Does your basement feel damp and musky? Some homeowners assume that basements are supposed to feel this way. Excess moisture such as this, however, is usually a sign of an underlying problem, which can typically be traced back to the landscape. So, if you want to prevent water in your basement, consider the following landscaping tips.
Try to get into the habit of cleaning your gutters – or hiring someone to clean them – on a regular basis. If your home has overhanging tree limbs, leaves, branches and other debris will likely accumulate inside the gutters. When this happens, it can restrict or completely prevent the flow of water; thus, causing water to pool around the foundation and eventually seep into your basement.
Identify Areas Where Water Collects
Even if your gutters are clean and free of obstruction, water may still collect at certain areas around your home's foundation. This is particularly true if your home wasn't properly graded during construction, or if it has eroded over time. The next time it rains, keep an eye on your home's landscape to identify areas where water collects. If you see a pool of standing water, make a mental note of it so you can fill it in later.
Create Space Between Mulch and House
There's nothing wrong with using mulch in flowerbeds. On the contrary, mulch is a great way to prevent the intrusion of weeds while also adding moisture to your flowers. However, you shouldn't place mulch directly against your house. Because of its ability to retain moisture, mulch should be kept at least 6 inches away from your home.
Of course, clean gutters is only beneficial in keeping water away from your home if the downspouts are directly in the appropriate direction. Check to make sure all downspouts are directed away from your home rather than up against it. If the water simply flows to the base of your home, it will likely seep into your basement where it promotes mold and mildew.
Grade Your Landscape
Finally, consider grading your landscape to deal with moisture problems in your basement and home. The general idea is to slope your home's landscape at a slight angle so water flows away from it. Once graded, you shouldn't have a problem with moisture entering your home or basement.