How Your Landscaping and Gardening Can Lead to a Wet Basement


How Your Landscaping and Gardening Can Lead to a Wet Basement

How Your Landscaping and Gardening Can Lead to a Wet Basement

It can be a thing of pride for many homeowners to create their own beautiful gardens and landscaping. But whether you’re planning to add a rose garden or plant some new trees, you should take careful consideration of how your landscaping and gardening may affect the well-being of your basement.

It’s easy to overlook, but your landscaping and gardening can have a direct impact on how water can interact with your basement, potentially leading to a wet basement and a damaged foundation.

Let’s investigate how your landscaping can affect your basement and how you can protect your basement from water intrusion…

How Does Water Get Into Your Basement?

When there’s too much water standing against your foundation walls or floor, groundwater intrusion into your basement can occur. This usually happens when it rains, but it can also happen over the course of time as water causes damage to your foundation.

But how does that happen? How does water damage something as strong as a concrete foundation? It’s something called hydrostatic pressure.

Hydrostatic pressure is created when water comes to rest against the foundation, usually when rain causes the water table to rise and meet the foundation floor and walls. As more water builds up, so too is the foundation subjected to more pressure.

This pressure can lead to increased stress on the foundation, eventually leading to foundation cracks, water leaks, and even bowing basement walls.

But this pressure can also cause water to be pushed through the cold joints of the foundation, or the spaces between where the foundation wall meets the floor slab.

Rain and Your Landscaping

Your home is made to provide comfort, shelter, and protection against the elements. But the land that your home is built on also plays a direct role in how the elements interact with your home. This is especially so with rain.

Water likes to move along the path of least resistance. With landscaping, that means any slopes can become a guide for where rainwater goes when it reaches the ground.

That means if your surrounding land is sloped towards your home, rainwater will start rolling down towards your home as it reaches the ground. That water will then seep into the soil and reach your foundation walls. This increases the risk of water building up against your foundation and creating hydrostatic pressure.

Water and Your Gardening

Watering your gardens can also add to the presence of water near your foundation. This is especially the case if your gardens are set up near your home. As you water your gardens, the water will eventually seep through the garden bed and into the soil, saturating the soil and making it easier for hydrostatic pressure to build against your foundation when it rains.

Trees Can Also Lead to Water Reaching Your Foundation

Do you have any trees next to your home? They could be contributing to the water that’s reaching your foundation. But how?

Tree roots are always searching for more sources of water. If water collects near your foundation, it will encourage the tree roots to grow towards your foundation. This can become a cycle.

Whenever it rains, water that lands around the tree and its roots can seep into the soil and run along the small spaces created in the soil by those growing roots. As the roots grow longer, so too does water have an easier path closer and closer to your foundation.

What Can I Do to Protect My Foundation?

You can have your gardens, landscaping, and your trees too! Here are some steps you can take to protect your basement from water that could come from your landscaping…

  • Check your grading and improve it. Your home’s surrounding land should be sloped away from your foundation.
  • Have your gardens situated so that, when your plants are fully grown, they will be at least 5 feet away from your home?
  • Trees should be moved so that they are at least 20 feet away from your home.
  • Be sure to regularly clean and maintain your gutters and downspouts. While not a part of your landscaping, clogged gutters and downspouts can lead to water falling directly next to your foundation. This can add to the water that’s already reaching your foundation through your landscaping.
  • Consider the backfill around your foundation—Was it properly compacted? Were proper materials used for the backfill?

Other Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Basement From Water

To prevent water from invading your basement, it’s important to take these steps promptly and as a matter of preparation. Many homeowners often wait until there’s already a water leak in the basement before taking these steps. But taking these steps can help save you from costly repairs later down the road.

Foundation Repair

Whether water has or has not already entered your basement in the past, consider also calling for a waterproofing and foundation repair company. If there are cracks beginning to form in your foundation, it could be due to hydrostatic pressure, and foundation repair is needed.

Interior Basement Waterproofing

Interior basement waterproofing is meant to capture and relocate groundwater, ultimately reducing hydrostatic pressure on your foundation. There is also external waterproofing for homes, but it requires excavation of the soil to install and it can cause disruptions for your landscaping.

Finding a Foundation Repair and Waterproofing Contractor

There are many foundation repair and waterproofing contractors out there, but if you can find one that offers services in both, it can help save you the trouble of having to work with two separate contractors. It also means you can focus on making sure you do your research on one contractor for both services. But knowing that not all contractors are made equal, it is important to have a good idea of what to look for. Consider these important criteria when selecting a contractor…

  • Decades of experience
  • Strong warranty
  • Licensed and insured
  • Many positive online reviews that are easy to find

By choosing a foundation repair and waterproofing company that matches these requirements, you’re improving your chances of protecting your basement from water intrusion with quality solutions. You’re also ensuring that any other problems that may be present will be found and resolved—an experienced eye is far better at spotting foundation problems and offering a better solution. A reliable warranty also means you can better rest assured that what work is done will be made right if something goes wrong.


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