About 60 percent of homeowners have some type of water problem in their yard. It can mean spending money to fix the drainage or learning how to fix it yourself.
The Home Depot's Scott Krueger and Joe Autry explain the best way to get started.
1. Determine the Source of Your Water Problem
In most cases, it's pretty obvious where the water is coming from. Often there's a slope approaching the house, a depression in the yard that causes pooling, or excess roof water draining next to the foundation. You can take care of minor foundation drainage problems by making sure the soil slopes away from the house.
Also, properly installed gutters, with a well-directed downspout that empties clear of the foundation, can be very effective. If you've already zeroed in on those solutions and still need help, stick with this article.
2. Call Before You Dig
As with any yard project that requires digging, you must find where buried electrical, telephone and TV cables and gas piping are located. Call your local utilities or 811.
The location of underground cables and pipe may influence the routing of your drainage plan. You may want to consider an alternate route or have the utility disconnected until the job is completed.
3. Start digging
Dig a hole deep enough to accommodate your dry well and the overflow tube. Haul away most of the dirt, but keep some handy to partially refill the hole.
Dig the trench deep enough to drain downhill from the side of the dry well. You'll also need at least 3 in. of crushed rock to add to the bottom of the trench to promote water absorption.
4. Connect the drain tube
Measure the depth of your trench using a line level. Pound a stake in near the house to use as a reference point. Tie the string exactly level to each stake and measure the depth. You'll need to increase the depth as you get farther from the well. Adjust the gravel at the base of the trench as needed.
Slip the fabric sock over the tubes, leaving a few inches at each end to overlap the adjacent section of tubing. The fabric filters out small particles of soil to prevent the tube from eventually clogging with sludge.
Check the drainage tubing with a 4-ft. level to make sure you have at least 1/8 in. of slope per foot of tubing (1/2 in. every 4 ft.). Adjust the gravel base as needed. Overlap the sock ends after you connect them.
Snap the downspout tube into the main drain line. Use a Y-fitting to make the connection. Slip the sock over the connection. Once the tubing is in place, cover it with at least 3 in. of gravel. Cover the gravel with landscape fabric and spread topsoil over the trench.
Screw a drain cover over the end of the tubing as it approaches daylight to keep critters out. To prevent erosion, make a rock bed around the end of the tube.
Figure that you'll need at least 3 in. of gravel under the 4-in. tube, 3 in. on top of the tube and about 6 in. of soil over that. Also, figure in whatever slope you need to get to the low spot.
5. Dealing With Backfill
When you backfill your trench, you'll have a lot of extra dirt. Keep a little on hand for settling and think about where else you might use it. You may need to rent a trash container or schedule a truck to pick up the excess.