If you walk outside your home following a rainstorm and find that water is standing in muddy pools in certain areas, you may have a problem with drainage that is related to the grading in your yard. While it was probably fine when your home was first constructed, the soil may have settled since then. This can result in a negative drainage issue (where the water runs toward the foundation of your home). The solution to this is to adjust the grading by adding soil in the correct locations.
What You Will Need
Step 1. Remove any mulch and plants from areas alongside the foundation of your home where water has been collecting and place them to one side.
Step 2. Start removing the sod along the area of your house where water has been collecting because of negative drainage. You want to dig out an area starting from the foundation of your home and going out 10 feet. How wide this area will be depends on how large an area you have where the water has been collecting. If your home is essentially in a hole with every side collecting water, you will have to remove the sod in a 10 foot perimeter all the way around your home. Lay the sod aside so you can put it back later.
Step 3. Hammer a wooden stake beside your foundation and another stake at a 10 foot line directly away from your home. Tie a string between them, making sure that the end of the string at the 10 foot line is at ground level. Then get the string on the other stake at the same height by raising it on the stake. Use a level to make sure you have it right.
Step 4. Now raise the height of the string on the stake next to the house by 6 inches. This will give you the slope that you need to ensure that any water coming off your roof or falling close to your home will drain away. This also lets you know how much soil you need to add to accomplish this.
Step 5. Use a shovel to add soil in the area where you removed the sod until you have raised it high enough that the slope of the ground matches the angle and height of the string.
Step 6. Flatten out the soil by running a lawn roller across it. If you find that this packs the soil down too much and that it is now below the line of the string, shovel in more soil and use the roller again.
Step 7. Replace the sod that you removed earlier. Replant any vegetation that you removed as well. Make sure that you apply a generous amount of water to both the plants and the grass.
For more information, or if you would like professional assistance, contact a grading contractor in your area.