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Living on a Slope: Remedies for Wet Basements and Runoff

A Done technician and box truck outside a home.

A house perched on a slope is an architectural gem. Sloped lots offer incredible architectural opportunities and unparalleled downhill views–not to mention those expansive panoramic windows, terraced landscaping, and walkout basements.

But nothing can be that perfect. In Colorado, living on a slope comes with many geological risks. One of which is surface water runoff which can flood the basement or cause soil issues. But many hillside homes do a great job mitigating these risks. At Done Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, and Electric, we have worked on thousands of hillside homes to know two of the best ways to avoid a wet, dank-smelling basement.

Ways Improve Your Basement Humidity

Hydrostatic Pressure

To curb these risks requires an analysis of the existing soil structure and a deep understanding of the natural forces that affect the integrity of the soil. The general idea is that the steeper the grade, the stronger the hydrostatic pressure. This presents a challenge to homes with a basement or a foundation built using the wrong materials.

Rain and wet weather will saturate the soil around the basement and foundation. As the pressure builds up, it forces water through cracks or seeps into the concrete. But a good drainage system and sediment filters around the foundation perimeter will do the trick. It also pays to install a waterproofing membrane.

Landscaping Solutions

However, most of the work goes beyond the home. To protect the home and mitigate risks, you must force the external environment must work in your favor. Landscaping is the most effective way to control the stability of the soil and prevent erosion on a slope.

Slopes need strong trees and deep-rooted plants. A mixture of native perennials, grass, bushes and trees, mulch, and ground covers will keep the soil intact and prevent surface activity. Proper drainage is necessary to prevent water from running on the slope.

Jute netting will safeguard the landscape from failure for rocky and sandy slopes. Erosion mats made of wire mesh and coir netting fastened with slope anchors also effectively hold the soil and plants in place.

Microclimates and high hydrostatic pressures are a fact of life in Colorado, and seasonal maintenance is essential for survival. Our plumbing experts will get the job done for you to prevent water-related damages to your hillside home. Contact us today and learn more about our plumbing services in Colorado.

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