Water travels downhill. If your property sets downhill from a neighbor, then it is likely that you might suffer the effects of their drainage problems. Unless they do something to redirect the natural flow of water from their property onto yours, such as altering the landscape, then they are not responsible for damage caused by the runoff of storm water.

Storm water runoff from a neighbor’s property can be a serious issue, especially if it pools in low areas of your yard or collects around the foundation of your home. This is more than an unsightly mess. Excess water can cause real damage to the foundation, exterior, or even interior of your home. Here are some things that could happen if you do not redirect a neighbor’s storm water runoff away from your home.

Ideally when this happens, you will be able to divert the water in another direction where it can travel to a safer location before damage to your home has a chance to take place. Failure to tackle water drainage issues in a timely manner could result in terrible consequences that are, even worse, terribly expensive to repair. Here are three reasons why your neighbor’s storm water runoff is your problem.


As mentioned, excess moisture from storm water runoff can cause damage to your property, even if the water comes from the direction of a neighbor. You could wind up with a flooded crawl space or basement, settling in the foundation that causes cracks in the walls of your home, and rotted wood.


You will have a hard time using a basement that is full of water. Whether you use it as a storage area, a rec room, or have finished the space to include bedrooms or a studio apartment, one good flood could wipe everything out.


Runoff that collects around your home could cause mold or mildew to grow in a crawlspace or basement. If it collects on walkways and other high traffic areas through the yard, then it could potentially hide tree roots or pavers which could cause accidents, like slipping and falling. And at the very least, standing water is a breeding ground for insects like mosquitos which carry disease.

One way to redirect standing water from a neighbor’s property onto yours is to have a shallow trench dug, but this is a temporary solution. Before guessing at what might fix the problem, which often results in several failed attempts before a sure fix is found, save time and money by contacting a professional from the start. They have the knowledge and experience to safely fix the problem, with your family’s best interest in mind.