient.

Book Professional Help

While homeowners can make DIY fixes to handle minor yard drainage issues, some situations require professional solutions. All yard drainage system installations and repairs should be done professionally. If your spot solutions and DIY efforts are not solving your drainage system problems, then it’s time to book professional help.

Hiring a professional contractor will allow your yard to be thoroughly evaluated. That way, the best drainage solution for your exact situation can be discovered. Different yard drainage solutions include French drains, trench/channel drains, sump pumps, Flo-Wells, atrium grates, catch basins, rounded grates, pop-up emitters, terracing, and soil grading services. 

Furthermore, not all homeowners have the time or desire to maintain their yard drainage systems. Professionals can be hired to perform routine inspections and cleanings. That way, there is one less worry for the homeowner. Overall, working with a professional will ensure that all aspects of your yard drainage are operating smoothly to best protect your property.

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