February 2, 2023

Water in the basement is never a good thing. Whether you have wet walls, water seeping in through the floor, or worse, a leaky basement is not something you can ignore. While it may be tempting to look for solutions in the basement itself, most likely the problem is caused by poor drainage in your yard. Poor drainage allows water to pool around your foundation, and this can cause serious issues in your home.

Close up photo of standing water in green grass next to a tree.

The Root of Water Drainage Issues

In many cases if you have soggy areas in your yard and a wet basement, the two are probably connected. Damp, wet basements can be caused by poor grading in your yard. Ideally, your home’s foundation should be at the highest point of your property so that water will run away from your home. If water collects around your foundation, it can cause significant damage. Often the house may have been graded correctly initially, but the soil can settle over time, creating an area of improper grading. If you notice any water collecting around your foundation, poor yard drainage is likely the root cause of your wet basement.

More than Just a Minor Annoyance

If you have wet basement walls, you may be tempted to simply ignore the problem. Many homeowners don’t feel it’s necessary to address until they see standing water in the basement. But if your walls are wet, that means that your foundation could be in danger. Ignoring the issue at this stage only leads to expensive repairs later. Water can erode stone and cement, and once the problem is big enough, you may be looking at a major restoration job.

Mold and mildew can also result, and cause health issues and invite bugs and other pests into your home. Finally, if you plan to sell your home, you’ll need to disclose the wet basement details and will likely struggle to find a buyer who wants to take on the extent of unknowns. Water damage is one of the most difficult problems to remedy, and fixing the problem at the source is the best way to ensure the problem is solved for good.

Look for Advanced Drainage Solutions

Poor grading isn’t the only reason for basement water issues. The heavy clay soil in the Ann Arbor area makes many properties prone to water drainage issues. If you have a damp basement, consider looking outside for evidence of drainage issues first. Eliminating pools of standing water and soggy spots on the lawn may dry up your basement. French drains and dry riverbeds will divert standing water to a more suitable spot away from your home, and re-grading your property so the water flows away from, rather than up against, the foundation are all excellent ways to keep water and moisture away.

Simply putting a band aid on the problem isn’t enough. If you have water pooling in your yard and you suspect it might be causing moisture issues in your basement, you need to get to the root of the drainage issues. By taking the right steps to address the water drainage in your yard, you can keep your basement safe and dry. Twin Oaks Landscape has extensive experience solving drainage problems for homeowners in and around Ann Arbor. We’ve learned that it’s sometimes easier to work with your soil rather than against it. If you’re experiencing moisture in your basement and you have soggy areas in your lawn, contact us today to discuss a permanent solution.