Water mitigation around the house

Key points to consider when planning landscaping to avoid structural damage

  • Plan type and location of gardens, paths, driveways, lawns, filling and retaining walls
  • Take care in selection of trees and shrubs. Do not over plant next to the house
  • Keep trees with high water demand well away from buildings in reactive clay areas.
  • Avoid variable conditions around the house and maintain adequate moisture/watering. Do not over water and avoid the use of unregulated sprinkler systems.
  • Locate ponds and water features away from the house.
  • Direct surface water away from the house. Do not allow water to be trapped or pond near the house.
  • Repair leaking pipes and taps.

Note: these issues should be considered as part of planning and maintaining the home. Aim to provide a consistent moisture regime around the house. This will minimise soil moisture variations that may cause movement and result in structural damage.

If the ground slopes towards the house, paths with spoon drains should be provided.

It is also important to place drains uphill of the footings so as to direct water around the house and away from the footings. A stormwater and roof water drainage management plan should be considered and take into account water flowing from adjoining properties.

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