Basement flooding is incredibly annoying and can do serious water damage to your home, but you can actually make some adjustments outside of your house that will help keep water from getting to your basement.
These ten tactics utilize selective landscaping to cut down on basement flooding. You want to be proactive in waterproofing your basement and landscaping is a tool you can use before you call in the big guns – like local a local basement waterproofing contractor.
10 Landscaping Tips That Stop Basement Flooding
#1. Don’t Let Mulch Touch Your House
The siding on your house can actually be rotted away by wet mulch. Leave a gap between your mulch and siding and make sure nothing shifts. Light mulch can be moved by water.
Heavy mulch will help solve this problem. Pack it together tightly, and you should avoid the issue of light mulch being carried away. This means you won’t have to clean up the mulch as often.
#2. Don’t Remove Native Plants
You might not want them there, but these plants will work the hardest to soak up water. They’re accustomed to living in your yard and are part of the natural water control system.
Your exotic plants are new to the area and have short roots. They just won’t be able to do as good of a job of keeping water out of your home. Leave as many native plants where they are as possible.
#3. Adjust Your Downspouts
Downspouts should always lead away from your house. Water from your gutters that is guided down will pool next to your house if it isn’t guided away. That puddle will soak into the ground and find its way into your basement causing basement flooding.
If your downspouts already lead away from your home, you can extend them even further. Guide the water toward native plants and grass.
#4. Plant Grass
If you haven’t done this already, make sure your house is surrounded by grass.
Grass needs water to survive, and it soaks up a lot of it. If your yard has rocks, gravel, and dirt instead of grass, all of that water is going to go into the ground and make its way elsewhere, likely to your home, causing basement flooding.
Also, don’t cut your grass short. Tall grass absorbs water better than short grass, so keep it a nice medium length.
#5. Plant Rain Gardens
Gardens in shallow, landscaped depressions can help to soak up more water. The depression guides the water toward it and the plants work from there. Again, native plants will work best, even if you have to remove them and replant them.
Larger plants with large roots should go in the center. They’ll be able to grab anything that the small plants on the edges miss.
#6. Switch to a Gravel Driveway
Asphalt driveways dump water around them in large puddles. Instead, choose a gravel driveway that will spread water evenly into the ground. If gravel is not an option, there are driveway drainage systems that you can install that will guide the water to a specific area.
Gravel is one of the most affordable options for a driveway. Although, it will need to be topped off every few years and when it is damaged by weather. It’s also environmentally friendly, as it helps replenish groundwater.
It also comes in many different styles. You can get gravel that matches the rest of your yard.
#7. Install a Pond
Groundwater can’t resist making its way to a pond. A hole in the ground full of water is just the thing groundwater looks for. Native plants around the pond can help to keep the pond itself from flooding.
If you take care of it properly, a pond is a great addition to a garden. It will attract local wildlife, and you can add your own fish to it. If you’ve ever considered installing a pond, protecting your house from flooding is another great reason to do it.
#8. Be Aware of Entry Points
Find where leaks in your basement are coming from. If there is flooding, it should be pretty obvious where the entry points are. Go downstairs during a storm and watch where the water enters.
Once the storm is over, you can go outside and start thinking about solutions. If these landscaping tactics don’t solve the problem, you might need to fix your pumps or install new ones. If you’re unsure how to do this, you’ll need to work with a professional basement contractor who can stop your basement flooding correctly.
#9. Add Swales
A swale is basically a trench that guides water where you want it to go. Usually, they’re lined with grass.
The trench can lead to a drain that is connected to the sewer system. They’re usually installed as part of a public works project, but they can also be applied for home use.
If you’re looking for a way to collect rainwater away from your house or near a garden, a swale could be a good option for you.
#10 Adjust Your Lawn Grading
Landscaping experts agree that lawn grades that lead to your house will cause basement flooding. If your lawn is graded toward your house, your best option is to regrade your lawn. There are some less visually appealing albeit cheaper options that can lessen flooding.
Dry creek beds and french drains can both be used to lead water away from your house, but they won’t completely solve the problem. French drains are installed underground. The pipes have holes in the top that collect water. The pipes then guide the water away from your house.
Obviously, this won’t be able to get all of the water. Regrading is the only way to solve the problem completely. French drains and dry creek beds can then be used as additional precautions.
Work with Professionals on Advanced Tactics
Professional landscapers and basement waterproofers will be able to help you with the more advanced tactics, especially adjusting your lawn grading, adding swales, installing sump pumps, and discovering entry points. If you choose these advanced tactics, it’s best to ask for help rather than doing it yourself and potentially causing more problems.