Dangers of Standing Water

Standing water in your back yard and around other areas of your property can eventually lead to structural damage to your home, health issues and pest infestations. Some forms of standing water are obvious, while others are not. Knowing the dangers and how to deal with hidden sources of stagnant water can help you eliminate potential problems.

Hidden Sources of Standing Water

Most homeowners are aware of how standing water forms on a roof, in the gutters or underneath downspouts. But anything that can hold liquid is a possible place for water to become stagnant. Hidden sources include:

  • ponds, pools or birdbaths
  • unattended or mismanaged piles of materials waiting to be recycled
  • gardening equipment like a wheelbarrow or a bucket
  • children’s play areas such as a sandbox or wading pool
  • children’s toys that hold water
  • pet possessions like a dog house, bed, and food bowl
  • landscaping that isn’t draining properly

Potential Dangers of Standing Water

Water collecting in the valleys or flatter areas of a roof that doesn’t dissipate adds unnecessary weight to a roofing system. Added weight is also a byproduct of stagnant water in gutters.

Standing water doesn’t move, which makes it an attractive breeding environment for insects like mosquitoes, dragonflies and certain species of flies.

When standing water, in gutters, for example, reaches maximum capacity, seeping or over spilling can occur. If not dealt with, damp patches on siding might encourage mold, mildew or algae growth. Stagnant water contains microorganisms potentially harmful to a person’s health.

Overflowing gutters and downspouts with drainage issues can cause structural damage to exterior walls and the foundation.

Pooled water on your property could pose a slipping or falling hazard to family members or visitors to your home.

Solutions for Standing Water

Regularly clean the roof, gutters, and downspouts to prevent debris buildup.

Incorporate a fountain or waterfall feature into a pond or pool to keep water in motion. Another option is to remove debris from the surface of a pond, pool or birdbath to make it less inviting to insects.

Keep the yard free of stockpiled materials to be recycled. Put away gardening equipment and tools that have the capacity to collect water.

Cover the sandbox or wading pool when not in use. Bring toys inside.

When garden beds or the lawn is being “flooded,” find the reason for poor drainage and fix it.