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What to plant to maintain the soil from eroding?
Old 10-19-2018, 09:32 AM   #1
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What to plant to maintain the soil from eroding?

We live in north east and recently had flood in our basement after heavy rains. The water level in our town is higher than normal and as result water comes in from below the basement level from small cracks in the cement floor. We hired professional to review our situation and advised that we should make sure the water is taken away from the house as much as possible. We are on a slop toward a valley. They raised the soil level to the side of house.

The area is mostly shaded and we have a hard time growing grass on it. they suggested planting pachysandra. Does anyone have a recommendation or advice. Thanks
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:02 AM   #2
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I have slopes in shade too.

Pachysandra is an excellent choice for #1. It spreads but is manageable. It will hold soil. I have some here in zone 7b, and it barely hangs on. I wish it could grow better here. You should have better luck.

Other options:
- Liriope: make sure to get the right cultivar. Some are invasive. Also, the north east covers a large area, including some zone 4 or below. Skip it if you are there.
- Hosta: I have found these to work well, especially the ones with big leaves. However, you need some mulch cover in the winter. The roots are still there and hold, but since the leaf canopy is gone, the mulch is needed to deflect the aerial rain bombs, even after the plants are established.
- English Ivy: last resort. I only mention this if all else fails. It is invasive here in the South. Although it works on erosion control, it is not the best.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:16 AM   #3
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Thank you very much. That was very helpful. We are in tri-state area. So we will try Paschysandra first.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:48 AM   #4
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Get a sump pump.
Have your gutters discharge the water 10 feet from your house (heading downhill if possible).

These things worked wonders for me, especially the gutter change.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:56 AM   #5
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Do you want shrubs or just groundcovers? Shrubs for shade: oakleaf hydrangea, rhododendron, azalea, Virginia sweetspire, Japanese Pieris. You an always plant liriope or pachysandra for your groundcover around the shrubs or plant shade loving perennials or bulbs to come up through the groundcovers in the Spring.
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:01 AM   #6
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cut a hole in the basement floor and put in a sump pump

we did that 4 years ago haven't had an issue since

i'm not sure planting a few shrubs will eliminate the leak if it's hydrostatic pressure - you probably just have a low spot and a small hole in the basement wall
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:14 AM   #7
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We fixed some gutter issues which I think will be very helpful. We were told sump pump is a good option but will cost 12-15K for our house. We also sometimes have black outs. So we would need a battery back up and/or generator. If what we did so far does not solve the problem, we will consider the addition of sump pump next year. Thanks for all the advice.
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:19 AM   #8
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Mostly so that the additional soil we put up against the house does not erode. . Maybe we will do combination to make it look pretty and functional. Thanks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by splitwdw View Post
Do you want shrubs or just groundcovers? Shrubs for shade: oakleaf hydrangea, rhododendron, azalea, Virginia sweetspire, Japanese Pieris. You an always plant liriope or pachysandra for your groundcover around the shrubs or plant shade loving perennials or bulbs to come up through the groundcovers in the Spring.
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpadave View Post
We fixed some gutter issues which I think will be very helpful. We were told sump pump is a good option but will cost 12-15K for our house. We also sometimes have black outs. So we would need a battery back up and/or generator. If what we did so far does not solve the problem, we will consider the addition of sump pump next year. Thanks for all the advice.
Get other quotes for a sump pump, they are nothing magical.
  1. Like already said, cut a hole in basement floor,
  2. dig down 2 feet,
  3. put in the plastic barrel with holes in it,
  4. put in sump pump with pipe running up and out the wall at the header board (just above the cement part).
  5. Buy a battery back up pump (costs $300 + $150 for deep cycle battery), add it to the hole, it will use the same pipe via a joint.

Should only cost $1,000 -> $2,000 tops. ($600 if you do the work yourself).
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:31 AM   #10
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Get other quotes for a sump pump, they are nothing magical.
Should only cost $1,000 -> $2,000 tops. ($600 if you do the work yourself).
I did it in my last house for about half that, including the half day rental of the jackhammer.
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Old 10-19-2018, 03:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Big_Hitter View Post
cut a hole in the basement floor and put in a sump pump

we did that 4 years ago haven't had an issue since

i'm not sure planting a few shrubs will eliminate the leak if it's hydrostatic pressure - you probably just have a low spot and a small hole in the basement wall
BH, He had soil raised on one side of the house and he wants something to keep the soil from eroding.
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Old 10-19-2018, 03:15 PM   #12
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Hmm. I had water come up apparently through the basement floor. We had 12-14” of rain in about 10 days. Twice we had 5” overnight. I’m going to call and see what a solution is. I’m on a hill, but not at the bottom...
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Old 10-19-2018, 03:19 PM   #13
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I had a similar situation and dug back the soil near the house about 6" deep and 4' wide. I made sure the exposed soil had good slope away from the house (at least 1/4" per foot) and tamped it down well. Then I put a sheet of Tyvek down and ran it up the wall a few inches, then covered it with the 6" of soil I took off, tamped it town, and planted groundcover. The Tyvek will not allow liquid water to pass through, so it helps assure the water starts seeping in about 4 feet away from my wall. Tyvek is also vapor permeable, so the soil underneath will eventually dry out when it gets sodden. And the 6"of soil on top is enough to grow grass or low groundcover.


This was not recommended by a book or an expert, it is just what I did. I haven't had any water problems since I did it, but I also did some other stuff (surface drain, low French drain, etc).
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Old 10-19-2018, 03:25 PM   #14
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Hmm. I had water come up apparently through the basement floor. We had 12-14” of rain in about 10 days. Twice we had 5” overnight. I’m going to call and see what a solution is. I’m on a hill, but not at the bottom...

Basement waterproofing is a business with a lot of flim-flam. If you call to see what the problem is, there's a significant chance they'll sell you a whopper of a solution.


The immediate area around the house is most important. If you have flooding after rains, most experts will recommend 2 things first:
1) Get the water from your roof flowing to somewhere well away from your house. Solid drains or similar to take it 10' away, at least.
2) Slope the soil everywhere around your house away from the foundation by at least 1/4" per foot (more is better).


If you still have problems, it is time to consider other steps: surface drains (aka "curtain drains"), drains at the base of the foundation ("French drain), a sump pump, etc.
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Old 10-19-2018, 03:28 PM   #15
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The plants recommended sound good. I would also consider adding a couple of water bars. About 1/2 way down on this page: https://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/htmlp...806/page06.htm . That site may give you other ideas too. The idea is that water doesn't pour down top to bottom, eroding the soil on it's way down, but rather is diverted to the side as needed.

Once the plants take hold and if you see they have fixed the problem you can eliminate the water bars if you don't like them. I'd make sure that you've seen a couple of really hard rains though.
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Old 10-19-2018, 03:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Hitter View Post
cut a hole in the basement floor and put in a sump pump

we did that 4 years ago haven't had an issue since

i'm not sure planting a few shrubs will eliminate the leak if it's hydrostatic pressure - you probably just have a low spot and a small hole in the basement wall
Using your method, only the ground near the pump pit will be drained by the pit. He'll have to add branches that gather water and carry it back to the pit to make the system effective.

My house has a deep basement but we had drainage pipe installed all around the foundation that feeds the sump pump pit. Not a big deal when done during construction. A huge deal to do later.
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Old 10-19-2018, 04:17 PM   #17
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Using your method, only the ground near the pump pit will be drained by the pit. He'll have to add branches that gather water and carry it back to the pit to make the system effective.

My house has a deep basement but we had drainage pipe installed all around the foundation that feeds the sump pump pit. Not a big deal when done during construction. A huge deal to do later.
Yep. I recall working on an uncle's house to do this. Hey, I get to swing a sledge hammer with my cousins! That will be fun, right?

No. It will not be fun.

It was hard work. Had to break up the slab around the perimeter of the basement, then dig and put down drain tile. I only did a bit. I think my cousins got a lesson in why a future in manual labor might not be the best course for life.
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
Basement waterproofing is a business with a lot of flim-flam. If you call to see what the problem is, there's a significant chance they'll sell you a whopper of a solution.


The immediate area around the house is most important. If you have flooding after rains, most experts will recommend 2 things first:
1) Get the water from your roof flowing to somewhere well away from your house. Solid drains or similar to take it 10' away, at least.
2) Slope the soil everywhere around your house away from the foundation by at least 1/4" per foot (more is better).

If you still have problems, it is time to consider other steps: surface drains (aka "curtain drains"), drains at the base of the foundation ("French drain), a sump pump, etc.
I am properly skeptical of contractors and know basement waterproofing is supposed to be a great money-maker. Thanks to all for the excellent suggestions.

I have a 1940 house that has no floor drain in the basement. I don’t know much about what’s been done, other than it was rehabbed in 2014 and an extension put on the back to expand the kitchen, I guess. The end result is great. The puddles in the basement are not.

Hope to get some idea of my options by asking around. “Live with it” may be the real answer.
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Old 10-19-2018, 07:28 PM   #19
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We had issues and a structural engineer had the answer. He suggested a contractor to do the job. Drainage is everything, get the water flowing away from the foundation.

That said I remember a house my parents build. The first year it flooded from the basement floor, never after.

Good luck.
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Old 10-19-2018, 07:50 PM   #20
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Pachysandra is good. Also consider periwinkle vinca and Vinca major.
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