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Removing plants from side of home - does it effect water seeping through basement

I dont garden, and have no time to.
I bought my house last year and the plants are getting out of control.
I was thinking about getting rid of the plants on the side of my home, and place it with just stones instead. 
Currently, there is a trickle of water in my basement during heavy rains.
Will removing those plants make it worse?
If I have to have plants, what alternative do you suggest so I wont have to worry about landscaping every year?
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Posted 2018-06-02T15:02:55+0000  by Sahila Sahila

I am a gardener, but had a similar leaking issue in my basement--just in 1 small corner.  Yes, removing the plants will definitely cause an increase in water leaking into your home.  Right now the plants and dirt are absorbing some of that water.

I had a small trickle across the basement floor that drove me nuts until I decided to take the "huge" step of finding the cause of the problem. Turned out the "huge" step wasn't really as bad as I took a weekend to fix.  

When you are ready to address the leak issue, go ahead and remove the plants. You will need to dig down deep and about 12 inches out from the wall where you believe the leak is coming into you basement.  You need to see your foundation and be able to work within that hole with some hand tools.  Once you have the area uncovered, you may want to test the area by pouring water tinted with food coloring to see exactly where it is getting through the outer wall in case there are multiple points of entry.  You may even have to dig deeper and wider.  Seal any cracks in the the outer AND inner walls where you notice the leaks with caulk and water sealant "paint."  Apply multiple coats of sealant, letting each one dry thoroughly.  Afterwards, let the area dry out and retest with the colored water.   If no more leaks, replace the dirt and install easy-care plants like leafy hosta or day-lilies.  They are available in all different sizes, colors, blooming styles, plus, they grow to a certain height and last from Spring thru late Fall. Don't be tempted to use plants that are categorized as "ground cover" that spread far and wide unless you have a large area.  Ground cover can get out of control.    *NOTE* If you get rain or overnight dampness during the repair project, cover the exposed digging area and outer wall with a tarp to prevent the rain water going directly into the hole.   My basement has been leak-free for 4 years now.  Good luck!
Posted 2018-06-02T21:26:28+0000  by LisaI

Hello Sahila and welcome to the Community.


Fixing the leak as Lisal suggested is a good starting strategy.

Once the leak is repaired, you should work on grading the land, so it slope away from the house.  This will allow gravity to direct rainwater and snowmelt away from the foundation.  On average, the slope is 6” for every 10 feet but check your local codes.


Next to, prevent water from leaking through your foundation, look to gutters and downspouts as your next line of defense.  Carry water as far away from the foundation as possible by attach downspout extensions.  You can even use a 10’ vertical down spout or 4” drain pipe as an extension. If you have a sump pump make sure you extend the discharge pipe far enough from the house so the water will not just run back into the foundation.


Here is where the Foundation planting will come into play.  They will not only help absorb water and stabilize the ground around the foundation but also add to the curb appeal by hiding your water moving materials.  Many foundation plantings options, like evergreens, do not require a great deal of attention, once planted.


Home Depot often employs plant specialist that can help you choose the best plants to suit your needs and gardening skills, or lack of.


Thanks for your inquiry.



Posted 2018-06-05T16:21:07+0000  by Char_HD_CHI
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