Landscaping next to a house’s foundation can significantly enhance the building’s appearance. However, if it isn’t done correctly, it could negatively impact the building’s structural integrity and lead to expensive foundation repairs down the road.
This post concentrates on landscape design best practices for those looking to make sure their house’s foundation stays strong for years to come. Read along as we discuss tips, tricks, and ideas that every homeowner should know about when it comes to landscaping next to a house’s foundation.
Did You Know That Excess Soil Moisture Causes Most Foundation Problems?
Believe it or not, most foundation problems are caused by too much water in the soil around the foundation. This excess soil moisture can wreak havoc on your home’s foundation. It’s not just a minor inconvenience either, as foundation problems caused by excess moisture can lead to severe damage. If your foundation begins to shift or settle, it can cause cracks in your walls, ceilings, and floors leading to expensive repairs. So, it’s crucial to do what you can to prevent excess moisture from building up in the soil around the foundation. We’ll talk more about how to do that in just a bit.
Your Landscaping May Look Beautiful, But That Doesn’t Mean It’s Good For Your Foundation
Have you ever passed by a beautifully landscaped yard only to find out later that the homeowner had to deal with foundation issues? It’s a common problem. While landscaping can enhance your home’s look, it’s important to understand how it can affect your foundation. For example, trees and shrubs with invasive roots can wreak havoc on your foundation’s structural integrity. Additionally, heavy hardscaping features like large stones and concrete can cause soil displacement and lead to foundation problems. So, while landscaping can undoubtedly improve curb appeal, it’s essential to be mindful of its potential impact on your home’s foundation.
Tips For Landscaping Next To A House’s Foundation
If you want to add some curb appeal to your home, landscaping can be a great way to achieve it. However, landscaping next to your house’s foundation can be challenging. If you’re not careful, plants and trees can damage your foundation, attract pests, or cause drainage problems. So, here are some tips to help you create a beautiful and functional landscape next to your home’s foundation:
- It’s best to keep all vegetation (flowers, shrubs, etc.) several feet away from the foundation. They might look beautiful planted right next to your house, but they need water, and you should be trying to avoid adding excess moisture to the ground around the foundation.
- Don’t cover up your home’s foundation. Leave several inches exposed to ensure water buildup cannot come over-the-top of the foundation and leak into the basement.
- Use mulch. This will help prevent the soil around the foundation from becoming too dry, which can also cause foundation trouble.
- Don’t landscape one side of the house and forget the rest. This could cause you to water only one side of the foundation. If the soil under the foundation contains a lot of clay, it will expand when wet and shrink when it dries out. Therefore, if you water only one side of the foundation, you could face problems as the soil on that side continually expands and shrinks.
These tips will help you create a stunning and sustainable landscape that complements your home’s architecture and protects your foundation.
Easy Ways To Help Prevent Foundation Trouble
Since most foundation problems are caused by excess moisture in the ground around the foundation, you can help prevent trouble by simply getting groundwater around the foundation under control. Here are some ways to do that:
- Clean your gutters regularly to ensure they’re not packed with dead leaves and other debris. You don’t want overflowing gutter water running down the side of your house and soaking into the ground around your foundation. Did you know that the average American roof produces 1,000 gallons per inch of rain that falls?
- Install downspout extensions to carry water at least 15 feet away from your foundation before being released.
- Regrade the yard around your home so it slopes away from the foundation. This will prevent groundwater from draining toward the foundation. A landscaper can help you with this, or you could DIY.
- Install a drain tile system. There is no better foundation waterproofing system available. There are two types of drain tile systems, exterior and interior. The exterior system is installed around the outside perimeter of the foundation at the footing level. The interior system is installed along the inside perimeter of the basement or crawl space. For more information on how they work, see A Beginner’s Guide To Interior & Exterior Drain Tile Systems.
Landscaping next to your home’s foundation needs to be done correctly. Too much water in the ground around a foundation can lead to problems and costly repairs. If you have questions or are unsure about which type of landscaping best suits your situation, consulting with a professional landscaper is recommended.
If you think your Chicagoland home might have a foundation issue, contact The Real Seal today to schedule a foundation evaluation. If we find a problem, we’ll give you a repair estimate.