Water Damage — Is Landscaping the Culprit?
Because of their low-lying positions, basements and crawlspaces are prone to leaks, moisture, mold, and water damage. Unfortunately water damage to home structures is common due to invasive indoor and outdoor water sources.
One of the most prominent causes of water damage is your landscaping. The grade of your property must be designed to slope away from your foundation as water always runs downhill. Flowerbeds, although beautiful, can also pose a danger if planted too close to your foundation.
The good news is there are preventative steps you can take to ensure that your landscaping doesn’t contribute to basement or crawl space damage.
- Check the grade of your landscape. Your landscape should slope away from your structure so that water flows away from, not toward your foundation.
- Be sure to use fill dirt rather than topsoil in the areas surrounding the structure. Topsoil is absorbent and will take in lots of water and become over saturated eventually seeping into the ground and potentially making its way into cracks in your foundation.
- Keep flowerbed plantings away from the foundation to keep water from traveling along your foundation’s wall.
- Use a heavier ground cover as opposed to wood chips, which can wash away during a heavy storm clogging drainage ditches and causing them to overflow. Rocks or heavier mulch will be more likely to stay in place and the good news is you will be raking less of it off your lawn.
- Shrubs and trees should be kept trimmed back away from the structure. Plantings that are too close to the home can cause water to run down the side of the structure making their way into cracks and crevices eventually causing moisture damage or serious leaks.
- Keep gutters clean and free of leaves and debris that can cause water to dam up and overflow.
If you find yourself with a wet basement due to flooding or leaks caused by landscaping, hard rains, or water overflow there is hope. Contact a water damage specialist who is knowledgeable about water extraction, structural drying, dehumidification, and mold damage.