How to Prevent Basement Leaks with Landscaping

How to prevent basement leaks with landscaping by Woodard Cleaning & Restoration in St. Louis, Mo.

So, you’ve installed gutter guards, regularly maintain your downspouts, and even stick to a strict gutter cleaning schedule – so, why are you still seeing leaks and other signs of water damage? The truth is that water damage finds its way into every home, no matter how much waterproofing is done. However, there is one main area that is often overlooked, and typically, not even thought of as a solution to prevent water intrusion: landscaping. It’s true! Proper landscaping doesn’t just add curb appeal, it’s also a key factor associated with avoiding water damage. Follow these tips on how to prevent basement leaks with landscaping and rest easy knowing your home and basement will be water free for a long time to come.

What Difference Does Landscaping Make?

Let’s put it this way: when severe storms and rainfall strikes, all that precipitation soaks into the ground until it reaches an absorption limit. Think of your yard like a sponge: sponges can only hold a certain amount of water until the water begins to leak out. The same thought process applies with landscaping; once the absorption limit has been reached, precipitation begins to pool up, and eventually, flow downward. Anything located in that downward direction will quickly become a precipitation magnet. For this reason, you must alter your landscaping accordingly.

Tip #1: Check the Slope of Your Landscaping

While most homes are constructed with drainage and water flow in mind, lots settle overtime, causing the original construction to fade. Every season, be sure to take a close look at your landscaping to ensure that it slopes away from your home, rather than towards it. While you’re at it, check to make sure all drainage ditches, vents, and pipes are clear and free of obstructions.

Tip #2: Gutter & Downspout Maintenance

You’ve heard us say it before, but we’re going to say it again: do not neglect your gutters and downspouts! We know it’s not the most enjoyable household task, but it’s essential, and when done regularly, is quick and painless. If you’re clueless about downspout maintenance or how to properly clean your gutters, you’re not alone; click the links for a crash course!

Tip #3: Shrub & Tree Trimming

In addition to causing an eyesore, overgrown trees and shrubs that grow against your home are a leading cause of water damage. Trim them regularly to avoid interior leaks, and pay extra attention to excess leaves and branches that make their way into gutters and downspouts.

Tip #4: Driveway & Patio Drainage

Unlike soil and grass, concrete and pavement do not have the ability to absorb water on their own. With that being said, standing water is often found on driveways and patios that slope towards a home. To avoid this potentially costly, and damaging, problem consider installing channel drains in these areas. Similar to French drains, which are installed directly into yards, channel drains are installed directly into concrete, and provide access to vents that easily catch water.

Tip #5: Grading – Is it Necessary?

If you’ve taken every step to waterproof your landscaping, it may be necessary to grade your yard. While grading your yard could be a task you take on yourself, we recommend hiring a professional, unless, of course, you are highly-confident in your landscaping skills. For the do-it-yourselfers, we’ve created an excellent step-by-step guide for grading your yard; click the link to read more!

When to Call a Professional

Even after enhancing your landscaping, maintaining your sump pump, and cleaning your gutters, water damage always a possibility. If you find yourself faced with an intense water damage situation, act fast and call a professional restoration team immediately. Putting off the process could lead to an even more serious problem: mold. The best way to prevent water damage is to be a pro-active homeowner. Follow these tips on how to prevent basement leaks with landscaping. Don’t allow little issues to become huge problems; correct them now!