Everyone knows that great landscaping can add a lot of value to a home. While it is pleasing to the eye, it’s easy to forget that it’s not just there for looks. Landscaping plays an important part in keeping your home dry. Water entering your home from the outside can cause some major water damage. To avoid the dangers of water damage, many landscaping mistakes can be easily fixed or avoided.
Too Much Mulch
- Mulch helps hold in moisture and keeps plants thriving. It can be a great addition to any garden area. If you use mulch close to your home, be sure to keep a barrier of at least 6 inches between house walls and landscaping. If mulch becomes wet and is too close to a home’s structure, it can rot the material and lead to possible water damage in the future.
- There are different types of materials that can be used for mulching. Be aware that some hold in moisture better than others. River rocks, for example, will not be as effective as wood chips or bark.
Lawn Grading & Drainage Issues
- The slope of your yard should direct water away from your home to avoid the risk of water getting inside walls or damaging your foundation. Any signs of water buildup around the exterior of the home should be addressed immediately to avoid damages.
- If you notice pools of water, or if you’ve had basement flooding, then you may have a drainage issue. Most of these problems can be solved with clever landscaping solutions like the use of downspouts, heavier mulch, creating a rain garden, or digging out a small indention, or swale, to divert water. More serious landscape issues may require you to regrade your lawn. Extra dirt may need to be added to add a necessary slope. Calling a professional may be useful and help you avoid damage to pipes, drains, vents, and basement windows.
- Plants and grasses that are native to your area can naturally provide drainage for excess water and prevent erosion as well. If used strategically, they can provide a path or barrier to keep water away from your home.
Tree & Shrub Placement
- When planting trees, it’s important to think about placement. Remember that trees and shrubs will grow, so be sure to plant them far enough away from the home so that limbs and branches will not be a problem.
- Limbs can cause gutter blockages and roof damage. Roots can cause damages to foundations. Taking these factors into account can help you avoid damages down the road.
Tree & Shrub Maintenance
- Trees, shrubs, and bushes should be trimmed and maintained, so growth is away from the home, at least twice a year. Pay extra attention for limbs that are low hanging, close to power lines, or hitting the roof. Taking the time to do some cleanup will help avoid possible damages that can occur.
Planting Close to Pipes
- If adding new landscaping always minimize planting near pipes. If you feel this may be a problem, then consider calling a professional to ensure proper placement and to avoid possible damages.
Landscaping is not just about looks. Proper landscaping acts as a type of barrier to keep your home dry and prevent water damage.
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