Redesigning your home’s landscape can add value to your property as well as giving it a fresh look. Although landscaping can be fun and rewarding to see the final product, you should keep your foundation in mind. It’s probably not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about landscaping, but how and where you put plants can affect your foundation. Read on to see how!
As we’ve said before, any kind of water, especially stagnant water, is not good for your home’s foundation. One way to avoid having water pool around your foundation is to build in a slight slope with the landscape that surrounds your home. The slope should start out higher near your foundation and continue down and away from your home. This can help move water away from the base of your house so you can avoid potential foundation damage. As a general rule, the slope should be gradual, declining six inches for every 10 feet.
Plant roots might not be top of mind when landscaping your property, but they can quickly turn into an issue. When putting in plants around your house, be sure to do some research beforehand so you know how far and deep the roots of each plant will go. Any fauna planted around your house should be at least as far away from the house as the plant is wide (or as wide as it will be in the future). The biggest plant culprit of damaged foundations are trees. With roots that grow deep and wide, trees that are too close to your home can wreak havoc on your foundation over time. If you do plant trees on your property, make sure they’re far enough away that they don’t interfere with any part of your house.
Not only can standing water cause issues with your home’s foundation, a fluctuating water table can as well. Constant fluctuations of water in your soil can expedite the erosion process of the ground under your foundation. Consider adding plants around your house that may not need lots of water to sustain themselves. Plants that absorb lots of water can dry out the soil around your home, which increases erosion, especially if dry soil is followed by saturated soil, like after a heavy rain. If you do have large plants or trees close to your house, make sure they’re well watered so they don’t dry out your soils.
While it may be tempting to completely cover the foundation of your home with grass or hedges, make sure that you leave at least three inches of your foundation exposed or at least to where you’re able to access it. There are a couple of reason for doing this: first, you’ll want to leave some of your foundation exposed so you can check on the integrity of it from time to time and second, so you can check on the soil moisture levels directly where the foundation is. If your foundation is covered, there’s an increased likelihood that you’ll miss foundational damage signs.
Adding to the landscape on your property can be exciting, but it’s important to keep your foundation in mind. Just remember to think about sloping the landscape away from your house, the different kinds of plants that are on your property, and how if you can’t see your foundation, you can’t inspect it.