Landscaping for Foundation Drainage

Author: Touré Foster

Posted in: Drainage | Excavation

Replacing an old sump pump.

One of the least glamorous things about owning a home is discovering that your basement and foundation are leaking. Water in your basement usually indicates that you have poor foundation drainage.

However, it can become a serious issue so it’s important to know if your foundation is prone to leaking. As the saying goes “hell hath no fury like a leaking foundation scorned.”  Okay, that’s a stretch, but poor drainage around your home can cause problems like ground water leaking into your basement or structural damage to your foundation.

It’s important that you have good surface and subsurface drainage systems which will lead water away from your foundation and your house. A good way to do this is through grading and drains.

Things That Affect Your Foundation Drainage

There are several factors which affect your foundations ability to drain. First, how well your soil absorbs water is very important. Your ground water table height is also a key, as well as housing density. If, for instance, you live in a highly dense housing area, have a high water table, or have non-porous soil, it’s likely you will need to protect your foundation from water damage with a robust drainage system.

Why Grading?

One great way to help with foundation drainage is to have your lawn properly graded. Grading is

  • Removing soil which creates a gravitational pull toward your house. Usually done with an excavator, the goal is to have water flowing away from your house.
  • Sloping the ground away from the foundation to help with drainage.
  • A great way to improve the appearance of your landscape.

To learn more about grading and how it helps drainage, read this article.

Foundation Waterproofing Options

While there are some temporary options which might keep the problem in check (crack injections, waterproof primer, or paint) serious issues will probably need to be resolved with a combination of leaking prevention measures and drainage solutions. The exterior excavation process will probably involve removing 6 to 8 feet of soil from around the foundation down to the footer. The drainage systems can then be installed at the lowest level of your foundation. While this is an expensive process, it is permanent and requires virtually no maintenance. This deals with water before it enters the basement.

Interior Basement Excavation For Drainage

A second, cheaper alternative is to perform the excavation on the inside of the house. This, unfortunately deals with the water after it has already entered the foundation. However it may be the best option in some cases. This usually includes excavating a trench anywhere from a few inches to a foot and a half around the perimeter of the basement, installing drainage piping which runs to sump pump, and installing measures which make sure the piping system remains free of clogs.

Act quickly and get a foundation drainage system installed if you see water forming around the foundation. The quicker you take care of the problem, the quicker you can. A neglected foundation can render your home unsafe, causing you to lose your investment completely. New England Enterprises specializes in creating secure foundations for construction, as well as preserving nearby plants and shrubs to replace once the repair is complete.