Landscaping adds beauty and structure to your home’s yard, greatly improving its appeal and beauty. However, your landscaping can play a part in protecting—or damaging—your foundation. Knowing how to plan and maintain your landscape for a healthier foundation will protect your home’s value and prevent foundation troubles from occurring.
Planting Next to Your Home
Planting flowers and shrubs next to your home is a popular landscaping design that helps to enhance the exterior of your home. However, it’s important to plan out your landscaping beds with your foundation’s health in mind. First, make sure all planting beds near your home slope away from the house, with the highest point being the closest area to your foundation. This will help groundwater drain away from your home; sloping a bed toward your home could cause drainage problems that lead to foundation troubles. Additionally, make sure to leave room for your gutter downspouts, retaining wall weep holes, or any other drainage measures your home may have. Ensuring that water can run properly through these systems will keep it from pooling and causing problems with your foundation. When planning your landscaping beds, you should also place plants with their mature size in mind—find out how large each species will become and provide enough space for the plant to grow without running into your foundation. If your planting beds utilize mulch, make sure to keep mulch well-maintained and add mulch whenever necessary. Mulch can help to retain necessary moisture near your foundation, which can prevent soil shrinkage or shifting during hot months and dry spells.
Trees are a common cause of foundation and sewer line damage. Tree root systems can extend quite far from the trunk; it’s important to be aware of how large your trees’ root systems are likely to grow prior to planting. Always plant trees far enough away from your home to keep roots from coming into contact with your foundation. Additionally, keep your trees well-watered—especially during times of drought—to prevent questing roots from tunneling into your home’s foundation or plumbing pipes and drains in search of water. Before planting any new trees, consider choosing local or drought-resistant species, which can handle dry spells easier than trees that require significant amounts of water at all times. If you have existing trees near your home that could cause a problem, consider having them relocated to a safer distance. Trees that cannot be moved should have their roots pruned and you should talk to a foundation contractor about installing root barriers around your foundation to protect it.
Maintaining a healthy home foundation will protect the value of your home for decades to come. Whether you need more information about protecting your foundation or your home requires foundation repairs, you can reach out to a foundation contractor in your area on our website. Our blog offers additional tips on foundation repairs, home drainage, and much more!