The Dangers of Improper Drainage in the Winter

Has your parking lot been collecting water and creating unsafe ice patches this winter? Are your garden beds soaked and causing your cold-resistant plants to droop? 

Maybe your sidewalks are riddled with mud and debris, washed up from run-off. Or, perhaps mildew is starting to collect around your building.

Poor landscape drainage can cause a lot of problems for your commercial property. 

Drainage Issues | Caramanico Landscape Philadelphia, PA

Luckily, we’re here to help you understand the consequences of not fixing your drainage issues this winter, how you can spot water draining issues and ways you can prevent further damage come spring.

How Poor Drainage Can Affect Your Landscape

Water and moisture build-up on or around your landscape can mean bad things for your commercial property, including:

  • Dead or damaged grass. If water run-off accumulates in rivets throughout your grass, it can cause substantial damage. Winter crown hydration, for instance, can wipe out entire sections of turf, as can snow mold, which often occurs on properties when snow piles are tossed onto grass, taking many days to melt.

  • Dead or damaged plants. Run-off water can also carry toxic chemicals from deicer products and spread it throughout your garden beds. These harsh salts and chemicals can accumulate to damaging levels, sapping moisture from your plant roots and causing yellowing or wilting vegetation.

  • Insect problems. Pooling water can invite insects onto your property, even during the wintertime. As temperatures rise and melt ice or snow, or during a particularly rainy period, these stagnant puddles can attract mosquitoes and other pesky bugs. Even if you don’t see the water pooling, overly soaked mulch, for instance, can breed insects too.

  • Slip & fall injuries or lawsuits. When snow thaws and refreezes as temperatures drop, ice becomes a serious concern. Your visitors and workers are at high risk of hurting themselves, and even suing your business or institution. Read more about the major costs of now removing snow and ice here.

  • Costly fixes. Water run-off mixed with toxic deicer product chemical can cause erosion and cracking to your parking lots and walkways. Flooding can kill all the expensive perennials or trees you just planted. Drainage damage costs can really add up, causing headaches and depleting your wallet to replace or renovate.
proper winter drainage

Signs of Poor Drainage Issues

Be on the look-out for clear warning signs that you may have drainage issues, including:

  • Squishy or yellowing grass, or moist mulch
  • Pooling erosion puddles within your turf, garden beds or parking lot, or cracks within your cement or concrete
  • An increase in insects
  • Warped wood
  • Mildew or mold appearance
  • Gushing or clogged gutters

Tips for Preventing Future Drainage Damage

If you see any of the above signs of poor drainage, there are a few corrective measures you can take to prevent further problems for your commercial property:

  • Fill rivets within your landscape. Water, wind and foot traffic can erode sections of your grass, causing indentations where water pools. After winter passes, fill any recessed patches of grass with dirt— and be sure to aerate and reseed, properly. 
  • Change your landscape design. Elements of your current landscape design may need to be redesigned to prevent run-off water from collecting or flowing into unwanted areas. This may involve raising or relocating your garden beds, redirecting water drainage with swalls, diverting rain spouts, adding a proper slope to your paved areas and more.

  • Clear your rain gutters. Every few months, be sure to check your rain gutters for accumulated debris. Leaves, twigs and more can block the flow of water, or make it spurt aggressively from the attached release pipe, flooding the area directly beneath.

  • Add underground piping. Sometimes, your property needs professional help. By installing rechanneling systems underground, you can redirect water flow away from your plants and turf.

The Winter Care Your Property Needs

Our team at C. Caramanico & Sons, Inc. offers Snow & Ice Services, helping to reduce melt issues this wintertime.

Come spring, let us improve your landscape drainage. Request your commercial property assessment or call us at 610.499.1640 today. We’ll offer customized recommendations for keeping excessive water and moisture away while still helping your landscape to retain the moisture it needs to prosper.