Three top tips to avoid waterlogged gardens

Three top tips to avoid waterlogged gardens

The Met Office’s predictions of a warmer than average summer and the recent hot weather may well look promising for homeowners who have struggled with wet gardens during the unseasonably rainy spring.

However, the long-range outlook also warns of an ongoing, increased chance of rain which, when combined with dry spells, can increase the risk of waterlogging and flooding.

Alongside the impact of climate change becoming increasingly evident in recent years, tradespeople are seeing an increasing number of requests for landscaping work that can withstand these unpredictable conditions.

Here, Catriona Williams, Senior Category Manager at Jewson, shares three tips to help builders, landscapers and tradespeople to weather-proof outdoor spaces and advise customers through these changing times.

1) Utilise hard landscaping to drain drives and patios

“Hard landscaping teamed with the right drainage system will create a sustainable and hard- wearing system for water management in outdoor areas, which also looks aesthetically pleasing and adds to the overall design of your garden.

“For example, permeable paving – predominantly used for driveways and patio areas – allows rainwater to drain through it and soak into the ground below, minimising the chances of standing water in even the heaviest rain.

“Channel drainage is often used around the perimeter of a garden or driveway to direct the flow of water, while soakaway options underground can create an almost invisible solution to complement the aesthetic of the area. Both routes require a good quality base to be as effective as possible above ground. This should include a combination of coarse and fine aggregates that manage the amount of water that enters the system, which are then paired with perforated drains or attenuation crates to capture the water.

“At Jewson, we have a number of innovative drainage solutions from our extensive supplier network and our in-branch experts can provide practical advice on the best solutions for each project.”

2) Explore more sustainable solutions

“Customers that are looking for the most sustainable solutions should consider natural flood management solutions that have strong biodiversity benefits.

“Laying a quality substrate and topsoil followed by new turf can help to reduce flooding in gardens that have become waterlogged and unmanageable. Lawns can be paired with an underground rainwater harvesting system, which will divert any standing floodwater to a storage tank. In many cases, water captured in underground storage tanks can be redirected to support plant life above the surface.

“Another popular option among eco-conscious customers are bioscapes, which have inbuilt water management systems and offer ecologically rich habitats for wildlife. There are an increasing number of sustainable solutions coming to market, so this could provide the perfect opportunity to discuss potential upgrades and new projects with customers, ahead of the summer.”

3) Tackle flood-prone lawns

“Lawns are one of the most troublesome areas when it comes to waterlogging, particularly when the surface is uneven. Those that are sloped should be levelled out with new turf to create a consistent plain for water to flow.

“However, when tackling a waterlogged lawn, it is important to firstly allow any standing water to recede as much as possible – which means waiting to tackle the project until any weather warnings have passed. The surface that is left behind will be weak and there should be no attempts to cut back or mow the lawn until it has had a chance to recover. Aerating then seeding and feeding the soil will encourage regrowth.

“Alongside this, ditches can be installed throughout the perimeter of the lawn – either using soft landscaping and natural materials or by installing a drain system that channels water to the edge and away from the grass. Alternatives to grass – such as densely-planted meadows, moss and rock gardens – are also worth suggesting in areas prone to regular flooding, or in situations when customers are looking for a low maintenance option, as they naturally slow the flow of water, making it soak away more slowly.

“While waterlogging and inclement weather poses a challenge, it also creates an opportunity for tradespeople who can show an understanding and expertise in how best to tackle the growing problem. Demonstrating a knowledge of the best ways to handle the different conditions, while creating a stylish and practical outdoor space that has a positive impact on the environment, can be a good way to get ahead of the competition – and the elements.”

About STARK Building Materials UK (STARK UK)

STARK Building Materials UK is one of the nation’s group of leading builders’ merchants that provides professional tradespeople with the products and services they need to grow their own businesses. Served from hundreds of dedicated branches and distribution centres across Britain, building and construction customers benefit from the specialist materials and expertise provided by an integrated network of dedicated local and regional teams.

The Coventry-based company meets the needs of customers across the building and construction industry. From household names, such as Jewson, which helps the best small and medium builders in town, to customers being supported by JP Corry in Northern Ireland and Normans in Jersey, to specialist business customers being served by Minster, Jewson Partnership Solutions, Major Build Solutions, Jewson Civils Frazer and International Timber, the STARK Building Materials UK teams operate with decency, passion and pride.

About STARK Group

STARK Group is a leading business-to-business distributor of building materials for the construction industry in Europe, with a strategic focus on serving professional builders from its more than 1,150 branches.

STARK Group has pro forma net sales of approx. EUR 9 billion and employs more than 20,000 people across Europe. The Group empowers professional builders with insights, product knowledge and sound advice, as well as advises suppliers about market developments and customer feedback.

STARK Group is aiming to reach net zero emissions by 2050 across the entire business, is a signatory to the UN Global Compact, and works within fully validated science-based targets to keep global warming below 1.5°C