• Fix Landscape Problems & Prevent Floods In Your Home


    Water should always run away from your home’s foundation to prevent flooding and the severe damage water will cause. When water runs toward your home, especially when the land is “downslope” from the surrounding properties, the problem can be solved in several ways, and they are discussed in this home repair guide. We look at DIY solutions as well as hiring a landscape contractor or excavation contractor to do the work. In most cases, a contractor will be on site for two to four days to complete the project.

    Landscape Drainage Problem Repair Guides

    Our goal here is to give you an overview of the project, though each job has many variables that will determine the actual way to go about a fix. Many factors are involved, most of which is a way too technical to go into here. All we will say is the geotechnical aspects  (depth of topsoil – make up of soil  – degree of slope of the surrounding land) all play a part in what happens around the foundations and under the floors be they piles or concrete

    The information here will help you decide whether to tackle the work on your own or hire a contractor for the work.
    Landscape drainage problem repair costs are included, giving you a ballpark idea of what your expense will be to install a system that will keep water away from your home. The last section includes DIY resources that provide more information and instruction.

    These tips aren’t exhaustive but will give you an overview of the possibilities for repairing drainage problems that threaten to flood your basement.

    • The first step is to determine where in your yard the landscape is sloped toward the house
    • A laser level is an ideal tool for checking the grade around your home
    • A common solution to earth sloping toward the house is to excavate and grade the area again so that the slope is away from the house
    • When the area sloping toward your home is a hill or even a gentle slope, the construction of a retaining wall is an excellent way to divert water coming down the hill around your home’s foundation provided it has a drainage system
    • A drainage system can easily be incorporated into a new landscape grade or a retaining wall in order to run water away from the foundations of your home
    • Downspouts carry an enormous amount of water, so make sure that your home’s downspouts empty well away from your home and in an area that slopes away from the foundation.
    • NEVER add soil around your home to the point the grade is higher than the foundation because water may run over the top of the foundation and cause basement flooding with creates more issues
    • One option where land is relatively flat, so it can’t be sloped away from your home, is to excavate the yard where the water mostly concentrates
    • Create a slope away from the house that is below grade and then glue heavy plastic sheeting to the foundation
    • Slope the sheeting away from your home and have it run toward a French drain that can carry the water even further away from the foundation
    • Backfill on top of the plastic sheeting
    • A sump pump can be included with a French drain or plastic sheeting system to push water far from the foundation
    • See our post “Installing a Basement French Drain and Sump Pump” for the basics…a French drain can be installed outside too
    • If you get heavy rains and your soil high in clay content, you might consider having your downspouts dump into a French drain with a sump pump too

    Landscape Drainage Problems Repair Costs

    These problems vary greatly in size and complexity, so nailing down costs without details is impossible. However, we can make some general cost estimates that will give you an idea of what to expect.

    DIY Landscape Drainage Repair Costs: If all you need to do is add extenders to your downspouts, then your cost can be less than $15 per downspout. An exterior French drain can be hand dug if you’ve got more time than money to hire a contractor.

    The materials including perforated pipe or tile, landscape fabric, and drainage gravel will cost $10 to $15 per linear feet. Renting a backhoe for major projects costs $250 to $500 per day.

    Retaining wall blocks cost $2 to $5 per block depending on their size and style. The mortar for them costs $10 to $15 for an 80lb bag suitable for 10 to 20 blocks.

    Professional Landscape Drainage Repair Costs: All of the above prices apply to materials. Depending on the work required, expect your cost for a landscape crew to be $750 to $1,500 per day. A retaining wall with excavation might take two to four days depending on its size. Creating a subterranean slope with plastic sheeting will take two to five days depending on how much of the yard is being excavated. Installation of a French drain, with materials and labor, costs $15 to $25 per linear foot.

    How to Save Money on Landscape Water Problems

    If you can borrow tools and equipment, you’ll save money when doing the work yourself. Just keep in mind that if you don’t do the work properly, the money could be wasted. Research the job thoroughly before getting started, or hire a landscaper to consult you while you do the work.

    When hiring a landscape contractor or excavating contractor, get estimates from several that know they’re competing for the project. They’ll give you their best offers, and you’ll find the lowest prices on drainage repair problems.

    DIY Landscape Water Problems Solution Resources

    These sites give good information on the types of projects we’ve discussed in this house repair guide.

    Kemp Remodeling – This local contractor provides an overview of exterior drainage solutions.

    Log House Plants – A gardener offers innovative ways to capture and divert rainwater on this site.

    Easy Digging – Here’s a more complete explanation of installing an underground plastic slope away from your home.

    Permies – This forum discusses problems of land sloping toward a home’s foundation and how to solve them


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