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Home » Information » Protecting Your Foundation With Landscaping

Protecting Your Foundation With Landscaping

protecting your foundation

Many people think landscaping is just an aesthetic attraction for a home. However, it can actually help with protecting your home’s foundation if it’s done properly. It has the ability to either add or subtract years to the home depending on how it’s implemented. It’s safe to say that most homeowners are interested in adding value and longevity. So what are some steps and ideas to ensure this?

Protecting Your Foundation With Landscaping

Grading correctly

Grading the right way is a great place to start with landscaping. Water is to be avoided when it comes to your home’s foundation. Checking the grading each year to make sure water isn’t making its way towards the home is essential. The landscape should be graded six inches for every ten feet from the foundation. Running a string from the high point to low point will determine the slope. Measure the gap between the ground and the bottom of the level and multiply by 5. This should be done around the entire perimeter of the house, not just the front lawn. Furthermore, measuring out 10 feet from the foundation will determine if the soil is needing to be placed on areas that may slope. The main goal to keep in mind is to simply keep water away!

Gutters and extensions

The gutter system is one of the next crucial steps to solidify. Using gutter extensions that are at least five feet away from the foundation will ensure there’s no runoff settling near the foundation. Underground downspouts can also be installed to carry it out even further, as well as rain barrels. Many gardeners use this tool as a way to protect the foundation, but also to conserve and reuse water. Gutters should be regularly cleaned of any and all organic matter that builds up. Water should be channeled through the entire system swiftly in order to prevent any overflow or pooling.

Keep trees away

Many don’t realize that the root systems of trees can be just as large as their branches. Just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. With this in mind, it’s important to keep trees far enough away that these roots aren’t able to grow into the foundation. Is the canopy touching the roof? It may need to be removed as it has the potential to shift the foundation. Determining how tall and wide a potential new tree can get is a wonderful question to first ask before planting.

Mulch is your friend

Mulch has the excellent ability to retain the perfect amount of moisture. Unlike soil, it acts like a sponge. Excessively dry soil can cause movement in the foundation and having mulch will prevent this from occurring. Especially during those long, hot summer days. Wood chips have a similar effect. They can direct excess water away and even have the ability to enrich the soil over time.

Creating a swale

A swale is basically a ditch to catch your runoff and it’s an easy and effective drainage system to install. There are some things to keep in mind when creating a swale such as adding plants for more absorption or lining the channel with pipe, gravel, or rocks. Quick draining soil can further help with soaking up water. Finally, the sides of the swale need to flare out so that a funnel is formed. Many even choose to create a rain garden at the end of it. Applying these tips will guarantee an efficient swale.

Keep the foundation exposed

When planting up next to your foundation, it’s important to leave a few inches exposed to help with air circulation and soil moisture. Leaving a gap large enough between the plants and foundation will eliminate water pooling at the wall. Planting drought-resistant flowers will also ensure that too much water isn’t getting near the area in general. It will also lower the water bill and save on time watering them. A win-win!

There are many details to keep in mind when landscaping the home with the intention to protect it. Many new homeowners aren’t aware of how much improper landscaping can deteriorate the most fundamental part of the home, the foundation. These tips alone will have you well on your way to protecting your home’s foundation.

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Arbor Hills Trees & Landscaping Services can provide you with everything from detailed maintenance programs to unique plant production, and other services in between. That means we build water features, walls, patios, irrigation, walkways, outdoor kitchens, lighting, and anything else you can help us dream up. Our professionally trained staff can build the landscape of your dreams and keep you from breaking any Home Landscaping Rules.

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