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April Showers Bring Attention to London Yard Drainage Issues

While out and about during last week's latest cold snap, someone was overheard saying, "My, what a lovely winter we're having this spring." It's true, compared to the summer-like temperatures we experienced during March 2012, this spring has seemed slow to arrive. But arrive it has, and we are finally getting the spring rains that will bring life back to our lawns and gardens.

Unfortunately, all of this rejuvenating moisture, combined with the winter thaw runoff, also has the potential to cause problems around your property. Even if your yard seemed to remain relatively dry in past years, London yard drainage issues can evolve over time for a number of reasons. Here are some of the problems that excess water around your property can cause, and a few of the ways that BEST's London yard drainage services can help to remedy them:

Your Very Own Niagara Falls Water Feature


Have you ever noticed that one of the downspouts from your eaves spews water during a storm more than the others do? Or perhaps you have two downspouts placed too close together?

If the water isn't properly directed away from these areas, or worse, the landscape grading tilts in toward your foundation, the hundreds of litres of rainwater that drain from your roof can create a moat at the base of the building. So much direct moisture will eventually cause erosion of the foundation wall and leakage into your basement. Correcting the downspout system will usually solve the problem of foundation pooling. It's also a good idea to ensure that the soil is graded away from the walls, supported by a weeping tile that wicks away seepage around the foundation.

The Canadian Shield


Not all spring drainage issues are detectable during or immediately after a rainfall because it takes time for the soil to absorb all of the moisture. Even sandy soils can take time to allow excessive rain to penetrate the ground when a healthy lawn root structure is in place.

The problem becomes noticeable when you discover a new swimming pool in the middle of your lawn well after the rain has stopped. Standing water, a common London yard drainage issue, may be caused by landscaping that creates a slight basin in the yard. However, it's also likely to be caused by poor soil permeability. After most of the water has seeped down, these spots will often remain swampy underfoot and you might see moss starting to grow where grass should be. Pushing a piece of dowel into the middle of the area can test the cause of this pooling:

  • If it takes some effort to push the dowel into the ground by hand, there may be excess clay in the soil.
  • If it's difficult to insert the dowel without tapping it with a mallet, the problem may be due to soil compaction.

Arranging for core aeration to loosen the ground and re-grading the area with a loamy soil often helps this London yard drainage issue. If the problem area occurs in or around planted gardens, the installation of a French drainage system can remove surface water while adding an attractive garden feature to the landscape.

Batten down the hatches!


An indirect result of spring storms, thaw water and debris left over from the fall and winter is the discovery of a blockage in your sewer drain that leads out to the municipal system. Fallen leaves and other waste can become compacted at the curb and prevent proper wastewater removal from your home. The obvious result is a nasty backup into your basement or your bathroom fixtures.

If you have a plumber's auger or 'snake' handy, the problem might be easily resolved. For more serious issues, contact a BEST expert to find out about our sewer pipe inspection and high-pressure flushing services that will see you through the spring rains to a nice, dry summer.

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At BEST Plumbing and Drainage Contractors, we feel it's important to help homeowners understand the role of the contractor and the various construction solutions available for each unique plumbing, wet basement repair and drainage issue. We are more than happy to consult with you and help navigate the process.

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