When might you need landscaping, rather than just want it? You need it when your basement is wet, needs to dry out, and needs to stay dry, or you risk structural rot, mold, mildew, water damage, and ultimately failure. Most basements get soggy or soaked due to a variety of problems, and so drying out and waterproofing basements usually involves a variety of solutions – including landscaping.
Most wet or damp basements we encounter are that way because of a negative grade around the foundation – in other words, land that slopes down toward your home, rather than away from it. Your home doesn’t need to be surrounded by negative grades: all it takes to soak your basement is one slope or one little hill pointing the wrong way. You can patch and paint your foundation until you’re blue in the face. But as long as the surrounding landscape wants to send water toward your foundation, water WILL find its way into your basement. Probably 49 times out of 50, poor grading or poor landscaping directs the water toward the home, rather than away from it.
Basement waterproofing involves not only work on the house, but also work around the house. It involves steps indoor and outdoor, underground and above-ground, simple and complex. It’s amazing what the simple act of removing all of your landscaping can reveal and allow us to fix: steep negative grades, holes and depressions in the grade, critter burrows alongside the foundation, cracks in your the foundation, old drainpipe or irrigation head that was landscaped over and has been pumping water into your basement for who knows how long, etc.
Creating a dry basement adds up to a lot of work, and it is not cheap. But it is much cheaper than needing to pay for structural repairs, a crumbling foundation, water damage restoration, countless trips to the doctor to figure out what you’re allergic to, or even the consequences of a fire (due to water getting into electrical systems).
Landscape Guys can take care of not only the landscaping, but also the foundation work you’ll need to let your basement breathe. Here is what we typically do to fix a wet basement:
- Remove all the landscaping surrounding the foundation
- Excavate a wide trench around the entire home
- Clean the foundation
- Fill in any gaps in the masonry, like with hydraulic cement or injecting polyurethane sealant
- Apply sealer and polyethylene membrane to the foundation, to keep water out
- Install drain tile at the bottom of the trench (depending)
- Fill the trench with either heavy fill or crushed rock (depending)
- Bury the gutter downspouts in the ground and extend them so that they discharge far away from the home and in a location where the water can’t pool and flow back
- Put pop-up emitters on the ends of the gutter downspouts, which also prevent backflow and prevent debris and rodents from entering the downspouts
- Re-grade the land around the home, so that water flows away
- Rework the landscape and add features according to your goals, vision, and heart’s content
It’s no small project, but in the process we’ll protect your home from structural rot, free up space in the basement that you can use and enjoy, and make your outdoor space safer, more useful, and more beautiful. If you’ve had it up to here with water in your basement, and you want to protect your home and make the best use of all your space, contact Landscape Guys to discuss your goals and to get an estimate. We serve the Twin Cities area.