Homeowner’s Guide To Keeping Your Basement Dry With Gardening (Part 1)

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Most homeowners think that keeping a dry basement or crawl space is all about working from the inside. While this is largely true, there are also many homeowners that don’t fully realize the effect that your home’s landscaping can have on the moisture level of your basement or crawl space. But by taking some simple steps, you can maximize your landscaping’s water flow efficiency, keeping your basement as protected as possible. Here’s part one of our two-part guide that will explore some of the best ways to landscape your yard so that it helps with keeping your basement dry.

Leave a gap
Plants should be placed a minimum of two feet from the foundation and low enough in the soil so as not to direct water toward the foundation. Similarly, when making sure your landscaping is properly mulched, make sure to leave a six inch gap and keep all mulching materials away from your home’s siding. This helps to prevent the otherwise likely possibility that the moisture will wick up from the bed of the mulch and start to rot the siding of your home. It’s okay for mulch to come into contact with block or brick, but contact with siding will cause rotting.

Pay attention to downspouts
While this may not seem like a landscaping tip, it does involve the yard space directly around your home. Experts say that if you can, it’s best to extend all downspouts as far away from the home as possible to avoid water leakage. Usually, this ends up being a distance of about 20 feet.

“Even with redirected downspouts, some yards still get erosion when gutters can’t handle the water volume…In this case, use decorative rock such as river stone so water will hit and splash instead of creating holes in the soil,” writes Gretchen Becker on Angie’s List.

With this in mind, it’s also essential to keep your gutter system clear so the water will flow all the way through to the downspouts instead of overflowing.

In addition to using these tips during your landscaping projects, it’s also a good idea to invest in traditional basement waterproofing barriers and moisture removal systems. Keep an eye out for the next post, where we’ll discuss some more landscaping methods that can help with basement waterproofing.