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Tips for safe landscaping

Published on May 29, 2023


Everyone dreams of attractive landscaping that enhances the appearance of their home and increases its value. However, it’s best to develop an overall plan before you start digging. A solid plan will save you a lot of worry—not to mention insurance claims—in the years ahead. 

So, here are a few tips on best practices for landscaping designs.

Devise a drainage method for your yard 

If you have drainage problems, there will be pools of stagnant water around your home. You run the risk that this water may damage the foundations of your home or flood the basement.  

Spare yourself these problems and their costly fixes. When you plan your landscaping, think about drainage. Ensure that the slope of your yard moves surface water away from your home. 

A two-percent downward slope starting at the foundation walls should suffice. However, a slope of 10% is recommended for the first two meters. None of the slopes should direct water toward the house. 

Depending on the specific characteristics of your yard, you may want to install a trench drainage system. Make sure the water is then directed to the front of your property and not toward the neighbours! 

If your garage entrance is sloped, install a drainage grate inside to collect the runoff. 

If your situation is more complex, it may be preferable to consult a specialist for guidance. 

Install gutters and window wells 

All buildings with a roof must have gutters, including your home, garage and shed. Without gutters, rain and snowmelt could cause damage to them and to the surrounding vegetation. 

This also means that the gutter downspouts should be placed close to the ground. If they are not connected to a sewer or an inground drainage system, there are several accessories to redirect water further away from buildings.  

Does your home have basement windows? You should consider installing window wells. They prevent water from seeping in after the snow melts or when there are heavy rainstorms. Do not connect the window well drain to the foundation's drainage system. You don’t want to overload this drain, plus this prevents debris from blocking it. 

Make the right tree and shrub choices 

Remember that trees and shrubs grow. A tree that is planted too close to the house could cause problems. The branches may damage the roof and the roots may weaken the foundations. 

When you select your plants, find out what size they will become. Then consider whether they work for your yard given the space that you have. 

Finally, avoid planting too close to the foundations. The excess water when you water them could impede runoff.

If you follow these tips and plan your landscaping well, you can enjoy your yard worry-free. 

Your insurance broker is there to help you prevent losses. Contact him or her!