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5 Best Practices in Landscaping to Protect Your Foundation

Front view of a house with well-maintained landscaping.

At Nova Tech Foundation Repair, we know that landscaping does more than just beautify your yard—it plays a key role in keeping your home's foundation stable. A well-thought-out landscaping plan can control moisture, prevent erosion, and ensure proper drainage, all of which are crucial for maintaining a healthy foundation. On the flip side, poor landscaping choices can lead to water accumulation, soil instability, and even structural damage.

To help you design a landscaping plan that supports a strong foundation, we've gathered the five best practices for you to follow. 

1. Focus on Watering Vegetation, Not the Foundation

A common misconception is that watering your foundation will help maintain its stability. In reality, it's your vegetation that needs attention. Lawns, trees, and shrubs act as indicators for when and how much to water. When they thrive, it's a good sign that moisture levels are balanced. If they're wilting or overly dry, it might be time to adjust your watering routine. Consistent and even watering helps maintain soil stability around your foundation.

2. Use a Drip System for Controlled Irrigation

To ensure your plants receive the right amount of water without overwhelming your foundation, consider installing a drip irrigation system. Emitters placed on your plants allow for targeted watering, reducing the risk of water pooling near the house. Remember to position the system at least 18 inches from the foundation to avoid oversaturation. It's also important to maintain the entire yard, especially within 10-15 feet of your home.

3. Ensure Proper Drainage Around the Structure

Good drainage is essential for protecting your foundation from water damage. If water doesn't flow away from your home, it can cause soil erosion and instability. Re-grading the land and creating a swale can help direct water runoff away from the structure. It's best to avoid using French drains within 10-15 feet of your home, as they can inadvertently trap water near the foundation. The soil adjacent to your foundation should have a positive slope—at least a 5% incline—to ensure water flows away.

4. Keep Soil Below the Foundation Line

Another common landscaping mistake is allowing soil from flowerbeds to accumulate above the foundation line. This can clog weep holes or create opportunities for water to seep into your structure. To prevent this, ensure that the soil is at least 6 inches below the foundation line. Additionally, avoid creating water ponds around the structure, as this can cause soil to lose its load-bearing capacity, leading to foundation sinking in those areas.

5. Plant Trees at a Safe Distance

Trees add beauty and shade to your yard but can be a hazard to your foundation if planted too close. As a general rule, plant trees at a distance equal to their mature height. For example, if a tree is expected to grow 40 feet tall, it should be planted at least 40 feet away from your home. This distance helps prevent roots from intruding into the foundation and causing structural damage.

A proper landscaping plan is more than just an aesthetic choice; it's a critical component of foundation health. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your landscaping enhances your home's beauty while protecting its foundation from damage. If you have any questions or need assistance with foundation repairs, Nova Tech Foundation Repair is here to help. Contact us for expert advice and solutions tailored to your needs.

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