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7 Signs your lawn is not draining properly

Updated: Apr 30

Maryland lawns are getting the occasional soaking over the past few weeks due to passing thunderstorms! Does your lawn or property have a drainage problem? If you're seeing mysterious "pond" pop-up, than the answer is quite obvious! However, there are some cases where some warning signs could save you from potential problems in the future.

Do you smell that?

When soil stays too damp for too long, it may develop an unpleasant odor. This happens because the moisture in the soil supports bacteria growth. You may not notice damp patches, however a mysterious odor can often mean the level of moisture is too high.


Soil color can indicate if you have a drainage issue, and is a great way to catch a problem early. Bright-colored soil indicates healthy soil. While dull soil doesn't always mean a drainage problem is present, it is a great reason to have an expert test your soil for some answers.


The most common grass problem most people experience are dead patches. There are many reason for spots of grass in the yard to die and turn brown. Again, drainage is a potential cause and dead zones in the lawn are a great sign to start investigating your cause.

Basement Stains.

Poor lawn drainage often results in stains on your basement walls. Other problems can also cause water stains on basement walls, such as overflowing gutters. But if you find water stains in your basement, you should investigate further to determine whether you have a lawn drainage problem.

Cracks in the Foundation.

This one is kind of scary, it shows just how serious a lawn drainage problem can be! A lawn drainage problem is NOT just about soggy soil — it can cause serious damage to your home. Cracks in your home’s foundation is a sign that poor water drainage may be harming your house. Be aware that some foundation cracking is normal; it almost always occurs as a house settles over time. But larger cracks (and cracks that appear to keep growing) are bad signs and potentially indicate a drainage problem. If you’re not sure whether your foundation cracks might indicate a drainage problem, it's better to get an expert to check them out.

Wall Flakes.

Crusty patches that tend to flake off are sometimes caused by minerals that were left on the surface of the wall by evaporating water. Again, you might need to ask an expert to determine whether the condition is indicative of poor drainage. (A common condition known as "concrete spalling" can create the same symptoms).

Mildew in the Attic

Mildew in the attic can indicate a lawn drainage problem?! Yep, crazy, huh? Here’s how: soil that doesn’t drain properly can pump lots of moisture into the air. Moist air in the basement tends to rise, and ultimately ends up in the attic where it can condense against the cold underside of the roof. And that can create prime growing conditions for mildew.

If you have a lawn drainage problem, it’s quite likely that one of more of the above indicators is (or will soon be) showing. After all, we’ve just had a very wet May! Don't wait to talk to us about the health of your lawn - call and schedule an appointment by calling 443-846-0199 or

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