How a Clogged Yard Drain Can Cause 5 Types of Damage to Your Property


Area and yard drains are a useful piece of drain hardware for your home or commercial property. An area drain helps your NYC property flourish and avoid damage from excess water during rainy seasons or severe storms. However, when a yard drain isn’t properly maintained, it can lead to serious problems when it results in a clogged yard drain. Which will certainly impact your property and your home.

Area drains are designed to collect excess rain and stormwater that runs off roofs, sidewalks, parking lots, as well as paved streets. These drains are a necessary feature in urban areas. But sometimes, probably because they are outside and underground, property owners fail to maintain these drains.

Many property owners don’t even take the time to find to learn where they’re located. Read on and find out the home and yard drainage damages a clogged area drain can cause.

5 Ways a Clogged Yard Drain Causes Damage to Your Property

Unfortunately, a clogged yard drain can lead to critical issues that quickly extend beyond slowed drainage and a few pesky puddles. You can experience a backup and end up with more water on your property than you had to begin with.

The most common reason homeowners skip plumbing maintenance is to avoid extra costs. However, the cost of repairing your home and property is significantly more expensive than proper area and yard drain maintenance. A clogged area drain can result in these types of damage to your NYC property.

A Clogged Yard Drain Causes Landscape Damage

For many residents, outdoor space is a valuable extension of the home. Whether you use this space to create a beautiful landscape, enjoy an outdoor living space, or a play area for the kids to enjoy, landscape damage can be devastating. Sudden storms often bring heavy, sudden bursts of rain.

When your area drain is working the right way, runoff in the area is directed toward your drain and carried away. Unfortunately, when your drain is clogged, it’s usually too late to protect your landscape from a deluge of water. 

Flooding rain in your yard can cause 6 types of damage from a single storm event.

  • Destroyed flower beds or vegetable gardens
  • Uprooted or damaged play equipment
  • Several inches of standing water can damage your lawn, plants, and trees
  • Erosion that can change the shape of your landscape or damage your driveway
  • Crumbled retaining walls and damaged stepping stones
  • Lost furniture, pet supplies, toys, or other items
A clogged yard drain in a paved area.

The 5 Dangers Of a Clogged Or Backed Up Yard Drain

What many folks overlook is the threat of trips and falls, and vehicular damage, that a non-functioning area drain can cause. While a large puddle may seem innocent enough, it is a cause for concern.

In sub-freezing temperatures when the water freezes over, the exposure is multiplied. The cost of performing drain maintenance or cleaning pales in comparison to the risk of an injury or a lawsuit.

  1. Foundation Settling

For many NYC homeowners, foundation damage seems like an extreme example. After all, could a few isolated flooding events lead to this type of severe damage? Unfortunately, repeated events of precipitation can lead to severe damage over time.

Additionally, New York has recently experienced a substantial increase in the number of extreme precipitation events. These increased rain events lead to additional ground saturation, making foundation damage more common.

The shrinking action of the soil surrounding your home can make the ground uneven beneath your home’s foundation. As the soil expands and contracts, cracks form in your home’s foundation that can lead to leaks or structural damage. Foundation settling can lead to cracks in your home’s ceilings, walls, and floors. 

2. Basement Flooding: Another Result of a Clogged Yard Drain

When water surrounds your home, it will likely enter your basement as well. Since your basement is at least partially below ground level, it has the potential to take on water from outside the home. When the soil is saturated around or below your home, your basement waterproofing system may quickly show defects. Allowing water to seep into your basement.

Even worse, if your property floods, gallons of water could potentially enter your basement through foundation wall cracks or openings that aren’t properly sealed. The potential for basement flooding is often an overlooked result of a clogged yard drain. Another reason to maintain your outside drains is to avoid this realization.

3. Soil Erosion

An yard drain is a tool added to a residential plumbing system to repair existing irrigation issues. All cities have surfaces that create runoff. However, 72% of New York City is covered in impervious surfaces that don’t allow water to be absorbed. This means storms create runoff from a variety of areas that can accumulate in the area surrounding your home.

When the drain isn’t working properly, your soil is exposed to large amounts of water in short periods of time. Standing water that isn’t absorbed into the soil can cause the washing away of nutrients that feed your lawn and trees. Erosion can also cause more substantial effects, like your driveway washing away or even the loss of land due to embankment erosion.

4. Street and Roadway Flooding

Catch basins and technically public area drains. Just like any clogged yard drain, a clogged catch basin causes street flooding and trip hazards for pedestrians. That is why municipalities perform routine maintenance on their catch basins. Each municipality (NYC Included) typically uses specialized trucks equipped with a knuckle boom device with a clamshell attachment on the end.

Using a specialized device such as this prevents anybody from physically having to enter an area drain or catch basin to clean it out. Entering any type of drain hardware or structure does pose a potential danger.

5. Water Damage and Mold

Many people think of water damage as areas in their homes that need to dry out over days. Unfortunately, water damage can be much more severe, and can even impact your home’s structure. Fast-moving water that slams into your home’s foundation or wooden piers or beams beneath your home, can cause cracking or twisting of beams and metal fasteners.

Moisture buildup in your home can lead to dangerous mold that can impact your health and the health of your family. Mold growth occurs indoors when mold spores land on damp surfaces and begin to grow. Mold eats away at organic materials causing deterioration of wallpaper, wood paneling, drywall, carpets, wooden wall studs, and ceiling tiles. Left untouched, mold damage can cause serious destruction to the interior of your home.

Avoid Severe Damage to Your Home with Drain Maintenance

Instead of waiting for the damage to occur, you can prevent an outdoor drain from clogging, and the associated damage, before it occurs with routine maintenance to prevent a clogged yard drain. In many cases, a yard drain clogged with mud can even be cleaned out by hand (wear some gloves).

Like keeping your gutters clean, maintaining your storm drain is an important part of keeping your home in good condition. You can learn to clean and unclog your yard or area drain yourself to avoid flooding when severe rain occurs.

However, to unclog your outdoor drain certainly isn’t an option for everyone. If you’re unable to take care of strenuous labor, don’t have time for extra maintenance tasks, or don’t feel confident about taking care of your area drain, it’s important to contact drain care professionals like the ones at Balkan Sewer and Drain Cleaning. A clogged yard drain can damage your landscaping, and flood your home as well. If you haven’t had drain maintenance in over 3 months, now is the time.