Landscaping tips for your home

Monday Nov 06th, 2017


We all know that it takes more than April showers to bring May flowers into your yard. Building and maintaining a beautiful outdoor landscape is the result of long hours, hard work and a green thumb. Before you begin to create this year's garden oasis, make sure you've given some thought to protecting your home from the unintended water penetration that can result from poorly planned landscaping. This could not only have an impact on your home and what's in it, but it could also jeopardize your new home warranty.

In Ontario, most new homes come with a seven-year warranty that covers certain defects in workmanship, violations of the Ontario Building Code and major structural damage. The warranty is provided by your builder and backed by Tarion. As the homeowner, it is your responsibility to take care of your home, and this includes not altering any grading your builder has in place to protect it from water penetration.  If your landscaping plans call for any changes to the slope around your home, this could lead to poor surface drainage, ponding, flooding, basement dampness, or foundation settlement – all of which could result in damage that may not be covered under your new home warranty. 

So before you start to making any plans that could change any of the drainage systems on your property, including planting flowers, installing a pool, a deck, or even a second driveway, be sure it won't cause water to accumulate at or near your home's foundation.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when planning your landscaping this season:

• Make sure the land slopes away from your house so water does not accumulate near the foundation of your home.

• Extend downspouts so water flows away from the house and does not collect next to the basement walls and windows. 

• Ensure surface drainage is directed away from window wells and exterior stairwells.

• Don't cover up exterior weeping holes. These allow water inside a home to move outside and evaporate.  Raising the grade above weeping holes could only allow water to back up and weaken your foundation. It could also encourage insects or small animals to enter your home.

Lot grading requirements vary in different municipalities. So before making changes to your builder's grading, check with your local building department to understand what the requirements are that apply to your home. 

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