Water in Your Basement? It Could Be Your Landscaping

When homeowners have water in their basements, their first thoughts often go to the structure itself. And, while certain construction issues can be to blame, it could also be caused by your landscaping. So, if you can’t ignore your wet basement any longer, here are some landscaping issues you need to review.

Landscape Grades

The grade of your lawn refers to its angle or slope. Ideally, you want the grade to direct water away from your home and not toward it. That means your home should be at a higher point, and definitely not in a valley created by your landscaping.

If your grade causes water to collect at your foundation, it could be the source of the water in your basement. The best solution involves having your property correctly graded, but that is no small task. Often, it will destroy much of your current landscaping, giving you an almost blank slate once the job is complete. If a project of that size is too intimidating, you can also install a French drain to redirect the water that gets close to your home.

Water in Your Basement? It Could Be Your Landscaping

Short Downspouts

When it rains, water is directed through your gutters and out the downspouts. If your downspouts aren’t long enough, the water simply saturates the ground right around the opening. And, if those openings are near your foundation, that water can end up seeping into your basement.

To make sure your downspouts direct water away from your home, you may need to look into a variety of solutions. First, you can extend the length of the downspout. That increases the distance between your home and where the deluge of water ultimately ends up. Alternatively, you may simply need to direct your downspouts to a point that encourages the water to flow away from your home.

However, when redirecting your downspouts, it is also important to consider whether the water will lead to erosion. So, you may want to work with a professional to determine the best course of action.


Rain water isn’t the only cause of wet basements. In fact, improperly placed sprinklers can cause just as many issues as rain. Whether you have a full irrigation system or a sprinkler connected to a hose, turn the water on and see if any of the water is being directed to your home. If one of the sprinklers is soaking an area close to your foundation, or is hitting the siding and dripping down the structure, simply relocating the structure may solve the source of the problem.


If the source of the water isn’t on your property, and your home is close to a neighboring property, you might be getting runoff from there. You will need to observe how water is flowing when it rains as well as if your neighbors use sprinklers. If the water is coming onto your property, then you will need to find a mutually acceptable solution.

Again, redirecting a sprinkler is fairly simple, so you may be able to ask your neighbor to make an adjustment. However, issues of grading or downspouts might not be as easily solved. In some cases, you can adjust the drainage on your property to redirect the water and your neighbor won’t have to be involved. In others, you may need to explore joint solutions.

If you do need to work with your neighbor, then it is important not to be accusatory or overly forceful. Chances are, they aren’t even aware of the problem. Then, discuss options as well as how you are willing to contribute to the final solution. Sometimes, if the financial burden isn’t entirely on them, they may be more open to making the changes to save your basement.

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