Skip to Main Content
AFS Crew in training

Landscaping Tricks That Will Keep Your Foundation Safe

Will your landscaping result in a need for foundation repair? Find out how to have a perfect yard without causing damage to your home.

Schedule Free Inspection

Whether you have a large or a small yard, with some landscaping tricks, you can turn it into your own haven. After all, this should be a place where you feel comfortable and relaxed, where you entertain your friends and spend quality time with your family, so it should look just as you want it to. 

However, besides planning the trees and shrubs you want, you should also make sure your project doesn’t harm your home’s foundation. A lot of homeowners may not be aware that their landscaping can affect their foundation’s stability. Neatly organized flower beds and large trees can give your garden that “wow” effect, but if not planned carefully, they can do more harm than good. Here is everything you need to know about landscaping with your foundation in mind. 

landscaping and your foundation

How to Protect Your Foundation and Still Have a Beautiful Yard 

When you are planning how your yard will look, it is easy to get ahead of yourself and use too much of your imagination. Before you start digging, you need to consider all the ways your landscaping can affect the foundation of your house. If you wish to enjoy a gorgeous yard and still keep your foundation safe from potential damage, here are five rules you need to follow. 

Slope Appropriately 

If you have decided to create flower beds next to your home, you need to make sure they are positively graded. This means they will direct water away from your house, not toward it. Negatively graded beds can force water toward your home and therefore lead to the building up of hydrostatic pressure, which will eventually cause problems with your foundation. With positively graded beds, you will keep your foundation protected and still ensure your plants receive the moisture they need. 

Establish Distance 

In case you wish to plant large bushes or trees, make sure there is enough space between them and the perimeter of your house. When planting shrubs, make sure they are at least five feet away from your house, while large trees shouldn’t be less than 20 feet away. By creating this space, you will make sure the roots of your new plants don’t interfere with the soil beneath the foundation and cause eventual foundation cracks. 

Water Your Soil 

Your plants need water to survive, but your soil needs it as well so it doesn’t become hard as a rock. Why is this important? When there is a drought, the soil particles shrink in size and are no longer able to absorb water. This causes spaces to open up under your foundation, which leads to foundation settling, cracking, or sinking. If you wish to avoid foundation repair, you need to water your soil, especially when there is little rain in your area. 

Mulch Your Beds 

Placing mulch on top of your beds can ensure the soil maintains its dampness, even during drought. This way, the soil particles won’t shrink and the ground will always be able to absorb excess rain. Mulch has two benefits: It keeps your plants healthy and protects your foundation. 

Keep Your Drains Clean 

In case you have installed a drainage system in your basement and outside around your foundation, you need to keep the drains clean or they won’t be able to serve their purpose. You can do so by making drain cleaning a part of your weekly chores. However, if you don’t have time for this, you can install drainage curtains. They will make sure the drains don’t get clogged and won’t affect the look of your yard since they are designed to look like loose gravel. By keeping your drains clean one way or the other, you will prevent water from pooling near your home and damaging your foundation. 

Although there are numerous landscaping tricks you can use to protect your foundation, you should keep in mind that they are not a substitute for standard home waterproofing measures. If you wish to keep your home safe from water damage, contact basement waterproofing professionals in Birmingham, AL, and schedule a free inspection. Experts can examine your home, check for existing damage, and suggest repair services that will benefit your home. With help from professionals, you can ensure that your home is thoroughly protected from foundation damage. 

Trees You Shouldn’t Plant in Your Yard 

Not all plants have the same root system, so while some can be planted next to your home’s perimeter, others shouldn’t be anywhere near it. Keep in mind that some trees have invasive root systems that can lead to damage and costly foundation repair, so they shouldn’t be planted around your home. However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid planting them altogether. It just means you should keep them as far away from your home as possible. If you are planning to landscape, make sure you don’t cultivate plants such as Bradford pears, Hybrid poplars, Chinese flame trees, American elms, Eastern cottonwoods, Willows, Silver maples, southern magnolias, and sweet gum trees near your house. Otherwise, you will be dealing with foundation repair sooner than you expected to. 

How to Deal with Invasive Landscaping 

In some cases, homeowners buy an empty lot and build a house according to their wishes. They also plant trees and shrubs they want in their yard. However, in most cases, homeowners buy an already finished house that comes with various trees and other plants. If you have moved into a home with invasive landscaping, you don’t have to despair. Simply call experts at AFS in the Birmingham, AL, area for a free inspection and they will inform you about your waterproofing options and other home maintenance solutions. They will suggest various ways you can protect your home, inspect your yard, and advise you to get rid of the trees that could damage your foundation. 


Birmingham, AL

130 Interstate Commerce Crt. Bldg. 100 & 200
Alabaster, AL 35007

Chattanooga, TN

214 Industrial Park Dr.
Soddy-Daisy, TN 37379

Columbus, GA

2701 Opelika Road
Phenix City, AL 36870

Dothan, AL

1909 Montgomery Hwy, Suite 322,
Dothan, AL 36303

Florence, AL

118 E Mobile St
Florence, AL 35630

Huntsville, AL

2415 Jordan Road
Huntsville, AL 35811

Knoxville, TN

3028 E Governor John Sevier Highway
Knoxville, TN 37914

Mobile, AL / Biloxi, MS

3131 Hamilton Blvd.
Theodore, AL 36582

Montgomery, AL

445 Dexter Avenue, Suite 4050
Montgomery, AL 36104

Nashville, TN

1519 Heil Quaker Blvd.
LaVergne, TN 37086

Pensacola, FL

89 W. Hood Dr.
Pensacola, FL 32534