Landscaping Tips for Avoiding Leaky Basements

March 14th, 2016

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Leaky basements are the worst nightmare of many homeowners. Too much moisture can damage furnishings, electronics and anything else stored in a basement, as well as ruining the finished walls and floors. Even worse, water can damage the very foundation of your home.

A damp basement can reduce your property values. Fortunately, the experts at Ontario Wet Basement Solutions have some landscaping tips that may help prevent wet basements. The first thing to do is look at the ground itself. Most waterproofing contractors recommend a grade of at least one inch per foot for a distance of ten feet. This may need to be redone periodically as the ground settles and shifts due to environmental factors.

Many homeowners also choose to use strategic berms and shallow ditches to channel rainwater around the foundation. This is especially important if your home is located in a flood plain, as regular flooding can cause significant damage. If you do live in a flood plain it is a good idea to consult a basement waterproofing contractor to see if your home has already suffered from water damage.

Next, you will want to inspect any external concrete  for cracks or depressions. While this obviously includes any visible basement walls, it also extends to any patios, walkways, or driveways. Cracks in these surfaces can lead to water pooling near the home, which can then seep through weak spots in the walls and cause water damage. Remember, you do not need to have a flooded basement to see this damage happen. Even excessive moisture or small leaks can lead to significant problems if not corrected early.

You will want to ensure that these exterior surfaces are not sloping towards the house. All too often homeowners will carefully grade dirt away from their homes, but fail to notice that their backyard patio is channeling that water right back towards the foundation.

Finally, be aware of what you are planting. While it is common to plant flowers or vegetables against the home, many waterproofing contractors advise against this. The large amount of exposed soil in most flowerbeds encourages water to pool against your home’s walls. The flowerbeds will also trap and retain moisture. That is excellent for flowers, but not so great for your home’s foundation! Instead, consider planting grass against the walls and placing flower beds and vegetable gardens farther away from the home.

While regular inspections from waterproofing contractors are a good idea no matter what, following these landscaping tips may help prevent an emergency call due to a flooded basement.

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