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2 Ways To Adjust Your Home's Landscaping To Divert Runoff And Keep Your Basement Dry

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The gravel, soil, and other landscaping materials you use in your yard can have an affect on your home's appearance and also how well water drains away from your home's foundation and basement. Using the wrong materials or improper installation of the landscaping can lead to moisture problems and leaking into your basement. Here are some tips to help you make the changes with your home's landscaping to install some water-diverting strategies.

Keep Your Foundation and Basement Dry

Keeping your basement or foundation slab dry can be a challenge, especially when your home sits near a body of water, is in soil with a high water table, or you have excessive precipitation that saturates the soil around your home. Installing an exterior French drain around your home's foundation and basement can collect and divert water away from your home to keep its interior dry. 

First, you will need to excavate a trench around the exterior of your home's foundation with a width of at least 12 inches and at a depth of 18 to 24 inches. Place the excavated soil nearby on a tarp or other collection area, as you can use it in the next method to additionally help your soil landscaping.

Next, you will need to install a layer of landscaping fabric within the trench. This will prevent soil from collecting into the drainage pipe and causing it to clog and fail. Lay a single layer of landscaping fabric on the bottom of the trench to reach fully up the sides.

Pour a layer of gravel, two to three inches deep on the bottom of the trench. Make sure the gravel you are using is clean and free of any dirt or debris, as this can also clog your French drain pipe. Lay your perforated French drain pipe onto the layer of gravel. Then, cover the pipe with a covering of clean, washed gravel, filling the trench to within two to three inches of the surface of your landscaping. 

Fold the tops of the landscaping fabric to cover the gravel and add additional landscaping fabric to cover any exposed gravel. Fill topsoil over the top of the landscaping fabric so you can replace any landscaping you removed from the area.

Drain Surface Water From Your Foundation

An additional way you can adjust your landscaping to keep your basement and foundation dry is by adding a slope to the soil around the foundation of your home. This creates a slope away from your foundation to help surface water from precipitation or your roof runoff to flow away from your foundation and basement. This additional soil can be placed over the top of your French drain installation, and you can use the soil you removed from the trench during the excavation and installation.

It is recommended to create a slope of at least six inches over ten feet of space around your home. This slope helps any water that falls onto the soil to drain away from your home. Place the previously excavated soil next to the foundation of your home so it slopes away from the foundation. And because the soil you excavated from your French drain trench is most likely to be clay and poor-drainage, it will more easily help the water flow away and prevent it from seeping into the soil and down around your foundation walls.

Compact the soil down around your home to ensure it keeps its sloping form. If you need additional soil, you can buy fill dirt from a landscaping or construction company. Click here for more info on buying topsoil. 

Use these tips to help you adjust and change the landscaping around your home to help water runoff and drainage to keep your home's basement and foundation dry.


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