The landscaping around your shopping center and commercial parking lots isn’t just to entice visitors. Having green areas can frame stores and make them look more attractive, but the right landscaping can do a lot more than that. Features like rain gardens help control the localized environment and stabilize your property after storms and bad weather.
What are rain gardens?
Rain gardens are deliberate depressions around your parking lot and shopping center perimeter that form a controlled break in the concrete. Landscaping companies will fill these depressions with soil and hardy plant types that can handle sudden influxes of water without stress. Unlike other parking lot medians and green areas, they aren’t lifted off the ground to curb height or completely separated by a raised concrete barrier. Instead, water runoff from storms and snowmelt pool into this rain gardens and drain back into the soil without flooding the walkways or eroding the concrete. If rainwater has nowhere to go in areas of the pavement that are too far from drainage grills, it will start to wear away at concrete and paint. Because it pools at the lowest point, that means accessible walkways and the bottom of wheelchair ramps will flood without rain gardens for control.
You can also have rain gardens designed to handle water runoff from building roofs. Flat commercial roofs collect rainwater and can be susceptible to leaks if you don’t have adequate drainage to remove the water. But don’t let the gutters just deposit that water around the building foundations. High-pressure water that pours out of downspouts can wear away at the concrete. Eventually, this will lead to pools of standing water around the building that pedestrians can’t cross. It will also start to damage the building’s foundation if the spouts don’t direct the water away.
But your drainage system can redirect the water away from the building into rain gardens. Not only does that give the water somewhere to go where it can’t cause as much damage, you can also orient pathways so runoff flows away from walkways to the soil, too.