Spring is finally on its way! While it feels good to get outdoors and welcome the warmer weather, melting snow and spring rains can lead to problems when there’s too much of it at once. If your landscaping isn’t done right, you may find groundwater seepage in your basement or crawlspace.
Try these landscaping tips for the Western Slope of Colorado to keep your foundation and basement dry. When you choose the right plants and materials for your area, your home and garden will both look great and function well, even during the wet season.
1. Make the Grade
Ideally, your house is elevated a bit from the rest of your landscape so that water can be diverted away from it when it rains. If your foundation is high enough, you might be able to regrade your lawn so water runs away from your basement. Even grading your foundation planting beds so they have a gentle slope could be enough to do the trick. As you do so, make sure soil and mulch only touch the foundation and not the siding to prevent water damage to your walls.
2. Add a Dry Creek Bed
If your property slopes toward your house, regrading might be impossible. If so, digging a trench to catch run-off before it gets to your house can be a big help. A dry creek bed lined with decorative river rock can be an attractive landscape feature that holds extra rainwater when you need it to. If you don’t like the look of a rocky river bed, consider having a French drain installed instead—it works on the same principle, but is hidden underground
3. Serious About Gutters
Rain gutters are often overlooked as part of your landscaping, but they’re a crucial line of defense when it comes to directing water away from your basement. Keep gutters clean, and make sure your downspouts direct water as far away from your foundation as possible. To help steer the stream, miniature landing pads of gravel or river stone will help minimize erosion and direct the water away from your house.
4. Prevent Erosion With Native Plants
Adding shrubs near your foundation is a great way to boost your curb appeal and help protect your home at the same time. The roots of these plants will help hold soil near your house in place, keeping it from washing away and ruining all your grading work when it rains. Native varieties like Apache Plume and Littleleaf Mock Orange are good choices.
With some extra attention to your landscape, you can enjoy a dry basement this spring.