How do I fix my Winnipeg drainage issues?

Do you regularly have water and ice accumulating around your house? Would you like to eliminate this issue? Here at B. Rocke Landscaping, we are happy to assist our fellow Winnipeggers with finding resolutions to drainage issues.

Proper drainage is integral to protecting various aspects of your property. Some homes have a weeping tile system and/or sump pump installed, which help move water away from your foundation. However, this is only one piece of the puzzle! The best time to check your grading is in the spring, when it’s easiest to see where water is pooling in low spots. Let’s have a look at things to check to make sure water and ice buildup don’t become major issues.

Clue 1: Grading

  • Check if the grade around your house consistently slopes away from the foundation and toward your property line. Typically, this means directing water toward either the front or back edge of your property, but it will depend on your situation. 

Clue 2: Softscape slopes

  • Using a fixed high point, such as the house or a fence, a laser level or string line can be used to determine the current slope in each direction.

Clue 3: Hardscapes slopes 

  • Ensure paved or concrete surfaces have a 1-2% slope away from the house.

Clue 4: Door height 

  • If your door is at grade, confirm that the door sill is the highest point of the yard.
  • Consider retaining walls and rain drains to direct water flow if needed.

Clue 5: Window wells

  • Install sealed window wells for windows below grade to prevent water leakage into your basement.

Clue 6: Cracks

  • Assess any cracks or gaps in the foundation walls as they may contribute to basement water issues.
  • Prioritize a foundation assessment before exterior grading so you’re not fixing your grading twice.

Clue 7: Gutter system

  • Verify that your downspouts are sufficiently long to carry water away from your foundation.
  • Ensure your gutters are regularly cleared of ice/debris to prevent overflow and/or leaking.



  • Adjust the grade along your house to be higher than other areas in your yard. In most circumstances, grade deficiencies can be corrected using clean fill, soil, limestone, or a combination thereof. For more problematic cases, the entire yard may need to be scraped out and regraded.
  • Ensure you have a drainage plan that includes the entire property and specifically addresses problem areas.


  • Install rain drains to better manage runoff coming off your roof. These carry water down and away from the house using underground pipes.

Figure 2: Installed Rain Drain Box within Paved Walkway

Figure 3: Rendering of Drainage Pipe Underground


  • Reset any brick or paved patio areas that have slumped or slope toward the house.
  • Maintain a 1-2% slope away from the house for effective drainage.


  • Clear snow around the perimeter of your house before spring melt to prevent ice dams. Snow typically contains about 10% water mass and is often overlooked as a contributor to drainage issues.

By diligently addressing these clues and implementing our suggested solutions, you can effectively protect your Winnipeg property from water damage resulting from improper surface drainage.

Will fixing your drainage issue assist with your ROI?

Return on Investment (ROI):

Our recent research indicates that spending 10%-20% of your home’s value on landscaping and outdoor improvements can provide an ROI within 3-5 years. If you plan to move within 3-5 years, we will instead recommend less-intensive improvements to drainage and curb appeal to maximize short-term value.

The main factors that influence pricing are material and labour costs, which are highly dependent on style and aesthetic choices. Another consideration will be the desired level of maintenance required; most people fall somewhere between “as hands-off as possible” and “weekend warrior”, but others greatly enjoy the challenges of fully maintaining an outdoor space. A good designer will take all of this into consideration when preparing a landscaping Master Plan. Click Here for our blog about ROI!