Landscape design can add a personal, inviting touch to your home’s exterior. However, if done incorrectly, it can also cause unwanted damage to your foundation. Check out these landscaping tips to protect your foundation while keeping your yard beautiful!
- Landscape the entire perimeter of your home. Many people choose only to landscape their front yard because that’s what people see first and most often. However, if you’ve landscaped only one side of your yard, that side is likely to receive more water than the other sides. This can cause the ground on the landscaped side of your home to swell, producing an imbalance in the soil and foundation.
- Add mulch to flower beds. Mulch acts like a sponge and will retain water during times of excessive heat. Dry soil contracts, or shrinks, causing gaps in foundation, cracks in walls, and potential flooding when precipitation is present. Adding mulch to your landscaping will create a storage area for water and keep the soil beneath it from becoming too dry.
- Slope landscaping away from foundation. Gardens and other landscape features should sit on a slope that leads downward so that water will drain away from your foundation. The rule of thumb is that the ground should slope 6 inches downward for every 10 horizontal feet from your foundation.
- Don’t plant trees too close to your house. Plant small trees 8 to 10 feet away from your home. Some experts even recommend planting trees a minimum of 20 feet away from your foundation just to be safe (especially for larger trees). Trees can use more than 100 gallons of groundwater per day, which can cause the soil around your home to shrink if the tree is too close. If you already have trees planted near your home, make sure you water them generously and often.
- Clean gutters and downspouts at least twice a year. This is important to ensure that water is being efficiently transported away from your home. If gutters and/or downspouts become clogged, water can pool around the foundation of your home, causing damage to both your landscaping and foundation.
Your home’s foundation doesn’t have to be compromised by the landscaping around it− in fact, planting trees, flowers, shrubs, and more in the correct fashion can actually protect your foundation. Already made some landscaping mistakes that have caused foundation problems? Call the experts at Epp for a free diagnosis and estimate today!