Basement flooding is awful -- it ruins a home, and it is probably anyone's worst nightmare when it comes to owning a home. Even if you're attentive, basements are still prone to flooding.
Whether you live in an area that floods frequently or has just gotten tired of dealing with a leaky basement, preventing water from entering your home is worth every minute of lawn watering. The good news is that there are many simple landscaping changes you can make around your house to help prevent water from damaging your basement.
So, grab your pen, take a seat, and make sure you are ready to learn these landscaping tips to prevent basement flooding and keep the water away from your house.
5 Landscaping Tips to Prevent Basement Flooding
You may have tried everything to keep your basement dry and were about to give up. But don't despair! With these landscaping tips, you'll be able to keep water at bay.
Put a Rain Garden in Your Yard
Planting a rain garden is one of the best ways to prevent basement flooding.
It’s a surprisingly simple thing you can do to help reduce runoff during heavy rainfalls and prevent damage to your home. These benefits are easy on your wallet as well. Besides, a rain garden has some pretty cool non-monetary advantages — namely, a fuller, healthier landscape with increased wildlife like birds and butterflies.
Rain gardens are especially effective for homes with asphalt, concrete, or gravel driveways. When rainwater flows through a rain garden, it naturally absorbs into the ground instead of running off the pavement into storm drains that lead to treatment plants. Plus, rain gardens help trap pollutants before they reach lakes, rivers, and streams.
Rain gardens are usually planted in your yard or along the edge of your property, where they can collect rainwater. The area is planted with low-maintenance ground cover to help control erosion, which means the water will absorb into the ground more slowly. Another benefit of rain gardens is that they typically attract native plants, which leads us to No. 2.
Let the Native Plants Grow
Want to achieve the optimal landscaping solution for a rain garden? Then you should invest in planting native species above all others.
The simple answer to this question is that native plants will naturally prevent basement flooding. But there's more to it than meets the eye. As attractive as a natural landscape might be, installing native plants in your rain garden will make it sound even more spectacular.
Ecologists believe that sound ecology is key to sound environmental stewardship, so you should consider planting all native plants; they'll naturally prevent basement flooding and keep your neighbors happy too!
Native plants are not only harder and more drought-tolerant than many nonnative species, but they also help keep your rain garden free of oily residue and street runoff. These plants also filter groundwater before it leeches into the water table, as they typically have more extensive root systems. Plus, they attract beneficial insects to your garden, which means you are creating a healthier environment, making your garden healthier and more beautiful. It's a win-win!
As water makes its way towards the property from the street, driveway, or even a neighbor’s house, it will take the easiest path of least resistance. In fact, stormwater can actually travel uphill if there are no barriers for it to run into. Since water is heavy, it can usually exert enough pressure to push through most barriers, including soil and concrete, which means grading is the most important landscaping tip for preventing basement flooding. While we understand that everyone’s budget (and time) is different, there are two main ways you can create and maintain an effective landscape grade, adding protection against potential basement flooding all while beautifying your home at the same time.
Make Sure It's Done the Right Way
When you start planting grass seed or laying sod, it's important to grade the soil away from your home. A gradual slope and the grass’s ability to absorb water make a natural way to prevent basement flooding.
There are many steps to take when grading a landscape, and getting the grade just right can be tricky. If you're not sure how to do it yourself and don't have the tools, it is recommended to hire a professional service.
Leave Some Space Between the Siding and Mulch
When planting or reviving a garden next to the house, it is a good idea to create a barrier between the siding and the area you will plant. Start by digging a trench about 6 inches deep and width as the plants you plan to put in it. Then fill the trench with gravel, small rocks, or a rock-like material that will keep water from pooling.
Digging Trenches and Installing French Drains
Trenches and drains are great alternatives to barriers since they provide a variety of functions like drainage, water filtration, and flow as well as beauty. Barriers alone can be unattractive, while trenches and French drains make very attractive additions to any yard. A better approach is to create a dry creek bed in the middle of your yard and fill it with river rock, all sloping away from the house.
Many newer homes come with French drains or perimeter drains already installed as part of the landscaping. These trenches are filled with rock, tile, and PVC piping and run along the edge of your property and under your yard. They help direct water away from your house and lower water levels overall.
Remember, installing a drainage system requires a lot of digging, so it's not an easy project for the average homeowner. If you do it wrong, you might end up creating more problems for yourself than you started with. It's probably worth paying a landscaping professional to handle the job if you don't want to risk making matters worse.
Keep Your Gutters Clean and Leaf-free…It’s a Must!
It’s not the most pleasant thought, but rain gutters do need to be cleaned regularly. When gutters are clogged with leaves and other debris, water will flow over them, creating pools of water right along the foundation. It should be a yearly thing, and if you’re going to make it a habit, you might as well start now!
However, if you don't want to spend your Saturday cleaning out the gutters yourself, consider hiring a professional gutter cleaner. It usually costs about $200 to have your gutters cleaned on an average-sized house.
In the end, there are bound to be a few conditions and factors that are unique to your specific situation. As long as you take your time, use some common sense, and plan appropriately, you can reduce and prevent that nightmare situation of basement flooding. By following these guidelines and putting them into practice, you'll be on your way to keeping your basement dry. Do it right, and you can spend more time enjoying your home instead of worrying about the potential damage that could occur due to flooding.
That's about all we have to say on this. Hopefully, this guide has been useful to you and will keep these landscaping tips in mind if you ever need to prevent basement flooding. If you think that we've missed anything or would like to add some more tips to the list, feel free to leave us a comment below and let us know!