Exterior Grading

Home Inspections 101

When establishing the final grading plan (the landscaping of soil elevations) of your home, make sure that water will move down and away from the foundation.  Bill Bitz looks for a three-to-one slope, which means that you build the soil at the foundation up to three inches, and over the course of three feet fade the soil down to level. If you don't establish a proper grading plan and the lot isn't graded properly, water from storms and irrigation can run back toward your home. The water accumulation can result in saturated soil at the foundation wall, which can cause hydrostatic pressure and subsequent foundation cracks; and water intrusion, which can lead to maintenance bills, mold growth, and wood destroying insects.

It's not very costly to make grading improvement, but it can save a lot of money down the road. Make sure to:

  • Grade the grounds away from the house
  • Create the proper three-to-one slope
  • Downspouts should extend away from the foundation
  • Water accumulation should exit the lot to an approved storm drain system

The storm drain exit is an essential step, because an improper grading plan can mean trouble for the neighbors. Improperly diverted rain and snowmelt runoff can cause erosion and flooding for adjoining lots, leaving you potentially liable for damages. As Bill likes to say, water is the Number One enemy of your house, but through these inexpensive and easy mitigation methods, you can make sure your house stays dry.

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    Exterior Grading
    When establishing the final grading plan (the landscaping of soil elevations) of your home, make sure that water will move down and away from the...
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