While most of us are aware of the dangers that come with river flooding, few people are aware of the additional risks associated with surface water flooding.


What Is Surface Water Flooding?

This is when water is unable to drain away from the surface of your property. Surface water is water that has accumulated at ground level due to rain or melting snow, also known as ‘runoff‘.

There are several factors that contribute to surface flooding; inadequate drainage systems, high levels of impervious cover (such as parking lots and roads), and low-lying areas susceptible to runoff all make for an increased risk.

The most common issue with surface water flooding is basement or patio flooding. However if left untreated, it can lead to more serious problems such as mold growth which can cause respiratory issues in some people.

Related: The Patio Guide: (Everything You Needed to Know)

How to Stop Garden Flooding When it Rains

If you experience an abnormal amount of rainfall in your area, chances are that it will affect the appearance of your garden.

There are a few solutions to prevent your garden patio from flooding (oftentimes referred to as water pooling) and eliminate standing water.

If this is of interest to you, then you might find this article interesting? – Will My Patio Cleaner Kill Plants?

Top tips to reduce surface water flooding [surface water drainage solutions]

Make sure roofs are in good repair and clear guttering

This is the first step in ensuring your patio doesn’t flood after rainfall. Ensure that your rooftop is in good condition, with no cracks or holes which could result in water leakage onto the surface below.

If necessary, make sure gutters are clear and free of debris to prevent them from getting clogged up when it rains. Once they become blocked it can be difficult for excess water to drain away which will result in flooding at the bottom of your home.

You can either purchase your own gutter cleaning kit which comprises a telescopic pipe with either a hook or brush at the end to clean away excess debris or hire a professional.

There are plenty of cleaning companies that now have gutter vac systems that simply suck the debris and clear the gutters as they go.

The best time of year to pressure wash may also come into the equation too.

Use water butts to collect rainfall

Instead of having the gutter pipe flowing directly onto your patio, you could consider using water butts. These are basically large plastic barrels that collect rainwater to be used for other purposes such as watering plants or washing your car. This water is excellent because it is purer than tap water and needn’t be filtered before being used.

Be mindful of the drainage system in your garden

Ensure there is adequate space between pathways and flowerbeds so that rainfall doesn’t accumulate on the surface. Keep vegetation away from gutters so they drain properly without obstruction.

If you have a pond, waterfall, or other feature in your garden, make sure it has an overflow pipe to prevent flooding if the water supply exceeds the capacity of the container. Consider installing a pump to ensure excess water can flow smoothly away from your property.

Install a drainage system around the edge of your patio to divert the water away

This will help to prevent rainwater from collecting around the edge of your patio, causing waterlogging.

It is also wise to ensure that it isn’t just one drainage system but several in order to divert surface water away from your home.

If you’re interested in this, you might also be interested in How To Get Rid Of Weeds Between Your Block Paving.

Add some plants or flowers to help absorb some of the moisture

If you have the space, then planting a few flowers or even a small shrub will help to soak up some of the moisture in your soil. This way, you won’t have a swampy garden after rainfall and it should also prevent flooding on your patio too.

Make sure your patio is sloped correctly to allow water to run off

Of course, this is much easier to do when you are building a patio, but a lot harder to fix retrospectively.

Normally, a 1:80 ratio is used for the fall of concrete. However, this may vary depending on your project. In this case, that means the patio should fall 1 unit for every 80 units of distance. To calculate the drop in this case, you must divide the length traveled by 80.

This can also be helped by filling in any large gaps in your patio by using filler sand and then regular sweeping and washing down.

Use a waterproof sealant on your patio surface to keep it from absorbing moisture

You can also add waterproof sealant to the surface of your patio which will prevent it from absorbing water and therefore stop flooding.

You can also use a stone sealer to protect the porous nature of certain stones.

Maintain healthy and level lawns

A healthy lawn drains rainwater effectively, preventing flooding or waterlogging on your patio. An aerator can also be used to improve the quality of the soil and increase drainage.

If you have a problem with compacted soil then consider feeding and fertilizing the lawn in order to help it better absorb rainfall without causing trouble.

You may apply a top dressing to shallow areas only 1-2cm lower than the rest of your lawn. Over the concerned area, apply a thin layer and evenly distribute it. Compact the soil with your feet or a flat side of a rake to make it denser. Allow the soil to soak up some water before letting it settle.

Improve Soil Drainage With a Popup Drain

Popup drains are placed at the end of underground downspouts. The goal is to build a PVC pipe network that captures downspout water and transports it downhill to a drain in your yard. The drain is intended to rest flat on your lawn.

Related: What Is Water Pooling? (How Can I Stop It!)


There are a few ways to prevent your patio from flooding during rainfall. One is to collect the rainwater in water butts, which can then be used for other purposes.

You can also improve the drainage in your garden by installing gutters, waterfalls, and other features correctly, and by planting vegetation that will help absorb some of the moisture.

If you already have a patio, you can slop it correctly so that the water runs off, and seal it with waterproof sealant. You can also maintain healthy and level lawns to help with drainage.

These are just some of the ways to prevent flooding on your patio.

Have we missed anything out? Have any of these solutions worked for you?

Please share in the comments section below.

If you don’t want to use a pressure washer on your patio, then you should find this article interesting.

How Do I Keep My Patio From Flooding
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