Landscaping for Foundation Drainage

Replacing an old sump pump.
Replacing an old sump pump.

One of the least glamorous things about owning a home is thinking about whether or not your basement and foundation are suffering from leaking. 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 when an excavator is used to remove soil which creates a gravitational pull toward your house. The goal is to have water flowing away from your house. Ground will be repositioned in such a way as to accomplish that. Grading is also 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. This will allow drain systems to 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.

If you become aware of drainage issues, make sure to act quickly and get a thorough drainage system installed. 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.