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How to Protect your Foundation with Landscaping

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Landscaping tips can help when used as part of protecting your foundation in the Southern Colorado, Denver and surrounding areas. Why is it important to maintain your foundation? Because if you have a good drainage system that can stop problems, you may be able to avoid having foundation repair work done. Contact Peak Structural if you’d like a FREE estimate!

Below are some suggestions that can alleviate the need for foundation work and protect your foundation.

1. Landscape around your home evenly. If only one part of the yard is landscaped, soil on that side will generally expand because it’s likely to be watered more often. Soil expansion can lead to foundation cracks so it’s best to water your property uniformly. You’ll want to protect your foundation from large increases in moisture or too little water.

2. Slope flower beds away from the foundation. Check the grade on your property and landscaping to make sure water can’t puddle around your house. It’s recommended that having a 9-10″ drop for the first ten feet around your house can keep moisture from accumulating under the foundation. Fill embankments should not be steeper than a two to one slope ratio, with the horizontal slope being a two and the vertical ratio being a one. Without a proper slope, your foundation will experience erosion.

3. Thoroughly mulch your flower beds. Mulch retains moisture and will be beneficial to your plants and your foundation in the hot months by preventing the soil around your property from becoming excessively dry. Exceedingly dry soil can harm your foundation by causing movement.

4. Install drainage systems to stop foundation issues. When placing plants in flowerbeds near your foundation, make sure to create drainage spaces that will allow water to flow out of flower beds and downhill. For example, if you’re using bricks as a flowerbed border, make sure to leave a little space between the bricks. Positive drainage that allows for surface runoff is critical to minimizing foundation failure. There are many types of landscape drainage problems that can be solved with drainage systems like French drains. Some of them include flooding, erosion, negative drainage, seepage, and sedimentation. Moisture seeping into your concrete can cause corrosion and expansion of the steel rebar. Over time, this could lead to foundation failure.

5. Position large trees away from your foundation. To be on the safe side, don’t plant trees closer than 20’ to your foundation. Keep in mind that roots commonly extend from the tree trunk by as much as one to two times the height of the tree. Some trees, such as spruce trees, grow particularly large far reaching roots, and should be planted 30’ away from your house. When used for landscaping around foundation, trees and shrubs often get very large. That’s because tree roots rob your foundation of moisture (this process is called “transpiration.”) Trees that are positioned near your house should be watered a minimum of twice a week during the hot summer months and more often, if needed. If a tree near your home is mature and you cannot remove it, another option is to install a root barrier. Root barriers can be installed 3-5’ deep to redirect tree roots away from your house.Your foundation should not be completely covered by foliage. As a general rule of thumb, approximately 3-5” of your foundation should be visible. Be sure to plant shrubs that are 6’ tall or more approximately 4.5′-5’ away from your foundation.

Not sure who to call for foundation repair on your Colorado property? Peak Structural is your local foundation repair company providing quality solutions all types of foundation problems with patented solutions and lifetime warranties!

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