Landscaping your home not only looks great, but adds value and curb appeal.
Unfortunately, done incorrectly it can cause all sorts of issues with your house allowing water to enter the home. Grading your lot & improper drainage are often responsible for many common household troubles like cracked slabs or water penetration into the basement / crawlspace. However, you can improve bad drainage by:
- re-grading around the house
- installing extensions on downspouts
- providing positive drainage away from the foundation.
Your landscaping efforts can be misleading sometimes too. While building up flower beds around the house looks nice, it may not be doing you any favours. Don’t build-up soil / mulch around the house as the grade level should be a good 6”-8” below the bottom of your brick / siding line. Having the soil too high around the house is not advisable as the foundation wall is not damp proofed / tarred above “grade level”. Further, at the junction of the foundation wall and base course of the bricks, for example, is an opportunity for water to enter is not sealed. Even so, the weep holes (or vent holes) in between the bricks along this bottom course can allow water in as well. If the house is sided, having the grade too high can rot the siding itself (if wood) or the building materials behind the siding.
If the soil / grade level around the perimeter of house is okay but the yard slopes towards your home it can be a costly endeavour to correct as you either have to remove all the other soil in the yard so it slopes away or look to other means of mechanical drainage likely in order to evacuate water any potential water.
Plants around your house can be beneficial in assisting with surface water as they need plenty of water. Having your plantings up & against the house can cause other concerns with damage to its exterior and even retaining water / moisture against the house.
Done incorrectly, underground sprinklers / irrigation systems can add too much water around the house as well.
If you’re thinking of landscaping, do you home work first!