Water, in Arizona, is something that is always considered, but usually never from having too much of it. What if I told you that in 1500 plus inspections water is the number one factor that causes the most damage to houses in Arizona. Phoenix rainfall is typically concentrated in just a few months, so that means when we get rain, we get a lot of it. Because of how dry our soil is the water tends to stay on the surface and flow to inconvenient areas, like into your foundation. Water wicks into the concrete and through hydrostatic pressure pushes to the surface. As the water evaporates it pushes the paint off the concrete and leaves a mineral residue which will eventually degrade the concrete. If this occurs for an extended period, horizontal cracking on the foundation can appear which indicates moisture has reached the re-bar installed in the concrete and has begun to rust the steel. Both of these situations typically require repair by a licensed foundation or concrete repair contractor. So make sure that you keep the grade sloping away from your house, allow the water avenues to flow away from your house, and keep the planter boxes up against the house as dry as possible.