Where your garden meets your house is an opportunity for damp and moisture from the outside to get inside or into the framing.

Damp cladding/masonry

If soil builds up against your house, or if pavers or paths are installed too close to the house or against the cladding, this can make the cladding damp and keep it that way. If this continues over a long period, moisture can get into the framing or under the floor and cause rot.

If your lawn adjoins the house, a 150-225mm wide mowing strip along the edge will stop grass and weeds growing in these difficult-to-mow areas - and keep the area drier. You can also use concrete, bricks, pavers or treated timber for a mowing strip, laid on a concrete base or on polythene to stop the weeds. Make sure there is at least 100mm gap between the pavers and the base of the cladding.

If you don’t have a mowing strip, make sure that weeds and grass are trimmed and any buildup of leaves or other debris is cleaned out, especially in spring and summer.

Check around the house to make sure the cladding is at least 175mm above the grass or garden, or 100mm above paved surfaces. Make sure foundation air vents are kept clear of leaves and other garden debris.

Moss/slime on paths

There is a danger of slipping on mossy or slimy paths or driveways.

Water blast or scrub the affected area with a solution of household bleach and water. See the bottle for dilution instructions. Let the solution dry, then hose it off. Don’t waterblast asphalt, as the high-pressure spray can damage the surface.

Paths and driveways can be made safer by:

  • Making sure sensor lights are working.
  • Repairing pot-holes or cracks.
  • Removing moss, dirt, overgrown vegetation and obstacles.

Trees overhanging the house

Trees can damage your house. They can also create too much shade and cause moisture problems. Leaves can block drains and gutters.

Trim back branches and clear gutters at the same time. Consider fitting gutter guards (however, dirt can still get through, so you do need to check under the gutter guards from time to time). See pipes and guttering, and roofs.

Plants growing into drains or under foundations

This can cause blockages and weaken the foundations. Remove plants either by pulling them, or using weed killer. If damage has already been caused to the foundations, seek advice from a professional.

Garden obstructing under the floor vents

This can cause moisture to build up under the floor, which can make your home damp.

This is a common problem. Foundations are designed to allow air to circulate. Blocking vents upsets this system and can cause serious moisture problems.

Clear soil and plants away from under the floor vents.

Security lights not working

Turn off the power to the fitting before checking it.

This can be a safety hazard and a security risk. Check the light bulbs are working and replace broken ones.