How to Cover Drain in Backyard

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How to Cover Drain in Backyard

However, one common eyesore in many backyards is the unsightly drain covers. They may serve an essential function in preventing flooding or water buildup, but they can also be an eyesore that disrupts the overall aesthetic of your backyard oasis. 

This post will explore some creative ways to cover those drains and create a seamless look in your backyard while maintaining their functionality. So whether you’re looking for a stylish solution or simply tired of looking at those metal grates, keep reading to find out how to cover drain in backyard with ease.

Necessary Items

Before we dive into the different methods for covering your drains, there are a few items that you will need regardless of which option you choose. These include:

  • Measuring tape
  • Marker or chalk
  • Saw (if necessary)
  • Adhesive materials such as glue or caulk
  • Decorative cover material (more on this later)

10 Tips on How to Cover Drain in Backyard

1. Create a Rock Garden

One creative and natural solution for covering your drains is creating a rock garden around them. This works exceptionally well if you have multiple gutters near each other. Start by measuring the area around the drain and marking it with a marker or chalk.

Measuring the Area Around the Drain

Then, use a saw to cut out the marked area’s shape, leaving enough space for the drain cover to fit back on top. Next, fill the cut-out area with rocks of varying sizes and colors to create a visually appealing rock garden, allowing water to flow through.

2. Camouflage with Plants

You can also use plants to camouflage your drains, like creating a rock garden. This method works best if your drain is near a park or other greenery. Measure the area around the drain and cut it out, leaving enough space for the cover to fit back on top. Then, plant some low-growing shrubs or flowers around the drain to create a natural body. Just make sure to choose plants that can withstand being walked on if your drain is in a high-traffic area.

3. Build a Wooden Deck

If your backyard has a wooden deck, you can easily cover the drain by extending the deck over it. Measure and mark the area around the drain, then use a saw to cut out a section of the deck that will fit over the drain. Add adhesive material to secure the deck piece in place, and voila! Your drain is now covered and hidden beneath the deck.

4. Use Decorative Grates

If you prefer to keep the functionality of your drains visible but still want to cover them up, consider using decorative grates. These metal or plastic covers come in various designs and patterns, allowing you to choose one that fits with the aesthetic of your backyard. Simply replace your old drain cover with a decorative one and instantly upgrade the look of your backyard.

5. Repurpose Old Items

Get crafty and repurpose old items to cover your drains. For example, an old wooden crate or barrel can be cut to fit over the drain and then decorated with paint or stencils to add a personal touch. Or, if you have an old piece of furniture you no longer use, such as a side table or dresser, you can repurpose it by cutting out a section to fit over the drain and using it as a unique cover.

6. Make a Mosaic Cover

Mosaics are beautiful art pieces and can also be used to cover your drains. Start by measuring the area around the drain and cutting out a section to fit the mosaic. Then, create your mosaic design using pieces of tile or glass and adhere it to the cover using adhesive materials. This is a great way to add personality and color to your backyard while covering up those drains.

Using Pieces of Tile

7. Install Pavers

Pavers are another option for covering drains in your backyard. They come in various sizes, colors, and materials, allowing you to create a custom look that fits the rest of your backyard design. Simply measure and mark the area around the drain, then lay the pavers on top. You can also use adhesive materials to secure them in place for added durability.

8. Create a Mini Garden

Like the rock garden and plant camouflage methods, you can also create a mini garden around your drain. Measure and cut out the area around the drain, leaving enough space for the cover to fit back on top. Then, fill the cut-out area with soil and choose small plants or succulents to create a unique mini garden that covers your drain aesthetically pleasingly.

9. Spruce Up with Paint

A simple and budget-friendly way to cover drains is by painting them. Use a rust-resistant paint in a color that matches or complements the rest of your backyard design. You can also use stencils to add patterns or plans for a more personalized touch. Just use a sealant over the paint to protect it from the elements.

10. Install a Drain Box

Finally, consider installing a drain box to avoid covering your drains with decorative covers or materials. This tiny underground box can be installed over your drain and covered with soil or grass to blend seamlessly with your backyard. It also allows for easy access to your drain if needed.

Consider Installing a Drain Box

Covering drains in your backyard can be a challenging task. With these creative and practical tips on how to cover the drain in the backyard, you can not only hide those eyesores but also enhance the overall look of your outdoor space.

So get started on one of these methods today and transform your backyard drains into functional yet visually appealing features.  Keep reading to discover more ways to upgrade your backyard in our other outdoor design and landscaping articles.

8 Things to Avoid When Covering Drains in Your Backyard

While there are plenty of great tips for covering drains in your backyard, there are also some things that you should avoid. Here are eight things to keep in mind when covering drains:

1. Don’t Block the Drain Completely

Covering your drain completely with heavy materials like rocks or plants may be tempting, but this can cause more harm than good. Gutters allow water to flow through; if blocked, it can lead to flooding or other drainage issues.

2. Avoid Using Materials That Can Rot

When choosing materials to cover your drains, avoid using anything that can rot over time, such as untreated wood or certain types of plants. This can cause unpleasant odors and attract pests.

3. Don’t Cover with Non-Porous Materials

Similarly, avoid covering drains with non-porous materials like plastic or metal. These can create a barrier that prevents water from draining correctly and could lead to water pooling or flooding.

4. Don’t Cover with Materials That Can Shift

If you cover a drain in a high-traffic area, avoid using materials that can quickly shift or move when stepped on. This could create an uneven surface and cause accidents.

5. Avoid Blocking Access to the Drain

When choosing a cover for your drain, ensure it is easily removable to access the drain if needed. If it is permanently sealed, you could run into issues with clogs or other drainage problems in the future.

It is Permanently Sealed

6. Don’t Cover with Flammable Materials

For safety reasons, avoid covering drains with any materials that are flammable or could potentially catch fire. This includes using candles or lanterns as covers.

7. Avoid Using Materials That Could Damage the Drain

Be mindful of the materials you use to cover your drain, as some could cause damage over time. For example, if you are using heavy rocks or pavers, make sure they are not putting too much pressure on the drain, causing it to crack or break.

8. Don’t Cover with Materials That Could Attract Pests

Some materials, such as mulch or certain types of plants, could attract pests like termites or ants. Make sure to choose pest-resistant materials to avoid unwanted visitors in your backyard.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can ensure that your method of covering drains in your backyard is aesthetically pleasing but also safe and functional. Remember to regularly check on your gutters and ensure they are still adequately covered to avoid any potential issues in the future. 

6 Care Tips for Your Covered Drains

Now that you have covered your backyard drains, maintaining them is essential to ensure they stay functional and visually pleasing. Here are six care tips for your covered gutters:

1. Regularly Check and Clean

Make sure to check on your drains and clean them if needed regularly. Leaves, debris, or other materials can accumulate and cause clogs, leading to drainage issues.

2. Trim Plants Regularly

If you have opted for plant coverings, regularly trim them to prevent overgrowth that could block the drain or lead to pest attraction.

3. Seal Materials If Necessary

If you use materials like paint or adhesive to cover your drains, ensure they are adequately sealed to prevent any damage from the elements.

4. Avoid Heavy Traffic

If possible, avoid heavy traffic over your covered drains. This can cause wear and tear on the coverings, potentially damaging them or the drain underneath.

Avoid Heavy Traffic Over Your Covered Drains

5. Take Care When Mowing

Don’t hit or run over your covered drains when mowing your lawn. This could cause damage or shift the coverings out of place.

6. Regularly Inspect for Damage

Keep an eye out for any signs of damage on your covered drains and address them promptly to avoid any issues with drainage in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Covering My Drains Affect the Drainage in My Backyard?

As long as you choose materials that do not block or impede water flow, covering your drains should not significantly impact drainage in your backyard. It can help prevent debris from clogging your gutters and improve water flow.

How Often Should I Check on My Covered Drains?

It is recommended to check on your covered drains at least once a year to ensure they are still adequately covered and functioning. However, if you notice any issues with drainage in your backyard, check on them more frequently.

Can I Cover My Drains with Any Materials?

No, choosing safe and appropriate materials for covering drains is essential. Avoid using non-porous or flammable materials and consider the potential impact on drainage and accessibility of your gutter.

Are There Any Regulations Regarding Covering Drains in Backyards?

It is always a good idea to check with your local government or homeowners association for any specific regulations or guidelines for covering your backyard’s drains. They may have restrictions on certain materials or methods of covering that you should be aware of. It is better to be safe than sorry!  So, do some research before starting your project. 

Can I Use Plants to Cover My Drains?

Yes, you can use certain types of plants to cover your drains. Just make sure to choose plants not prone to rot or attract pests, and consider the potential impact on drainage and accessibility.

Just Make Sure to Choose Plants

Can I Cover My Drains Without Installing a Drain Box?

Yes, various methods cover drains without installing a drain box. However, a drain box may be the best option if you want a more permanent and secure cover.  Consider your specific needs and preferences when deciding on a method for covering your drains.

Taking the time to cover the drains in your backyard not only helps improve the overall appearance of your outdoor space but also ensures proper drainage and prevents possible issues in the future. Remember to choose materials wisely and regularly check on your covered drains for optimal functionality.


Covering drains in your backyard can improve the overall look of your outdoor space and prevent potential drainage issues. By avoiding these eight things when covering drains, you can ensure that your backyard remains functional and visually appealing.

In conclusion, covering a drain in your backyard is not only necessary for maintaining a clean and safe outdoor space, but it can also be an opportunity to add some creative and functional additions to your yard. The options are endless, from using decorative stones or gravel to make the drain blend seamlessly into your yard to incorporating planters or seating on top of the cover for added functionality.

Remember to consider factors such as drainage capacity and maintenance when choosing the material for your drain cover. Whether you’re a seasoned DIYer or just looking for ways to spruce up your outdoor space, covering your drain is a task that should be considered. Regularly check your covered drains and make necessary adjustments to maintain proper drainage. For more tips and inspiration on how to cover drain in backyard, read on.

Photo of author

Terry Alexander

Hi, I am Terry. I started my professional life as a handyman and did a lot of external and internal repair of home and plumbing support. From my childhood, my passion for home repair and fixtures created an opportuinity to pursue a career in HVAC and plumbing industry. As I gained years of knowledge and my love for plumbing grew overtime, I thought to document my journey so that I could help others who ran into daily problems in their home repair. Hopefully it will help you fix those pesky home repair and plumbing problems that always seem to happen at the worst time possible!

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