The single biggest threat to the physical integrity of your property is water flow. As a general rule, it is best to keep all of the water that is outside of your home right there, outside. How will you do this? Part of the work should be in place from your builder doing basic due diligence during construction, but even then that should be considered more of a worst case scenario measure, final measure (if its gone that far you might already be in trouble with seepage and mould issues).
Consider this. When outside water migrates toward your home from your yard (or in some cases your neighbour’s), its movement is heavily reliant on grades and impermeable barriers. So the first line of defense should be positive grading and drainage away from your house as well as appropriately placed and positioned downspouts & trunks that are in good working order. It is important to note that they should not flattened by traffic or lawnmowers , and not sunken into a mire of boggy soil. These two factors working in concert can provide a solid groundwork (see what i did there?) for keeping water out and away from your home.
After the perimeter of the home is in a place to stay high and dry, the next step is deciding what to do with the water. You can slope and swale more aggressively to shed excess water toward municipal drains and gutters. Alternatively, you can also plan to make use of the water (in part) through storage or utilize it in a garden, trees, hedges or planting beds. Proper plant selection and placement is important as is consideration of volume in particular zones around your yard, much of this will be determined by neighboring drainage patterns as well as the lay of your roof and downspouts.
Obviously it is easiest to plan things properly the first time during construction of your home, but with a little insight and a solid plan, any existing home can be dealt with effectively.
-Greenman Landscape Solutions
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