How Proper Landscaping Can Prevent Basement Flooding

Jennifer Bell

A quality landscaping service will go beyond just the way the exterior of a property looks. Of course, this is the main reason people hire a landscaping service, however, a quality landscaping service will go above and beyond the outside, the work done on the outside will carry into the interior of a property, specifically the basement.

The basement is the number one place for flooding on a property. Basement damage caused by a flood can cost thousands upon thousands of dollars and may not always be covered by homeowners’ insurance. Basement flooding is typically caused by extreme weather such as a heavy rainstorm or ample amount of melted snow, the moisture from these extreme weather conditions often makes its way to the basement because the water has nowhere else to go because of improper landscaping around the property.

Below are helpful landscaping tips to prevent basement flooding.

Make Sure Your Lawn is Graded in the Right Direction

This is an easy way to take preventive action towards keeping your basement dry. Lawn grades should run away from your house, not towards. If your lawn grade does in fact face towards your home, regrading your lawn is a cheap option to prevent flooding.

How Proper Landscaping Can Prevent Basement Flooding? 2 - Landscape & Backyard Ideas - 1001 Gardens

Install a Dry Creek Bed or French Drain

Installing a dry creek bed or french drain will lead water away from your house.

“French drains are installed underground and have holes in the top that will gather excess water and take it away from your property, specifically your basement,” says an expert form a basement waterproofing company in South Jersey.

Leave a Gap Between Siding and Mulch

Mulch can be a crucial factor when keeping your basement dry. Mulch soaks up water and if it soaks up too much, it can rot away the siding of your home and run into the ceiling of the basement. Keeping mulch and siding apart, especially with stone, is another simple way to prevent basement flooding.

Heavy mulch is also the best option for water prevention in your basement. A light mulch will absorb water easier and will also be carried away by rain and snowmelt.

Make sure to pack heavy mulch together tightly to get all the benefits.

How Proper Landscaping Can Prevent Basement Flooding? 3 - Landscape & Backyard Ideas - 1001 Gardens

Keep Grass and Native Plants Healthy and Flourishing

Grass does an outstanding job of absorbing large quantities of water. Healthy grass that isn’t cut too short (but not too long either) will absorb water before it reaches your home.

Native plants are used to the surroundings and will do just as much work as the grass in terms of draining water efficiently and absorbing moisture. These plants are used to the environment and will work better than newly planted plants and shrubs when trying to collect water.

How Proper Landscaping Can Prevent Basement Flooding? 4 - Landscape & Backyard Ideas - 1001 Gardens

Add a Pond or Rain Garden

Adding a pond to your yard is an aesthetic bonus as well as a “keep your basement dry bonus.”  A pond is simply a hole in the ground that is deep and full of water, with proper maintenance, a pond will collect rainwater so it doesn’t make its way into your home. Adding some of the native plants from your property to the pond will ensure that it doesn’t get too flooded.

Similarly, a rain garden is a hole that will collect water. Compared to a pond, a rain garden is more shallow and usually has plants in the center that grab water. Smaller plants should typically be placed around the edges so they too can collect as much water as possible. If installed properly, rain and other water should run in this shallow hole before making its way to your basement.

Downspout Checkups

Downspouts are often looked over when it comes to landscape maintenance. Downspouts need to be facing away from your home. If these are facing the wrong way or are damaged, water will puddle and seep into your basement.

Whatever landscape choice you make, make sure to get an expert contractor’s opinion and input before you do anything. Keep in mind, good landscaping should have benefits to your interior as well as the exterior of your property.

How Proper Landscaping Can Prevent Basement Flooding? 5 - Landscape & Backyard Ideas - 1001 Gardens

Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.