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What Is the Best Drainage System for Northern Illinois?

If you live in or own a business in Northern Illinois, you may have trouble maintaining a healthy landscape or hardscape on your property. Perhaps you have done all or part of your landscaping yourself or even retained a landscaper to do the work for you. You were hoping that these efforts would pay off, so you could enjoy an emerald green lawn and healthy plants and trees. Perhaps you also thought you would have a lovely walkway, patio, driveway, or parking lot for your clients. But if that is not the case, you may be puzzled as to what went wrong.

If you have to replace your perennial plants every year, or if you had to repair your walkway because of buckling or crumbling, you might be blaming yourself. Are you thinking that you didn’t feed and water your plants properly or that you chose trees that don’t thrive in your part of the state? Is it possible that you chose paving bricks that were too flimsy to hold up for more than a year or two?  The actual issue might not be any of the above. It may lie in the water-plagued history of Chicago and the surrounding areas.

As far back as the 19th century, the Chicagoland area of Northern Illinois experienced flooding and sewage problems due to the high water table. Over the decades, these problems were addressed by implementing a variety of measures, including building a canal as well as channels and ditches. After the Second World War, individual sewer systems became an essential part of suburban development. Today, the soil in Northern Illinois soil has a clay-like composition. Its tightly compacted texture can result in poor drainage, and this can translate into landscaping nightmares.

With clay-like soil, the area’s “pore space” is minimal. Rainwater will pool on the surface of your land instead of slowly draining away because the thick soil cannot absorb it. Also, plants will not get the water they need to grow. Other causes of poor drainage include poorly designed gardens and plant beds that result in debris trickling onto the lawn and eroding the topsoil. Or your walkways, patios, and other hard features may lack adequate sloping. The result can be pooling and topsoil erosion.

If the builder did a poor job of grading your land prior to constructing your home or business, water could flow toward rather than away from your structure, damaging the foundation. Your expensive hardscape features can be damaged as well. Another scenario common to poorly graded land is water pouring down slopes with no specific endpoint. This can result in slope instability.

If any of these scenarios are similar to what you are experiencing and you don’t want to tackle the problem yourself, hiring a professional landscaping team can help. The landscaping experts at Daybreaker Landscapes can evaluate your situation and determine what is causing your particular drainage issue. Once your issue is defined, one of our landscapers or drainage professionals can recommend and implement the appropriate solution for you.

  • Surface Drainage: If there is excess water sitting on top of the land itself, it must have a way to drain away. If not, your soil can erode, and your plants will become water-logged and die. Digging shallow ditches around hardscape features and structures such as homes and buildings can solve the problem.
  • Subsurface Drainage: Areas that have a high water table benefit from this type of drainage system. Digging deeper and placing pipes in a trench is required for subsurface drainage. Sometimes, a sump pump, which redirects the water to an inground pipe, is also used.
  • Downspouts and Gutters: If the soil around the foundation of a home or building is soggy, this can damage the foundation. Connecting a downspout to the gutter system diverts water away from foundations and areas that collect water.
  • Slope Drainage: If water pours down a slope without a specific flow pattern, the slope can erode. In this drainage procedure, a pipe is installed to direct the flow of the water to a “stabilized area,” which alleviates the problem.

If any of these drainage issues are ruining your landscape or hardscape, contact Daybreaker Landscapes at (815) 596-0070, fill out our contact form or chat with us now online. Jeff Raush, the founder of our company, will work with you to find solutions to all of your drainage issues. We are based in Union, but we have many primary service areas, including Elgin, Lake in the Hills, Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Woodstock, Barrington, and surrounding areas. There is no reason to hesitate. The estimate is free.