How to Stop Water From Flowing Under Fence From Neighbor’s Yard

Oftentimes when water flows from your neighbor’s yard. It could be that their house is elevated a little more than yours.  Or their drainage system is not well structured.

Where the water flows, a trench naturally forms. As the water tries to find its way. This is where you should dig up your french drain.

French drainage is a perforated pipe that is surrounded by gravel. Its job is to pick up subsurface water.

This french drainage usually has catching basins. They collect water on the immediate surface and direct it in the direction of your choice.

The catch basin should be set at the natural low spot of your garden. If you have sod grass, remove it in a way it could be easily placed back.

Dig up the trench using a shovel underneath the edges. Cut your tee, and ensure it is wide enough to get both in and out pipes.

Ensure you dig around the pipes to be able to put the PVC adequately on it. The PVC prevents the roots from interfering with the pipes. Roots tend to sneak in through the cracks.

The tape has to be tight. While the catching basin is leveled so that the water would know the direction to go. It has to be half an inch sloped.

The catch basin will redirect the water to the drainage of your choice. The downspouts could also be connected to the french drainage.

Other times the water could be flowing towards the driveway. And eventually, end up causing a crack. In this case, attach a channel drain in the driveway.

You may also hear other people referring them to trench or linear drains. They work based on gravity. When positioned at a point where surface water is likely to roll towards.

The channel drainage system drains water along its entire length. This is better when compared to those that drain at one point. They are made up of an enclosed channel with some form of grating over the top.

While their main function is to remove surface water from a selected area. They also prevent flooding and overspill. As well as reducing the stress being out on the drainage system.

There are two main types of channel drain. Those with built-in falls and those that maintain a regular depth along their entire length.

Those with built-in falls tend to be used to drain large flat areas like the driveway or the parking area. While the latter is used for short lengths of drain and areas with a natural slope or fall.

Without the right drainage system, water from your elevated neighbor’s house. This could cause flooding as well as some serious property damage.

Installing an NDS drainage system such as a flow well and EZ drains could help greatly. 

This drainage system works by capturing and retaining the excess surface water. It then holds this water for some time before letting it naturally percolate into the ground. Away from your home.

Flo well and EZ drainage systems are more preferred than the french drainage and dry gravel wells. 

They are easier to install with optimal performance. Built to last while providing a long-term solution.

Sometimes water from your elevated neighbor’s house could be caused by an emergency overflow. An overflow could come from their pond.

This could be the case if instead of using drainage tiles to handle high water. They utilized a low point. Therefore, when their pond overflows, the water also saturates your lawn. Hence creating problems.

In such a case, digging up a trench to redirect the water would solve the issue. You will need a spade, a shovel, and a panga.

Begin by clearing out the saplings on the way with the panga. Then dig out the trench in the pattern the water naturally goes through.

Start digging at the low point where drainage tile is underneath the road. Then dig up towards the top where the pond is.

The depth will depend on the water’s speed at different levels. While the length will depend on waterways.

This trench will help with drying your surroundings. At the same, it will direct the water into the underground tile. Without causing any flooding.

Another case scenario of water draining into your yard. It would be when it comes through the fence from the neighbor behind you. 

Here you could choose to build the yard up. To avoid the water from flowing back in.

Raising the yard is also instrumental in keeping your landscape aesthetically pleasing. It provides stability to your outdoors and prevents serious damage that could be costly to repair.

Your lawn must gradually slope away from your home to allow the rainwater to drain away. 

The rainwater running towards your home normally accumulates around the foundation walls. Which will then cause moisture to build up. Hence weakening your foundation.

In a worst-case scenario, the water would seep through the walls and fill the basement. Or seep through the wooden floor joists. 

Standing water would also be a breeding zone for the mosquitoes. Begin by measuring your yard’s slope. The ground should slope away approximately ¼ inch down from every foot away from your home.

If you measure a drop from 3 inches to 2 feet, you can do the leveling yourself. However, if the drop is greater, hire a professional to grade the yard.

To do it yourself, begin by mowing your lawn. Don’t cut the grass too short that you end up exposing their blades. You might end up drying out your grass.

Prepare the lawn by closely examining your lawn’s thatch. The thatch is a mix of living and dead plant material in a layer where the grass soil meets the roots.

A thatch greater than ¼ to ½ an inch will keep your grass from getting adequate water and air. 

Next, remove the sod and dirt underneath. Then make a top dressing mix to fill in the area beneath the grass. Plus the sunken areas.

The ratio of the mix would be 2 parts of topsoil, 2 parts sand to 1 part compost. The soil and the compost will give the grass the nutrients it needs to thrive.

On the other hand, sand does not compact easily, keeping your sand level over time.

Once you have filled up the holes and the divots, cover the entire lawn with the mix. About ¼ of an inch. Keeping the layer thin will help not to choke your grass.

After that, water your lawn. This will enable the soil mix to settle in the grass. To fill the air pockets and revitalize the lawn.

You may be required to do more than 1 layer of the soil mix. To completely level your yard. Remember to put back the sod of grass that you had removed.

This way, you will prevent water from flowing into the yard from the neighbor. Moreover, adding drainage with catch basins at the area where the water makes its way.

Remember that the best time to level your yard is during the dry season. Therefore ensure to take notes on the water puddles when it rains.

On that note, any soil removed from the yard can be reused while grading. Leveling your yard protects it from long-term damage.

You are at liberty to sue your neighbor for water run-offs. Normally when you sue, you want the neighbor to solve the issue despite your best efforts to drain off the water.

You can sue for compensation for the losses incurred. Then ask the court to order the neighbor to stop the action. Plus, fix it. 

Do your research as well before suing against your state’s water laws. You must prove that your neighbor did something to his land. And these alterations are the ones that changed the natural flow of water onto your yard.

This is because your neighbor will not be responsible for the damage caused by runoff from naturally occurring rain. 

The best approach to such a situation is to show them where the water is coming in from. Then take the actions from your side to try and solve the problem. After all, it’s your yard.

You could turn the wet areas in your yard from a detriment to a benefit by adding plants that flourish in wet soils. They can help you design a water-tolerant yard that complements your home.

There are select trees that have adapted to thrive in wet soils. Trees retain as much as half of the rain falling in their leaves. Thus cutting down on moisture before it even hits the ground.

In addition, their extensive root system absorbs water from the ground. Also, they develop new air-filled roots to replace those damaged by the roots. 

Go for moisture-loving trees. They thrive in waterlogged areas.

Another option for the plants is the water-thirsty shrubs. The native shrub species are particularly suited for wet gardens. Designed to absorb yard runoff.

Like the trees, the shrubs interrupt rainfall before it hits the ground. As well as absorb moisture from the soil through a well-developed root system.

Such shrubs would include spicebush and Cornus sericea. The berry-bearing shrubs can help resolve landscape drainage issues.

The other plant is the water-absorbing perennials. When planted in large numbers, these flowering perennials absorb moisture with a beautiful effect. 

Go for low-growing forest species like jack- in- pulpit, the sweet woodruff, and Lily. They thrive in wet soils and multiply. 

Moreover, the perennials produce sweet-smelling flowers along with lovely foliage. They turn the wet areas of your yard into beautiful gardens.

Even though sand can be used to drain water in the yard. They don’t hold their shape when water hits them. It washes away after some time. Hence not solving the problem.

What could work better is a 3/4  inch of gravel. They allow the water to flow through without being washed away.

Not only do they have a little bit of weight, but also they have a few pores that will allow water to fall through easily.

The only disadvantage with this gravel is that they are not visually appealing.  So instead, settle for pea gravel. It works as well as the other gravel, only that it is prettier.

Moreover, in a properly-designed yard, it will not be washed away. All you need is to pair it with the landscape fabric. It prevents the pea gravel from being flushed away by the heavy rains.

It will hold the pea gravel in place, and the water will drain through the fabric. Into the tiles and hoses, which will move the water from point A to the downspout and move it away.

The draining tiles have perforated holes around them. Through which the water drains into them moves along. So you put the fabric over the tile to prevent sand and sediments from plugging the holes.

You don’t have to do the landscaping fabric and opt for the pre-wrapped drainage tile. It saves you from so much work.

You will always want to move your water to the lowest part of your yard so it can drain away. The catchment basins do a great job of shooting the water in the direction you want.

The three main issues with all drainages in the catchment of water are how to move the water and how to release it.

You might also consider releasing the water to the driest parts of your yard. Since the yard is a slope, some areas will not receive adequate water.

Therefore getting a water catchment basin that drains the water into a tile automatically shoots water when it fills up. 

In this incident, you capture and reuse your water to your benefit. Almost like making lemonade out of lemons.

Moreover, filling the open areas beneath your fence would come in handy. Use materials like a horizontal board depending on the size of your gap. Screw it into the fence.

Or use railroad ties. If the gal is not too big, bricks would also do the job. All you have to do is rotate the bricks to a different angle. Also, dig them a little bit into the ground.

However, don’t hesitate to talk with your neighbor if the water is too much.