Guidelines for gardens. - Cork Construction & Consultancy

Issued: August 2009
Jeff & Kylie Cork
Freecall Phone: 1800 645 520
Email: [email protected]
It is quite impractical to try to
prevent gardening activities from
increasing the moisture content
around the foundations of your
home. The only practical course is
to keep such activities away from
the immediate vicinity of the
building and so minimise their
CAUTION: Care should be taken if
placing filling against the house.
Always ensure weep holes are not
covered and that existing Termites
Management Systems are not
Paths, Patios and
Drive ways
A sound plane for a reactive clay
site is to provide a consistent
moisture regime around the
building by installing paths and
patios against the house. Locate
lawns up against paths and patios.
Gardens beds, the most heavily
watered parts of a garden, should
be kept well away from the house.
If gardens must be placed in close
proximity to the house, they
should be sealed with plastic and
contain only a few small plants.
Take care not to trap water
against the building if using garden
Paths should be laid hard
agains t bri ckwork or footings
wi th a fall a wa y from the house
to a stormwa ter discha rge
Avoi d placing large expanses of
concrete on one side of the
house and hea vil y wa tered
ga rden beds on the other. The
wa ter sa tura ted cla y in ga rdens
will expand and swell while the
soil under the concrete ma y not
move. Structural da mage can
result from this unco-ordinated
Concrete pa vements should be
constructed in a wa y tha t will
not i mpede surfa ce wa ter,
fl owing awa y from the building
or cause wa ter to pool adja cent
to the footings causing cla y
founda tions to swell.
On hi ghl y and extremel y
reacti ve soil types detail is
requi red to prevent pa vement
from moving a wa y from the
building. Movement i n paths
could ca use s tress on pipes and
inspection openings and/or
brea kages in pipes. Resul ting
leakages ma y cause movement
and da mage as a result of cla y
soils under the house swelling.
If placing lawn a reas agains t the
house, ensure tha t filling buil t
up a gainst the wall is gra ded
awa y and will not allow pooling
of wa ter to occur. The filling
should be i mpervi ous cla y soil
and not sandy l oam.
REMEMBER: Do not cover
weep holes .
For more information please
contact Cork Construction &
Consultancy on 1800 645 520
or visit