Poor drainage in your yard can be a problem. Beyond just keeping you from using parts of your yard while they're full of water, the issue can also kill your grass. Water drainage never happens immediately, because the water frequently isn't instantly absorbed by the soil. Heavy rains will even cause water pooling in the sandiest of soils. The first thing to help you fix any drainage problems in your yard is to understand why they happen. With a little awareness of what causes drainage problems, you'll be better equipped to pick the best solution. Here are two common causes of drainage problems, plus the one solution that can fix them both.

Thick root systems and heavy thatch buildup

Thick grass roots and thatch buildup in healthy turf can have a harmful effect on drainage. If you use a mulch type lawn mower then a heavy thatch buildup can often be the cause of drainage issues. While mulching is great for your turf, you may need to deal with the thatch every couple years. Aerating your turf will help reduce the level of thatch buildup and improve drainage.

Dense soil composition

Dense clay type soils also can drain poorly. Adding soil additives can ease the problem somewhat, but usually it is best to aerate heavy clays at least once a year. Similar to a heavy thatch problem, the severity of your soil density will dictate whether you need a machine aerator, or if you can do the job by hand. Taking a soil sample to a local agent will give you a better idea of your soil quality. 

If it's determined that your poor drainage is due to heavy thatch or dense soil, you can fix the problem by aerating your lawn. If your drainage problem seems to only occur as a result of excessively heavy rainfall, it can be handled with a hand aeration tool. If the water stands in place for more than an hour, then your level of thatch or soil compaction may need professional attention.

If you feel your turf is too thick, or your soil too heavily compacted, consult a landscape professional. This expert advice can help you decide if you want to attempt to fix the problem yourself.

While hand-aeration can solve minor drainage problems due to dense soils and heavy thatch, you'll need to decide whether you want to attempt such a strenuous task. Your final decision should be determined by how severe your drainage problem is, not to mention the size of your yard.