Proper Landscape Slope to Avoid Residential Water Damage
There is any number of ways that water can gain access to your home and result in serious water damage problems. Most if these can be avoided with a little judicious planning ahead and taking the time to make sure that all elements are in place to at least cut down on, if not eliminate, the possibility for water issues. Leaking windows and damaged roofs are the most common culprits, as are clogged or otherwise damaged gutter systems. One of the most common problems, though, quite literally surrounds your home. I’m talking of course about the landscaping and your yard (or lawn, depending on what part of the country you’re in when reading this.)
You have to remember that your yard is only capable of absorbing so much water, and once that limit has been reached, any more water is going to accumulate above the surface, creating flood conditions. Water also tends to flow in the direction of least resistance, in this case downhill, and it’s a foregone conclusion that the water is going to flow whichever way the landscaping is sloped.
Therein lies the problem. A good percentage of homes have not figured in the landscape slope as it applies to potential water and flooding issues. The yard and landscaping is simply designed with regard to what looks good, and all other conditions are secondary. Landscaping that slopes toward the home is a recipe for disaster, since it will send any and all excess water flowing toward your home, allowing it to flood the basement or lowest level if enough water is present to do so.
Ideally, landscaping should slope away from any residential or commercial property for a distance of no less than ten feet. More is always better, as the greater the slope distance, the less likely water is to be able to double back and create a problem. The slope should drop a foot for every 100 feet of property to ensure that any excess water drains off properly.
On the other hand, you do not want the slope to be too severe, as anything more than a five degree slope will result in erosion of the landscaping. Ideally slopes should be between 2 and 4 percents.
In some cases, rather drastic regarding and landscaping may be required to fully protect a home, especially if the original landscaping was done with an eye on aesthetics as opposed to water safety. Grading and re-sodding of the yard may be required to bring the property up to proper water damage prevention specs.
Your local Clean Trust certified water damage restoration provider can examine your yard and make a determination as to what type of work needs to be done in order to best protect your home from the elements, and in many cases may be able to recommend a company that can do the work. This should preferably be someone familiar with landscape construction designed to ward off water and flood problems.