A flooded basement is not just a frustration--it's an expensive and time-consuming problem to deal with. Therefore, it is important that, as a homeowner, you be proactive about preventing this situation. One of the least invasive and most attractive ways to do this is through landscaping. If you would like to learn more, just read on. This article will introduce three strategies for waterproofing your basement with landscaping.
The good news is that preventing water from getting into your home isn't rocket science. Here's one way to think about it: If your yard slopes toward your home, water is going to tend to drain that way as well. Hence, when it rains hard, there will be an excessive amount of water pooling up outside your foundation walls. And such water will eventually find its way in--that you can count on.
Thus, one potent strategy from safeguarding your basement is to see that the slope of your soil encourages excess water to drain away from your house. To ensure this drainage happens effectively, you should aim for nothing less than a 2% grade.
Gutters and Downspouts
If it's been a while since you checked in with your gutters, now may be a good time. You see, gutters that get clogged with leaves and other detritus will back up and begin spilling over. This means that, rather than being diverted away from your home, rainwater will end up pouring straight down your exterior walls and into the dirt around your foundation.
Once you've made sure that your gutters are free of clogs and leaks (don't be shy to test for these with your garden hose), you'll want to check your downspouts. Make sure that all of their joints are solid and water tight. Also, if you don't have any downspout extensions, head to your local home improvement store and pick up some to divert the rainwater a safe distance from your house.
Flowers, Bushes and Shrubs
Though undeniably attractive, planting beds located too close to the walls of your house can lead to trouble. That's because when the roots of old plants die, they wither and rot. This leaves void spaces and hollows in which water will tend to pool. Over time, this water will push its way into your basement through capillary action.
Reducing the likelihood of this happening doesn't require anything too drastic. Just reposition any flowers, bushes or shrubs that are located within one foot of your exterior walls. You might also consider turning such planting beds into rain gardens stocked with water-hungry plants. These will help promote drainage by mopping up any excess water that builds up.