Flooded Basement? Look Outside to Avoid Problems Inside.

Landscaping to avoid a flooded basement

Spring is around the corner, and those notorious spring showers are a sure bet. One great way to make sure they don’t end up as a puddle–or a river, or a lake–of water inside is to take a proactive approach outside. There are several landscaping tips and tricks that can help prevent water damage and a flooded basement in spite of what Mother Nature has in store for us.

 

 

  1. Make a swell swale. A swale is a depression, or trench, that’s created around the base of a slope to channel water from one place to another. Swales can occur naturally or they can be created. For example, if your home is in a low-lying area near the base of a hill, creating a swale at the base of that hill with fast-draining soil can help divert water away from your home to drain elsewhere, thus avoiding basement flooding and water damage–not to mention the need for water removal and mitigation.
  2. Create a rain garden. Constructed properly, a rain garden can have the same effect as a swale and can become a lovely focal point in your yard. You’ll need to create a depression about two feet deep, so unless you’re a hardcore do-it-yourselfer, it’s best to bring in a pro with an earth-moving machine for this. You’ll fill this basin with a mixture of compost and sand for drainage. Plant the center of the garden with plants that love constant moisture, such as sedges or ferns and work your way out to the edges gradually with plants that prefer drier soil, such as lavender or sage.
  3. Choose the perfect pavers. Water damage can occur when the wrong materials are used outside. Use pervious, or permeable, pavers that have a bit of extra space between them. This allows rainwater to drain evenly across their surface instead of running across the surface and draining into storm sewers, flooding your basement or both. They’re attractive and flexible for driveways, patios or walking paths and can be significantly less expensive than water mitigation.
  4. Don’t mulch too much. Many homeowners make the mistake of mulching right up against their house to get a finished look. If your house has aluminum siding, this can be an especially big mistake. Mulch holds onto water and heavy rains can cause water to build up along the side of your house. That extra water could end up in your basement causing water damage that you may not notice right away.
  5. Get a good grade. This might sound like a no-brainer, but if you’re having trouble with water coming into your basement during heavy rains, the culprit might be as simple as the grade of your lawn. If your lawn slopes down toward your house instead of sloping down and away, water has nowhere else to go but in, and it will find a way. Take a walk around your house to see if you find spots where water is being funneled toward your home, and take steps to reverse that grade. Investing in the grade of your lawn could save you future expense on water damage.

Sometimes it’s as simple as looking outside to identify the source of the water coming inside. A little preventative maintenance and attention to the areas surrounding your home can help avoid unwanted surprises when you head down your basement steps. If despite your best efforts, your basement floods or you end up with water damage and need water removal and mitigation services, the team of certified and trained restoration experts at Hays + Sons are just a phone call away, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We’ll have you back to normal in no time.

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