Your landscaping can have more of an impact on your foundation’s stability than you might expect. As such, you’ll need to landscape with your foundation’s health in mind.
Your Foundation and Landscaping: Finding Your Balance
It’s easy to get carried away when you’re dreaming about your future landscaping. However, you always need to consider what kind of impact your landscaping could have on your foundation. With that in mind, it’s important to keep a few tricks up your sleeve. You can better protect your foundation while still enjoying gorgeous landscaping when you:
- Slope appropriately – Grade plays a significant role when it comes to your foundation’s structural integrity. Negatively graded beds next to your home’s perimeter can direct water down towards your foundation. In doing so, they’ll help hydrostatic pressure build up and stress your supports. Positively graded beds will force water away from your foundation while also ensuring that your plants receive the moisture they need.
- Establish distance – When you plant larger bushes or plants, you’ll want to create space between their future root systems and the perimeter of your home. You can do this by leaving at least five feet between your perimeter and the longest leaves on what you intend to plant. Note that most trees should be at least 20 feet away from your home’s perimeter if you want to keep their roots from interfering with the soil beneath your foundation.
- Water your soil – When you water your perimeter at least once a week, weather permitting, you’re ensuring the soil can continue to absorb rainwater when the weather turns. During a drought, the soil particles surrounding your home will shrink in size. This makes it more difficult for them to absorb water when a drought breaks. It also causes space to open up beneath your foundation, which can result in unexpected foundation settling, sinking, or cracking. In keeping your soil damp, you prevent those spaces from appearing, thereby protecting your foundation.
- Mulch your beds – Speaking of moisture: It’s always a good idea to use mulch to protect your plants and foundation. Mulch helps your beds retain moisture, no matter what kind of weather you’re dealing with. It will also help your soil absorb excess rain. As such, mulch pulls double-duty, keeping your plants healthy and your foundation safe from excessive hydrostatic pressure.
- Keep your drains clean – If you have had drainage systems installed in your basement and outside around your foundation, you’re going to need to keep their drains clear. You can do this by installing drainage curtains, which can be designed to look like loose gravel. You can also make drain cleanings part of your weekly responsibilities around the house. When you allow water to continually flow safely away from your home, you prevent pooling near your perimeter and, subsequently, damage to your foundation.
Note that all the landscaping tricks in the world still won’t substitute for home waterproofing measures. If you want to use both to your advantage, you can talk to the professional foundation and basement repair contractors working in Cleveland, OH. Professionals can inspect your home for existing damage and provide you with a free quote on any repair services or installations your home may benefit from.
What to Avoid Planting Near Your Home
Not all plants need the same kind of care to grow around your home. As such, there are some plants and trees that have more invasive root systems than others. While you don’t have to avoid planting more aggressive species in your yard, it’s often best to keep them as far away from your home as possible.
The plants and trees you’ll want to avoid cultivating near your home include:
- Hybrid poplars
- Bradford pears
- Chinese flame trees
- American elms
- Eastern cottonwoods
- Silver maples
- Mimosa trees
- Southern magnolias
- Sweet gum trees
Dealing with Invasive Landscaping
Unfortunately, you don’t always get a say in what’s planted near your home. If you’re moving into a new space with invasive landscaping, or if you started planting before doing your research, never fear. The professionals in the Cleveland, OH, area can talk you through your waterproofing options and foundation repair solutions. If your home needs repairs, you can consult them and determine what you need to do to protect your home, from what waterproofing measures to invest in, to what trees you may need to get rid of.