Christmas Decorations for the Interior Home

Protect Your Foundation By Building Up Your Soil

by Russell Lowe

As time goes by, the ground around your home may start to erode. This can leave you with a leaky foundation and a wet basement. To prevent this, you should upgrade your landscaping and build up the soil around the foundation of your home. You know you have a problem if the ground is sloping toward your house.

Build Up the Soil

First you need to get more soil for the foundation of your home. A landscaper will be able to bring in high quality topsoil. Another option is to see if the ground waste department of your local city has free compost soil. Often you can take as much as you need. You simply have to haul it and do the work yourself.

Build the soil up against the foundation of the house and slope it away from the house. Make sure that the top of the foundation is still at least 6 inches away from the top of your added soil.

You want your soil to gradually slope away from the house. At a minimum, try to get the ground to fall away 6 inches by about 10 feet from your home.  It is okay if the ground starts sloping up after that 10 feet as long as there is a gully or ditch for the water to accumulate.

This may mean that you need to add a lot more dirt on your current lawn. Don't worry about that. Just cover the grass and add the extra soil to protect your foundation. Make sure that you compress the added soil by walking on it or pressing down with a shovel. That way you know if you need to add more soil to the area.

Add New Grass Seed

You don't want a big swath of dirt around your house without any vegetation on it. That will just increase the chance of more erosion. Immediately after finishing your topsoil installation, begin planting grass seed.

Mix 4 parts of sawdust to 1 part of grass seed. The sawdust helps uniformly spread the seed. Don't fall for the trap that more seed is better. If you over-seed the area, there is greater competition for nutrients, and you will end up with a lower quality of grass. Follow the instructions on the grass seed you choose.

After spreading the seed, make sure that you use grass seed fertilizer. This adds nutrients that will help the grass grow quickly.

The ground needs to stay slightly damp so the seeds can germinate. Slightly water the area two to three times a day (unless you get rain.) Don't over-water or the seeds will not thrive.

It may take up to 10 days before the grass starts to really grow around your foundation, but the time and effort will protect your home for years to come. 

For more information, contact Cumberland Valley Tree Service & Landscaping or a similar company.