9 Drainage Tips to Survive Washington Rain

Are you struggling with drainage issues every winter and spring? Do you have draining issues that are causing water to pool around your home and surfaces? Improper drainage can be a headache. It can cause structural damage, mold and humidity problems, mosquito infestations, erosion, and more. Check out these drainage tips to help your landscape survive the Washington rain.

Three types of drainage problems

There are three types of drainage issues. Once you determine which issue you have, you can decide which of these tips can help you.

Drainage Issues: Yard Soil

Yard slope

A slope in your yard or inadequate pitch prevents water runoff from being diverted away from the house.

Downspout and Gutter issues

Downspout & Gutter issues

If gutters are too small or you have downspouts that are poorly arranged, they may leave pools of water around your foundation.

Drainage Issues: Soil Conditions

Soil condition

Soil that’s compacted or has lots of clay content does not absorb water quickly. This will cause water to pool on the surface.


1. Level a sloping yard

Divert water away from your property by grading the ground to slope away from your home in all directions. Work with a professional to make sure you don’t negatively affect areas such as vents, basement windows, pipes, or drains.


2. Redirect flows using sandbags

As a temporary measure, you can use sandbags to create flow paths to redirect water away from your property. Ensure you do so without affecting your neighbors’ properties.

Drainage Tips: Grow plant for better drainage

3. Grow native plants

Plants native to Washington are more adapted to our weather. By planting them in your garden, they can help to prevent soil erosion and allow better rainwater drainage. Be sure not to grow plants where they can obstruct the drainage route.

Check out some Washington native plants that you can use for gardening.

Need help grading your slope?

Mulch in gardens for better drainage

4. Use mulch in the garden

Mulch can help keep soil in place and retain moisture. This way, it can prevent water from flowing toward your home. Fill with a few inches of mulch in areas graded away from your home. You’ll want to make sure the mulch is about six inches away from the siding to protect your home’s exterior.

Learn more about how Valley Property Services uses mulch for water management and to improve the appearance of homes.

New Grass

5. Plant new grass

The root structure of grass can aid with water absorption and minimize the impact of floods. If you need help deciding what kind of grass is best suited to your landscape, contact us.

After the grass settles, avoid cutting your lawn too short. Short grass weakens the roots and can lead to flooding.

Rain Garden

6. Create a rain garden

Rain gardens are depressed areas in the landscape that collect rainwater from your roof, driveway or street. By growing native shrubs, perennials and flowers in your rain gardens, they help reduce runoff from your house.

The great thing about rain gardens is that they can add beauty to your landscape and provide food and habitat for wildlife. Ask us about rain gardens or dry river beds.

Want a new rain garden or new grass?

Gravel driveway for better drainage

7. Add drainage areas by driveways

Paved driveways can easily lead to rainwater runoff. To prevent flooding, you can install permeable driveways like gravel, or spaced or interlocking pavers.

These alternatives allow water to soak into the ground below. You can also install channel drains or other landscaping solutions.

Rainwater Barrel

8. Install a rain barrel

Place rain barrels at the bottom of downspouts to collect the water. They double as an eco-friendly way to water your gardens and lawn when it’s dry out.

Sump pump hose

9. Test and maintain your sump pump

A sump pump directs water away from your basement and keeps it dry. Make sure everything is in proper working order.

Don’t forget about maintenance!

  • Regularly inspect your drainage system;
  • Keep your drains clear of debris and blockage;
  • Check for leaks and damages to your gutter and downspouts; and
  • Make sure your retaining walls are working properly.

For Landscape Maintenance

Our Drainage Management Projects


Do landscapers do drainage?

Yes, our landscapers at Valley Property Services can help you with any problem with your lawn, including drainage issues. We specialize in new lawn creation, ground leveling, and drainage management. Contact us for a quote!

How much does it cost to fix drainage issues?

This depends on the problem and the solution you choose, contact us for a quote!


If you have drainage issues, try out these nine tips. For professional help, don’t hesitate to contact Valley Property Services.

As Maple Valley’s expert landscapers, Valley Property Services will ensure that your drainage systems are working properly to survive Washington’s rainfall!

Get in touch with us today to get your next project started.

Areas We Serve

  • King County
  • Pierce County
  • and surrounding areas!