Is your commercial property soggy? Damp? Mildewy?

None of this is good.

Drainage isn’t the most exciting aspect of your commercial property, but it should be high on your list of Important Stuff to Do.

The Trouble With Too Much Water

Without proper commercial landscape drainage, excess water can cause serious damage to your commercial property. 

What kind of damage? Mold and mildew. Cracks in your building, driveways and sidewalks. And excess water is an invitation for pests like rodents and bugs.

leaves near curb in water puddle

Excess water can really do a number on your landscaping, too, leading to weakened plants and ugly decay. Saturated soil can suffocate plant roots and promote fungus.

Let’s take a look at the best commercial drainage solutions.

A Tale Of Two Ponds: Retention vs. Detention

A common commercial drainage solution is to build a pond, or basin, for managing stormwater. There are two different kinds: retention and detention. 

Retention ponds are pools of water that fluctuate in response to rain and runoff. They collect water and release it slowly, at a nice, easy rate that prevents flooding or erosion.

Detention ponds are usually dry, except when excess rain or melted snow fill them up. They’re designed to hold water temporarily, then slowly drain it to another location.

detention pond near commercial property

They’re great landscape drainage systems — as long as you keep them properly maintained. 

Ignore them, and they can fail. 

Municipalities want to make sure that doesn’t happen. So they conduct regular inspections. Make sure you’re ready. 

How? Regular maintenance of these landscape drainage systems four times a year, including mowing the embankment so it doesn’t get overgrown; addressing any erosion; and removing sediment.

Rain Gardens to the Rescue

Rain gardens win the prize for the prettiest landscape drainage solutions. They control excess water and give your landscape an attractive boost at the same time.

rain garden on roof with flowers

A rain garden is a shallow depression that’s planted with deep-rooted native plants and grasses. It encourages excess water to soak slowly into the ground instead of hanging around on your property like your college roommate who crashed on your couch for the weekend and was still eating all your Doritos three weeks later.

Bonus: some municipalities offer incentives and tax credits if you install a rain garden. Your account manager can help you find out if you’re eligible.

French Drains

This is a classic landscape drainage solution and sounds kind of fancy, with the word “French,” but it’s pretty straightforward. (In case this ever pops up as a Jeopardy question, it’s named after a Massachusetts farmer, Henry French, who wrote about the technique in his 1859 book on farm drainage.) 

Henry invented this gravel-filled trench with a perforated pipe inside. It uses gravity to divert your property’s excess water, which makes it science-y, which is cool. 

Water flows into the trench, soaks down through the gravel and into the pipe, which diverts it away from your property. French drains are typically installed along a building foundation to capture excess water.

Regrading: Cue the Heavy Equipment

Re-grading low spots so water flows away from your buildings can do great things for your commercial landscape drainage. 

drainage ditch near shopping center

This landscape drainage solution levels the landscape, getting rid of low spots or sloped areas that cause water to pool up or flow where it shouldn’t.

Extend Downspouts for an Easy Fix

Sometimes, landscape drainage solutions are pretty simple. You might just need to extend downspouts on buildings so water flows away from the building.

Bioswales Do Double Duty

Another attractive landscape drainage solution like its cousin the rain garden, a bioswale provides a path for water to run through slowly, rather than rushing off into a storm sewer or local waterway.

Gently sloped troughs, they’re planted with plants and flowers, providing a path for water to run through slowly and efficiently. This commercial property drainage solution offers a bonus: the plants and soil in the bioswale clean the runoff before it enters the water table.

Signs You Need Better Commercial Landscape Drainage

How do you know if you have a drainage problem? You probably know. 

Maybe there are large puddles on your lawn after a rain that seem to take forever to evaporate. Pools of water on pavement is another sign. Or a flooded basement.

detention pond near commercial property

Are there cracks in your foundation that keep getting bigger? Water stains on your basement floors or walls? 

Are your socks wet? That can’t feel great.
Address these telltale signs before they become big headaches.

Need Commercial Drainage Solutions in DC, Maryland, or Virginia? Trust Level Green

Chances are, you still have a lot of tasks on that to-do list.

Let the pros at Level Green Landscaping analyze your commercial property and figure out commercial drainage solutions for all your water management needs.

Plan ahead for your drainage issues and you’ll avoid major repair costs, insurance headaches and stress by ensuring that your property can handle excess water. 

Our focus is on commercial properties like offices, mixed-use sites, HOAs, municipalities and institutions, providing expert commercial landscaping in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. 

Contact us at 202-544-0968 or by filling out the form online. You can also request a free consultation online to meet with us one-on-one.

We’d love to hear from you.

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