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  • May was marked by relentless torrential downpours in central Maryland.

    Just when homeowners thought it was safe to go back in their backyards, another storm would strike, dumping untold gallons of rainwater onto freshly-mowed lawns.

    Time will tell if June provides a reprieve and/or a merciful reply to those “rain, rain, go away” chants from kids anxiously anticipating the kickoff to summer.

    In the meantime, this wet weather provides an ideal opportunity to examine your property for any lawn drainage damages that may call for professional intervention.

    Keep an eye out for these seven telltale signs of oversaturation following heavy rains:

    1. Standing water: Squishy, marsh-like lawns and puddles that persist even after the sun has shown its face are primary signs of substantial drainage issues. Often caused by poor soil quality or insufficient pitch, it is important not to walk on a soggy lawn, as foot traffic under these conditions can cause soil compaction.
    2. Poor growth: If left sitting in water, grasses, shrubs, and certain trees can suffer from oversaturation, be deprived of oxygen, and succumb to root rot. Inspect your landscape for dying, dead, or wilting plants.
    3. Erosion: Mulch, wood chips, and displaced soil near flower beds and/or deposited on your sidewalk or driveway are indicative of runoff issues.
    4. Foundation problems: Beware of soft, sunken areas around the foundation of your home. Remember: water will always flow to the lowest point on your property. If your yard is sloped, or inadequately pitched, it may be channeling water toward your house, instead of into gutters and storm drains. Water pooling in your basement – or stains on the wall – are also big signs that something is amiss.
    5. Pavement damage: Lawn drainage damages are not exclusive to your plant life. Water can seep into paved areas, such as your driveway and patios, causing cracks that gradually worsen and spread.
    6. Moss, man: Unlike grass, moss thrives in water – stagnant water, to be specific – so if you’re seeing moss where turf grass should be growing, chances are good you have a substantial drainage problem.
    7. Blood-sucking pests: Stagnant water also provides a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which can lay up to 100 eggs at a time. (For that reason, professionals recommend dumping any potential mosquito pools around your home at least once a week.)

    And follow your nose. Poor drainage can cause foul odors to permeate your landscape. The unmistakable smell is caused by bacteria that grow in areas of little to no oxygen.

    Common reasons for lawn drainage damages include poor soil conditions, properties with a high water table, and poorly graded lawns. Professionally-installed drainage systems can help you keep your head – and landscape – above water.

    Chesapeake Irrigation & Lighting specializes in replacing or repairing gutters and downspout work, implementing underground downspout extensions, installing French drains, and much more. Our services are efficient and cost-effective, and keep your home safe and dry. Give us a call at 410-987-2969 or request a free quote today!