Drainage and erosion control around your property are extremely important for your house’s longevity. If you don’t have properly managed drainage and erosion control, your basement, landscaping, and foundation are just a few of the things at risk. Pooling water around your house can seep into your basement causing flooding and the long-term saturation and exposure to standing water can weaken your foundation, resulting in cracks or killing trees, bushes, flowers, and grass around your house. However, with properly managed drainage, you can avoid such complications and prevent any lasting damage to your house.
Combining Gravel and Landscaping
Landscaping is the best and most effective long-term solution to increase the drainage around your home. However, if you simply dig out a trench around your house, you’ll end up with an ugly moat that probably won’t look as cool as a fantasy castle or go over well with the HOA.
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Instead, you can add gravel and stone, both of which naturally enhance drainage by themselves, into a trench to achieve a similar effect. These gravel trench combinations are commonly referred to as swales or French drains and, put simply, are graded trenches filled with gravel or small stone around the area you want to protect that will divert water.
The gravel or stone are vital to the role of the trench. Using gravel or small stone enables the water to flow through them slower, allowing the soil to absorb more water over time and limiting runoff. This also applies to hill slopes, as any gravel or stone will further prevent long-term erosion and possible landslides. If left unfilled with gravel or stone, the water will start to erode the sides and the bottom of the trench quicker, resulting in more issues down the line such as the walls or bottom of the trench expanding.
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Furthermore, using gravel or stone can add an aesthetic design while improving the overall soil quality around it. Using stone or gravel, you can create what almost looks like a small riverbed flowing around your house, and any planted flowers or trees around it will benefit greatly from the improved water flow into the ground.
Use a Swale to Help Your Drainage Problems
If you are having drainage or standing water problems, make sure you have proper drainage to prevent long-term effects. A foundational shift or crack as a result of improper drainage control is not something you can fix, but you can solve the root of the problem by installing swales or other landscaping forms to improve the drainage around your house without worry.