Heinen Landscape drainage solutions - pooling water

Pooling rainwater can drown plant life, weaken root systems, and even result in mold – which can be harmful to pets.

Tired of dealing with wet, soggy spots around the lawn, or pooling water at the base of your foundation? Then it’s high time to address your property’s drainage situation.

Spring rains tend to remind homeowners about to-do lists for their property – especially when a heavy rainstorm results in a wet basement. Other effects of heavy rain might be pooling water in certain areas of the lawn. These conditions tend to worsen over time and,  if left unresolved, they can rack up expensive repair bills for foundations and wood rot and cause serious damage to an otherwise healthy lawn along with other plant life.

The direction and speed in which rainwater moves through or around a property can be the difference maker between having healthy or damaged plant life. If water moves too fast, erosion and poor soil quality issues may arise; too slow and pooling can occur; and water movement in the wrong direction (toward the home versus away from the home) can cause serious structural issues.

Drainage Solutions

The most appropriate drainage solution for a property is dependent on a variety of factors, including the severity of any flooding or standing water problems, the size and shape of the property, its variation in elevation (or topography), local regulations and codes, the homeowner’s budget, and more.

Heinen Landscape - regrading a lawn to solve drainage problems

For many outdoor living projects, regrading a lawn’s slope is an important first step – as proper rainwater drainage leads to the health and well-being of the property.


Regrading is the process of reshaping the property’s surface. It’s all about gravity, as water runs downhill – which may sound relatively simple – but it takes a great deal of expertise to determine exactly how the area should be regraded. Low spots are relatively easy to identify as they are areas where water flows toward or pools. To alter the condition, gentle slopes are created to direct water away from low spots and most importantly, structures.

Determining the right amount of slope is both art and science. Water must be directed to the right place at the right speed to both prevent erosion and prevent excessive absorption. When a lawn is graded properly, water is dispersed appropriately to the benefit of the entire property. Slopes prevent damaging pools and foundation problems and also allow areas that previously did not get enough water to receive an adequate supply.

Terraces created with retaining walls slow water movement and give upper area soil time to fully absorb – while preventing damage to lower lawn areas below and erosion on formerly steep slopes.

Retaining Walls

Retaining walls are particularly effective drainage solutions, especially when there are dramatic slope variations on a property or there is an incline bordering the property from a neighbor’s yard. A retaining wall is a barrier that can protect lower areas of a property while also preventing erosion by controlling or redirecting water flow.

Depending on the size of the retaining wall and the amount of water being redirected, drainage channels may also be incorporated. These help protect the integrity of the retaining wall by alleviating excess pressure on it. Retaining walls can also be more than merely functional. They can be an appealing landscaping feature, available in a wide variety of materials for a pleasing aesthetic. Or, they can be part of an outdoor living area – even featuring a capped top to create a “seat wall” – the possibilities are nearly endless!

Heinen Landscape Dry Creek bed - drainage solution.

A dry creek bed surrounded by larger rocks, shrubs, and ornamental grasses boosts visual interest – and redirects rainwater during storms.

Dry Creek Beds

Dry creek beds are an excellent way to redirect water while providing a natural aesthetic when there is no rain in sight. Dry creek beds mimic the look of a creek or riverbed and are created with natural rocks, stones, and gravel. They help stabilize soil and prevent erosion, slowing rainwater as it flows gently downhill toward a storm drain or to the edge of a property, filtering rainwater naturally, and capturing sediment along the way to prevent damage to the lawn.

Like retaining walls, they can also be a striking landscape feature, especially for homeowners who want to create a more natural look on the property. Taking the extra step of adding native plants, trees, and grasses to the borders of the dry creek bed can add to the overall landscape aesthetic, is environmentally sound, and can provide food and shelter for native birds and butterflies.

The gravel allows the water to easily reach the pipe below while deflecting soil and debris.

French Drains

A French drain is a great option for those who want to fix flooding problems without making major changes to the look of their landscaping. The underground drains are installed along the problem areas, such as the side of a house or low-lying areas where water tends to pool. Typically there is a grate low area inlet, leading to perforated pipe covered with gravel that is installed in a shallow trench and covered with gravel and then soil. The pipe then transfers the excess water to a lower area of the property – often near a storm drain. French drains are both cost-effective and last for decades.


Expert Drainage Solutions From Heinen

For over three decades, the drainage team experts at Heinen Landscape have been the go-to crew for Kansas City homeowners with yard drainage problems. Stop damage to your property from excess water by speaking with the experts at Heinen today.

Call Debbie at (913) 432-5011 to schedule a no-obligation consultation with Heinen’s drainage specialists!