TARION: Don’t Let Your Landscaping Plans Dampen Your Spirits or Your Basement

Summer is here and with all the time spent enjoying  the great outdoors, you might find yourself thinking  about how to make your yard as beautiful as your new  home. Before

Tarion Landscaping

you dig in, there are a few things you should  consider when planning landscaping or building additional  structures around your house.  When constructing your new home, the builder has  taken care to ensure that water will not accumulate at or  near the foundation. Any landscaping that alters this grade  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 by your  new home warranty.  When planning to add flower beds, a pool, a deck, a  second driveway, or any new structure around your home,  take care not to alter your property’s drainage patterns. The  Ontario Building Code requires that a building should be  located or graded so that water will not accumulate at or  near the building or adversely affect adjacent properties  and that exterior foundation walls should be extended a  minimum of 150 mm above the finished ground level.  Lot grading requirements vary from municipality to  municipality, so before making changes to what your builder  has put in place, check with your local building department  to understand the requirements that apply to your home. In  general, the following guidelines should be followed:
– The top of your foundation should be above grade a  minimum of 150 mm for masonry cladding and 200 mm  for wood cladding.
– Grade the lot so that the land slopes away from your  house for at least 1.8 metres around the foundation.
– Do not change the elevation around the lot perimeter.
– Extend downspouts so water flows away from the  house and does not collect next to the basement walls  and windows. No matter how much the elbow joint of  the downward drain spout disrupts your flower beds,  don’t take it off or water will drain from the roof straight  down into your foundation.
– Ensure surface drainage is directed away from window  wells and exterior stairwells.
– Swales (depressions in grading between tract properties  that are intended to manage water run-off) should be  located within the limits of the lot and have a maximum
depth of 150 mm and a side slope of 3 to 1.
– Don’t cover up weeping holes (small openings located  near the base of masonry structures). These allow water  inside a building to move outside and evaporate.
Raising the grade above weeping holes could not only  allow water to back up and weaken your foundation,  but may also allow insects and small animals to enter
the building.

Understanding this information before you start landscaping  will save you time, money, and frustration. It may also help  keep your basement dry and your warranty in place.
If you have any questions about how grading or  drainage issues could affect your warranty, call Tarion at  1-877-9TARION or find them on Facebook.

Related Posts

Leave a comment