Reparation for yard damaged by construction site flooding?


LawnSite Member
Clarksville, TN
Last weekend we had a hard rain in Clarksville TN and our property was flooded by a construction site being built behind our home. The water came off the hill and carried the dirt/clay/silt/weeds onto our property covering a large portion of our front and back yards. Here are a few pictures to try and show what happened.

My question is how will this affect our lawn both short term and long term? This is not the first time we have had this mud/silt/dirt wash onto our property, it also happened while we were out of town in last September.
When we got back the mud was a few inches thick on the driveway. I am not sure if that was caused by rain or a very dry spell where the dust from the uncovered lot blew down onto our property.
I noticed dust clouds many other times. In September I had the Street Department from Clarksville here and they assured me the drainage was correct from the lot.

One other thing I will add is that I over seeded the entire lawn last fall (did it right - dethatched, aerated, slit seeded, rolled, watered, etc... Got the seed, fertilizer, etc from you) The grass came in
across the back yard except for the channel the water came across (shown in pictures). It also did not come in very well in part of the front yard (also part of the flood/mud damaged area).

The Street Department was here this week and met with the builder and my wife and I have a meeting with them on Monday morning at 7:00am. The Street Department has admitted to giving
the builder incorrect information on drainage and he has already taken steps to correct that (and has admitted he has caused these problems for us. He has also sent a crew to begin cleaning up the mud
in the driveway and sidewalk.

My biggest concern is what affect these multiple layers of mud/clay/silt, etc,,,, from the site that have washed onto our yard will have? It may be coincidence that I could not get grass to grow where we had
the issue in September but that seems odd to me it would come in elsewhere.

Ultimately I just want to be treated fairly by the builder. In your opinion, what should we expect from him in terms of "cleaning up" the yard (it has debris throughout). Would it be asking too much for him to replace
the sod that was harmed? I do not know what the long term affect will be from this but I do not imagine this would be good for the yard (covered with multiple layers of dirt/silt/mud/weeds.

Pictures 28-29 show the back of our lot overcame with weeds. I take care of this like the rest of the yard and until the end of last summer this was grass just
like the rest of the yard. If you look up close at it is is also covered with a layer of dirt. I cannot help but think this was blown, carried across the road when they started the construction at the end of the
summer last year. I also think having that line of trees may have saved the portion of our back yard behind them from looking the same.

Again, thanks for any advice you could give as we meet with the builder. Our house for sale and appearance means a lot. We've spent a lot on sod, irrigation systems, fertilizer. etc...
and I am just not sure what affect this has had and will have on the yard. Ultimately we just would like to know what to ask of the builder for reparations???

Again, thanks very much for any advice.


LawnSite Gold Member
Winston-Salem NC
Layer's are never good. Layer's of silt are not good at all. You aren't going to get air (a critical component for growing grass) in silt. This is the wrong time of year for seed. The builder has already admitted fault. Demand (and you will get) a total cleanup and sod in any (even slightly) damaged area's. And i wouldn't be afraid of asking for monetary compensation (for your past labor and material's) on top of that. Like i said, don't be afraid to ask them to fix this right, they probably have to. And take before and after picture's of all of this, document everything and try to have a 3rd person witness any oral statement's made. This may sound like overkill but it's really not. It's just a safe way to do this kind of business.