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Water: The #1 Enemy of Patio Contractors and Lancaster, PA Homeowners

Posted On: January 16,2018 By: Jarod Hynson, President

Patio drainage problems and dealing with a wet backyard in Lancaster, PAWater is said to be the most powerful element on earth. After all, it carved the Grand Canyon. With that kind of power, just imagine what water can do to your backyard.

Whether you already have a wet backyard, or you’re worried about water problems in the future, water can not only be a nuisance but destructive. Every time it rains you could find your yard sloshy and difficult to use. And if you invest in a patio in a wet backyard, your water problems could get worse and cause big problems for your new outdoor living area as well as your home itself.

You are wise to have concerns.

Water truly has the potential to become the number one enemy of both homeowners and patio contractors in Lancaster, PA. But by recognizing that there is a potnetial for a serious issue, you would be proactive, taking the first step toward correcting it—something that a lot of homeowners fail to do.

The trouble is, even landscape contractors do not always look ahead to consider potential future problems that can occur with grading and drainage. Or, they may just fix a water problem in the area directly around your patio and not look at the property as a whole, including how it relates to the rest of the surroundings. This could actually compound a problem rather than fix it.

Patio drainage problems and dealing with a wet backyard in Lancaster, PA

It’s important to find patio contractors in Lancaster, PA who will have the foresight to address water issues upfront, saving you aggravation, and money, down the road.


Water Woes

Right now you may think of a wet backyard as more of a nuisance than anything else. After a rain shower, it might take a long time for a yard to dry out and become usable again. But if you begin a hardscape project such as a patio, water will be more than just a hassle. It can actually wreak havoc, causing you headaches, and costing you money.

For example, one common problem that we see with grading and patio drainage is water pooling atop the patio because of a spot that’s sunken in. We’ve also seen the plant beds surrounding a patio get washed away when water rushes through, making a complete mess.


(Here are before and an after images of grading issues we solved. The existing conditions created ponding, settling along house created drainage issues, and water in the structure. The new patio was raised along house and pitched at 2% away from house to solve issue and also add a beautiful entertaining space!)

Even worse, if you have an uncorrected grading problem that causes water to wash into your yard from a nearby field or even the neighbor’s yard, then you might find that you have muddy water running across your brand new patio every time that it rains. Now your beautiful new patio is a muddy mess that needs cleaning after every rainfall—not to mention the fact that mud is now getting tracked into your basement.

Water can also destroy the structural integrity of your patio. If it wasn’t accounted for in the design and build of your new patio, you might have a problem with grading and patio drainage. When it rains and excessive amounts of water collect underneath your patio or come in with a force if it has nowhere to drain it can actually begin to destroy the integrity of your foundation. As that shifts, your patio could sink or crumble.

And perhaps, worst of all, is the fact that an improper grading and drainage plan can even affect the inside of your home! In a poor design, water can become trapped causing it to flow towards a house and end up in the basement. A flooded basement can cost tens of thousands of dollars for repair.


Planning from Day One

In order to avoid patio drainage problems, it’s important to find a landscape contractor who is going to look at grading and drainage from day one. A contractor with experience in these areas (and be mindful that many are not experienced in these areas) will address the property holistically and take into account future possible implications, which could be missed by a lot of contractors. These drainage and grading issues will be accounted for in a master plan.

Patio drainage problems and dealing with a wet backyard in Lancaster, PA

Some things that a highly qualified professional will do include observing existing conditions, talking about potential issues like ponding or drainage, and measuring land topography. These are the first steps in creating a grading plan.

Since a lot of companies do not have an in-house professional with extensive knowledge and experience of these issues, they may try to solve the problem by just pitching the ground away from the patio. But that could cause larger problems down the road, such as erosion of soil into your future pool or other inconvenient areas.

Your wise choice is a company with a Registered Landscape Architect (RLA) that has many years of experience. A typical landscape designer with little to no experience on-site grading or drainage concerns is not worth the gamble.


(Here's an example of a wet lawn where we installed a patio along with a pergola. This not only provided a better aesthetic solution but also was mainly to address the regular ponding of water. By elevating this surface and grading the remainder of the back lawn with a gentle swale around it, this messy backyard is now a spectacle of function and beauty.)


Choosing a Company That Can Solve Your Water Woes

We understand that you don’t want to deal with water issues that will negatively impact the enjoyment of your property. And the last thing you want to do is make expensive corrections down the line for problems that could have been prevented in the first place.

Solving drainage issues with landscape design in Lancaster, PAAt Earth, Turf, & Wood, we have the foresight to address water problems in advance. That’s because our in-house RLA has many years of experience preparing grading and drainage plans, similar to what civil engineers do.

It’s commendable if you’re thinking ahead about potential water concerns as that’s a step farther than a lot of homeowners go. Now you just need to follow through on choosing a professional that not only takes your water worries into account but knows what to do to correct them. By choosing the right professional for the job you can be sure that water won’t have the power to destroy your beautiful new patio or your surrounding yard. You’ll be able to get your dream patio without any water worries.

If you’d like to discuss how to build a patio without fear of water woes in Lancaster, York, Hershey, or Reading, PA, then contact us for a free consultation and put your worries to rest.

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Jarod Hynson, President

Written by Jarod Hynson, President

Jarod started Earth, Turf, & Wood in the spring of 2000. Getting his start with a lawn care company in his teens, his experience spans 25 years’ in the green industry. His underlying passion is to create well-thought-out outdoor living environments that help create memories for families and friends. Jarod was raised in Central New Jersey, pursued Human Resource Management at Messiah College, and resides in Mohnton, PA. He enjoys spending time with his wife Kristy and their two young daughters and son. He currently serves on the local advisory board for Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In his spare time he enjoys just being outdoors, whether vacationing in the Adirondacks, or playing with his kids.

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