Proper Grading Around A Home

Proper Grade Around Your Home

Spring is among us and landscaping is now on many home owners minds. Also what should be thought about is what is proper grading around a home? This is an important issue because if land grading is not done properly, runoff can be directed toward your foundation. This unwanted water can eventually compromise the foundations integrity.

If you own a home, you may eventually find yourself having to do some land grading near your house’s foundation to correct drainage issues. Poor drainage resulting in leaky basements or foundation issues often stems from having an insufficient slope away from the foundation. To do land grading properly, you must first know how much slope you need to have away from the house foundation.

Most basement waterproofing experts and home inspectors recommend that a good slope to aim for when grading land extending out from a house foundation is 6 inches for the first 10 feet (a “slope” of 5 percent).

  • String or Rope – at least 12 feet long.
  • 2 stakes (labeled A and B), and something to pound them into the ground with
  • A string level (that is, a type of level designed to fit on a piece of string)
  • A tape measure

Do You Already Have the Correct Proper Grade Around Your Home?

Using the above supplies, take the following steps to determine if sufficient slope currently exists:

  1. Tie one end of the string loosely around stake A.
  2. Pound stake A into the ground right near your foundation
  3. Slide the string down stake A, so that it rests at ground level
  4. Tie the other end of the string loosely around stake B.
  5. Now measure out 10 feet down the slope from stake A, and pound stake B into the ground there (if there is excess string, wrap it around stake B). The string between the stakes should be fairly taut, but still adjustable.
  6. Slide the string up or down stake B, to make it roughly level.
  7. Put the string level on the string, at about the mid-point between the stakes.
  8. Now adjust the string up or down on stake B, to make it exactly level.
  9. Measure the distance from the string on stake B to the ground. Is the measurement of 6 inches or more?

Do You Need to Re-Grade the Land?

The slope measurement you just took will determine whether or not you need to re-grade this land:

  • If the measurement is 6 inches or more, you have a perfect slope—no need for land grading here.
  • If not, you will need to re-grade the land by adding fill near the foundation and tamping it down; after which you can check the new slope by repeating the steps above.

You can always hire a landscape professional to assist you with proper grading around a home if you don’t want to do this yourself.

When purchasing a new home hire Heart State Inspections to do your Home Inspection and you can be sure that the grading around your new home will be checked for you, among the plethora of other items that are included in your home inspection. Heart State Inspections serves the central Ohio area and beyond. Schedule your inspection today or call 614-769-5605.

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