Foundation damage is certainly something that every homeowner wants to avoid if at all possible. However, many homeowners don’t realize that their approach to landscaping can directly affect whether or not their home’s foundation incurs damage.
At Abry Brothers, we’ve seen plenty of examples of foundation damage that could have been prevented with proper landscaping. To help you avoid becoming one of these examples, we’ll take a look at the various ways improper landscaping can create foundation problems as well as what you can do to prevent these problems from happening.
Inadequate Landscape Sloping
When it comes to preventing foundation damage, keeping excess water from gathering around your foundation is essential. In order to prevent water from pooling around your foundation, though, you have to ensure that your landscape is sloped properly so that water flows away from your home rather than gathering around it.
Far too many homes are built on landscapes that are not sloped enough to allow for the effective drainage of water. As water flows and builds up around a home, it erodes away the soil beneath the foundation as well as damages the concrete directly.
To keep this from happening, it’s recommended that your landscape is graded so that it is sloped at least six inches downward for every ten feet. With any less of a slope you risk allowing water to gather around your foundation and damage it over time.
Ineffective Drainage Systems
While the slope of your lawn plays the most important role in draining water away from your foundation, it isn’t the only factor that is important when it comes to effective drainage. In addition to properly sloping your lawn, you will also want to make sure that your gutter system is effectively carrying water away from the base of your home. This means putting careful thought into the design of your gutter system as well as making sure that you keep your gutters clean and free of debris.
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If you live in an area that experiences especially heavy rainfall or an area where it is not possible to properly slope your lawn, you may have to take even more efforts than this to build an effective drainage system. Other options for improving your property’s drainage include building French drains and creating drainage ditches that direct water away from your home.
Planting Trees too Close to Your Home
Tree roots are not kind to concrete foundations. As the seasons change, the roots of trees go through a cycle of shrinking and expanding. Normally this isn’t an issue for the trees or for the homeowner who planted them. If, however, your trees are planted close enough to your home that the roots expand to the soil beneath your foundation, this cycle of shrinking and expanding can create problems.
As tree roots shrink and expand, so does the soil that they are in contact with. If that soil is also responsible for supporting your foundation, this can create forces that damage the concrete over time.
Before you plant a tree on your property, take the time to research how large its root system grows and be sure to plant the tree far enough away from your home that the roots will not grow into the soil beneath your home’s foundation.
Only Watering One Side of Your Property
Many homeowners are only interested in landscaping the front lawn of their home. While its understandable that you might want to give more attention to the side of your property that is the most visible, it’s important to ensure that you water all sides of your property with the same frequency.
Only watering the landscape on one side of your home can create imbalances in how the soil supporting your landscape contracts and expands, and these imbalances can end up being very damaging as time goes by.
Effective landscaping is by far one of the most important aspects of preventing foundation damage, as many of the causes of foundation damage can be avoided when you design your landscape with the purpose of protecting your foundation in mind.
Of course, if your foundation has already incurred damage, fixing your landscaping won’t do much to reverse that damage. Once you notice signs that your foundation is damaged, it is important to contact a foundation repair service as soon as possible before the damage grows more severe.
At Abry Brothers, not only do we work to completely repair damaged foundations, we also work with the homeowners to help them ensure that their foundation does not incur any more damage in the future. This includes helping homeowners build effective drainage systems that direct water away from their home’s foundations.
If you suspect that your foundation has been damaged and would like to learn more about how Abry Brothers can help with the repairs, we invite you to contact us today.