I inspected a house that has a separate main liveable building and the garage that is separated by a back yard, hence one must go through the back window sliding door and the whole length of the backyard to get to the garage.

It was raining moderate to heavy intensity when I inspected the property and I noticed that there's an area where water accumulate and forming a pond against a garage wall. I noticed there is no gutter blockage or pipe burst or anything suspicious. My gut says it was the landscape that may be sloping down towards this area.

What would be the issue that might cause this? And if this is the case, how can this be fixed? I am imagining that flattening the landscape might not be the solution to it as the slope isn't actually that bad.

Picture is attached for reference.

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  • 1
    Your initial diagnosis of the landscaping being the cause of the problem is almost certainly correct. So the apportion is: fix the landscaping - put a few inches of extra soil against the wall to encourage water to flow away rather than towards it.
    – brhans
    Oct 11, 2022 at 8:36

1 Answer 1


Virtually always a failure to slope the ground away from the buildings for some distance, or sometimes that may have been done once, but not corrected when the ground settled after construction, typically the first winter and spring (freeze/thaw cycle) after construction.

Generally something like a 1% slope (1/8" per foot or 1 cm per meter) for 10-12 feet / 3-4 meters away from the building will correct, unless there's a large enough inflow from somewhere else to overcome that.

If you can't divert the water to a ditch, stream, or storm drain you may have ponding elsewhere - you can indeed design drainage features such as swales to help collect and disperse runoff in a more convenient location that you pick.

Around a garage, specifically, there may be (or often is) poor handling of the runoff from the driveway to be corrected.

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