How to Deal with Landscape Flood Disasters

Homeowners in the Pacific Northwest know a thing or two about winter storms.

During some rain storms, as we all have experienced, flooding becomes a serious issue. The rain doesn’t stop falling for days, filling rivers and streams, weakening hillsides, eventually sending water pouring into fields and homes. A few weeks and thousands of dollars in damage later, homeowners scramble to repair their damaged property.

landscape flooding

Like the rest of your home, landscaping will demand serious attention after flooding. Fast-moving flood water erodes quickly and brings with it a plethora of debris. A yard or garden hit by a flood—or even heavy rain—will most likely lose a significant amount of planting soil, mulch, gravel, and lawn decor. If you have retainer walls, flooding can erode the rockery and even collapse the entire structure.

Even the plants themselves risk getting uprooted by the rushing water or damaged by heavy debris. This is especially true in spring rains, when the plants are still young. If you have retainer walls, flooding can erode the rockery and even collapse the entire structure.

Preventing Landscape Flood Damage

Flooding can happen within a matter of hours or days, but homeowners have all year to prepare for the rainy season. Any amount of preparation done in summer months (or dry winter days) will be well worth the effort once the storm clouds open and rivers begin to swell.

In practical terms, you should make sure flood water has somewhere to go. You may not be able to keep floodwaters away entirely, but you can certainly landscape your yard so that the water is directed somewhere other than through your garden or down your rockery wall. Elimination of standing water on your property is important as well.

Here are a few ways our Seattle landscaping and retaining wall construction crew can achieve that goal for you:

  • Drainage swales. These depressions in landscaping act as a shallow drainage ditch to redirect water out of the yard. Your property may already have a dip or trench that runoff travels through, but, even if you do, deepening it and adding small rocks to the lowest point may significantly help deter erosion. Make sure that where you redirect the water to is capable of handling large quantities.  
  • Heavy mulch or gravel. Since garden mulch is easily swept up by flood waters, buying hardwood mulch that doesn’t float as readily will help prevent drains from clogging—not to mention saving you time raking the mulch out the lawn after the flooding subsides. If a rock garden is to your liking, replacing mulch with gravel can also be a beneficial choice for Seattle homeowners with property prone to flooding.
  • French drains are perforated pipes set in a small gravel-filled ditch, sloping away from the area that requires draining. These types of drains should always be installed by an experienced landscaping team.  
  • Rain gardens are perhaps the most attractive anti-floodwater measure. Rain gardens are small gardens that thrive on extra water and nutrients. Deep rooted plants and specialized soil, under-drained or self-contained, help get rid of unwanted flooding with style and minimal landscape disturbance.

Repairing Landscape Flood Damage

If you find yourself dealing with the aftermath of flooding, repair and recovery may seem overwhelming. The good news, however, is that B&D Rockeries is ready and prepared to help you through any and all post-flood landscaping woes.

For over 35 years, our team has excelled at building rock retaining walls and sculpting home gardens into masterful landscapes. If your yard has been damaged by floodwater, we will work with you to restore your yard to its previous glory—or something else altogether. Give us a call at 866-758-3755  to get a free estimate!

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