lawn drainage soggy lawn problem please help
Hey everyone, me and my wife purchased our first home in late August. We love everything about the house, except the backyard. A few weeks into living there I noticed the backyard was very soggy, even when it hadn't rained all week. As the rains came, i noticed the problems in more depth. Yesterday we got a 10 min downpour so I went out and took some pictures. We really want a healthy DRY lawn.
I have been reading online and am thinking the following; I believe we have clay soil. You can see in the pics, the water just doesn't drain, it just sits on the surface. When its dry, its hard and brittle is some places.
How do I tackle this problem. Do I need to regrade so the water runs in one direction and not still? Will regrading fix this in lieu of installing french drains? Do I need french drains? Do I need to scalp and retill the entire lawn adding compost and soil to get a proper soil for nice lawn and soil that can actually drain? Do I need a combo of both solutions (regrade + retill) or (french drains + retill).
I dont think i can do this myself and will probably be hiring a professional. But I dont want to keep throwing money at the problem. I'd like the best solution. So I ask all the pros out there. What do you think I should do? And who do I call? Landscape company? Drainage company? How do I know I am not hiring a fool who doesn't know what he's doing and is just looking for a pay check? All help and advice would be appreciated, as me and my wife would really like to enjoy our backyard this summer. All the standing water has made the mosquitos unbearable. Please help. Thanks in advance.
See link to album with comprehensive pics and descriptions.