At A&J Property Restoration DKI, we already know that autumn in Wisconsin is a beautiful season to experience. In addition to changing leaf colors and cooler nights, autumn can also bring rain and blustery thunderstorms. If storms get bad enough, excess rain water can become a problem for Wisconsin homes. 

Too much water can lead to flooding, and water damage is not something that any homeowner wants to deal with. One way to keep rainwater from finding its way into your home is to consider building a rain garden! 

Rain gardens are not only great for keeping water away from your basement, but it’s also a way to put the water to good use instead of relying on tap water to keep your plants watered. 

Here’s how you can build your own rain garden.

What is a Rain Garden?

A rain garden will keep the water that flows from your roof and into your gutters in different areas in your yard, all designed with one purpose – to collect the rain water. What happens in a rain garden is simple, the water is collected in shallow depressions of loose soil, and these depressions clean the water as it seeps back into the ground. 

Here’s the great thing about rain gardens, anyone that has enough space around their home can build one, and the garden is easily maintained like any other garden. 

Why Would I Want a Rain Garden?

Not only are rain gardens great for the environment by filtering sediment out of water before it flows off site, but keeping storm water close to where it drops, gives the rain water less of a chance to get contaminated by chemicals, metals, or oils. 

Rain gardens also help increase the groundwater quality and make for higher hydrological health.  Another great advantage is they’re easy to set up. 

How to Build Your Own Rain Garden

You don’t need to have a degree in engineering to build a rain garden! Anyone can make one, and they can fit into small spaces as well. A lot of the planning of a rain garden can be done outside of gardening season, so fall is a great time to start – right before snow falls!

  1. Start by deciding where you want to put your rain garden. Sketch out your property and your home. You want to pay attention to boundaries, utility lines, large trees, and septic fields. Plan on putting your rain garden at least 10 to 20 feet from the downspout of your home. Remember that your goal is to encourage infiltration. Be sure you don’t put it in areas where there are already heavy water pockets. 
  2. Choose an area that is relatively flat. Rain gardens should be between four to eight inches deep. You want to start the planning by gauging the slope of your area. You can use wooden stakes and string to gauge the slope using this calculation:
    • Place two stakes about 15 feet apart. Stretch the string horizontally between the stakes, making sure that it is level.
    • Measure the distance in inches between the two stakes, and then measure the height on the downhill stake between the string and the ground. 
    • Divide the height by the width and multiply by 100 – this will give you the percentage of the slope in that area of your lawn. 

If your slope is less than 4%, the rain garden should be 3 – 5 inches deep, where 5 – 7% calls for 6 to 7 inches. Anything above this slope percentage may need a professional landscaper to help with the installation. 

  1. Decide on your garden size. The size of your garden will determine the type of soil you add to it. Research the different types of soil and what their drain process entails. This will help you make the best decision on the size of your rain garden. 
  2. Once you have your rain garden plotted out, it’s now time to choose your plants. Species of plants that can survive just about anything are highly recommended – prairie flowers are a favorite, especially in Wisconsin. 
  3. Enjoy the beautiful rain garden you’ve created, knowing that you are working to get the water back into the water cycle!

Water Damage Cleanup with A&J Property Restoration DKI

Even with the best planning, flooding can still occur in your home, causing water damage in its wake. If this happens, the professionals at A&J Property Restoration DKI can help. Our water damage team is available 24/7, and prepared to deal with any type of water damage – large or small.

Contact A&J today for water damage clean up emergencies and services by A&J Specialty Services Inc DKI of Madison, Sun Prairie, Milwaukee, WI Dells, Fort Atkinson, Watertown, and Waukesha, Wisconsin

Visit our website to see the services we offer and how we can handle the damage from flooding or excess rain water in your Madison, Wisconsin home. Call us anytime – we’re standing by ready to help.