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Can Wood Mulch Affect the Conditions in Your Basement?

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Mulching is a good way of keeping the flowerbed soil moist. Without it, the soil dries up quickly and forms cracks. So, in a way, it helps you create and maintain a lush, green flower bed. Digging and weeding also becomes easy. But is that all? 

No, mulch also has a darker side to it. Like many people, you’re probably thinking the mulch around your yard does nothing more than moisten your flowerbed. As well as attracting harmful termites, mulch around the perimeter of your home can instigate moisture problems. 

Can Mulch Attract Termites? 

Termites live underground. However, they’ll tunnel their way up to find woody food or organic materials. Mulch attracts termites and provides them with nourishment but doesn’t harbor them. So, you shouldn’t worry about termites building their nests and breeding. 

A more realistic risk is when mulch piles up on the siding. When this happens, termites can cross over to your home or get into the untreated foundation. Move or clear out any mulch that’s close to your foundation walls. 

Also, call a pest control professional to exterminate the termites. Moving the mulch won’t stop them from invading your yard or home. They’ll still come if the conditions become favorable. The best thing to do is to apply termiticides. 

Mulch and Water 

Mulch and organic materials that sit close to the house can soak up water and let it percolate to your foundation. Think of a sponge you use to clean your windows or surfaces. Water from the mulch can get into your basement and encourage mold growth and wood rot. To curb these problems, fix foundation cracks and waterproof the basement.  

But that’s not the only problem. Mulch can retain water and make your yard soggy and muddy. So, it’s best if you remove or move the mulch elsewhere.  

Eco-friendly Basement Waterproofing Methods 

When waterproofing their basements, people tend to focus on internal measures like installing the BasementGutter™ interior drainage system, sump pump, and dehumidifier. You need to waterproof the basement from the outside too, as that’s where a lot of water comes from. 

  • Grade your lawn properly: Lawns that slope toward the house instead of away often facilitate flooding. To resolve this problem, re-grade your yard so water can flow away around the sides of your house. 
  • Create a space between the mulch and siding: When applying mulch to your yard, keep it away from the side. Leave a gap that’s at least six inches. Anything closer means moisture will move from the mulch bed and wet your siding, leading to decay. 
  • Point downspouts away from your home: Direct and extend downspouts away so water can flow farther out from our home. If you can move it by 20 feet, even better. Don’t forget to clean gutters so water can flow quickly. 
  • Monitor how water comes into your house: Whenever there’s a downpour, go outside and look at where flooding is likely to originate. Redirect rainwater with grass barriers. 
  • Use decorative rocks: Even with downspouts redirecting water, some of it will still end up in your yard if the gutter can’t handle huge water volumes. Riverstone can reduce the impact of water as water will hit and splash instead of boring holes. 

All these measures will bolster your interior basement waterproofing methods and help you create a dry, clean, and pest-free indoors. 

Before you apply mulch to your flower beds, make sure the foundation has enough waterproofing and there’s an exterior drain at your home’s perimeter. Once you create proper drainage, take care of the grading. Make sure the yard slopes away from your home. After that, you can apply mulch to the soil up to two to three feet from the walls. All these measures will ensure your basement stays dry all year round. If you need help waterproofing your basement or resolving other moisture issues, get in touch with Mount Valley Foundation Services today. We’ll provide you with a free basement waterproofing inspection and quote along with recommendations to keep your basement clean, dry, and healthy.

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