The Best Solution to Slope and Drainage Issues in Your Yard

While often forgotten when purchasing a new home or even constructing one yourself, the size and gradient of your lot could have a huge impact on the integrity of your foundation. Homes built on slightly upward slopes or those built on the side of a hill can be easily compromised by water damage. The key culprit is almost always runoff from heavy rainfall. Sturdy construction can normally secure your foundation from damage, but yards are quite susceptible to extreme weather, and even the perfectly sloped areas may fall victim to low spots, uneven patches, holes, or dead spots from pooled water.

While yard issues can be unsightly, they can normally be fixed with a few afternoons of work and the proper tools.

What You Will Need

  • Fill dirt (preferably clean fill that is free of gravel, trash, or contaminated/toxic material) and a wheelbarrow (for easy dirt transportation to each damaged area)
  • Lawnmower with roller attachment if available
  • Shovel
  • Spreader

Step 1: Mowing

If there are slight depressions in your yard invisible to the naked eye, mow your lawn to the shortest grass setting, then use a roller attachment (if you have one) to further lower the grass. Mark any problem areas you find with a branch or stake.

Step 2: Grass Removal

Next, using your shovel, carefully remove the grass and very top layer of dirt attached to the roots from any damaged area. For large holes, a small portion of the surrounding grass should also be removed to ensure even coverage when filling it in. Unless you purchase and cut new pieces of sod, you will be using this grass again later, so be sure to store it in a safe place.

Step 3: Fill Dirt

While some homeowners may use topsoil for this step, clean fill is available for much less and is just as effective. A company like Eastern Plant Hire will be able to provide some for you. Using a shovel, you should slowly cover the hole or damaged area with the fill dirt until the amount appears to be almost level with the surrounding ground. The rest of the uneven surface will be filled with the removed grass. With a rake or spreader, you can also work the dirt into the yard until you reach the desired grade and smoothness.

Step 4: Grass Replacement

After your fill dirt is packed down, place the grass clump back in its original area firmly to help secure it. Although the roots have been broken, the grass will quickly reattach to the dirt below.

Step 5: Water and Fertilize

To speed along the grass regrowth process in the areas you recently upgraded, make sure to regularly water and fertilize until the spot is good as new.