Trees, hedges, and small plants can all play a role in the health of your home, depending on how you landscape your yard. Whether that role is beneficial or harmful all depends on how well you balance your foundation’s needs with your goals.
You may have grand ambitions for your future landscaping. Unfortunately, there are some realities that’ll need to make their way into your planning. You never want your landscaping to compromise the structural health of your home.
As you’re planning, consider the following tricks that’ll let you marry a gorgeous landscape with a healthy home.
The health of your home is often dictated by the grade of your land. Grades here aren’t the same as they were in college or high school. Rather, your lawn can be graded negatively or positively. A lawn with a positive grade places the home at its highest point, meaning water will run away from its perimeter and foundation. A lawn with a negative grade sees the home at the lawn’s lowest point, where water can readily gather along the perimeter and damage the foundation.
Regardless of where your home rests on your property, you can grade your landscaping beds to better protect your home. Landscaping beds alongside your perimeter with a positive grade can keep water away from your foundation and help maintain your plants’ health as well as your home’s.
Some trees, hedges, and plants are more aggressive growers than others. You’ll want to talk over which plants these may be with a representative from your local nursery. Then you’ll want to compose your landscaping plan with each plant’s needs in mind. For example, if one of the hedges you want to invest in is particularly large, you’ll want to make sure it has enough room to grow without its roots compromising the structural integrity of your home. This is best done by planting the hedge at least 20 feet away from your home’s perimeter.
You might assume that exposing your foundation to more water would add to the hydrostatic pressure already at work there. This is not the case. When you water the perimeter of your home as well as your landscaping beds, you keep the soil healthy and able to continue absorbing rainwater in the weeks and months to come.
In a similar vein, it’s a good idea to try and mulch your beds if you suspect that the weather’s about to dry up. Mulch can help your landscaping beds retain their moisture, meaning your soil stays healthy even as the weather heats up. In these cases, it may also be a good idea to invest in a home irrigation system to supplement your mulch.
If you don’t have waterproofing measures in place around your home, like an interior drain or a sump pump, you’ll want to consider investing in one. When you’re caring for your landscaping, these drains can help compensate for any excess rain your other protective measures can’t manage.
Exterior drainage solutions also are a good idea. That said, you’ll need to take steps to keep those drains clean. One of the easiest ways to do so is to invest in a false-gravel cover for them that’ll help them blend into your landscaping. These covers ward off over-large obstacles and ensure water can continue to flow out of and away from your home.
One of the simplest ways to landscape with your foundation in mind is to avoid planting trees, hedges, or foliage with aggressive or wide-spread roots systems. With that in mind, you’ll want to avoid:
If you move into a home that’s already suffering from trouble with its landscaping, don’t fret. While the foundation, basement, and crawl space experts in your area can’t help you remove a tree or redo your landscaping, they can walk you through the home waterproofing options you have available to you. After a home inspection, the professionals from Ohio Basement Authority can provide you with a free quote on the services you need to prevent your landscaping from doing long-term damage to your foundation.