Proper Grading and Foundations

When it comes to the protection of your home’s foundation, you’ve likely taken a number of things into consideration. You clean the gutters regularly and check for cracks that warn you of foundation issues. Another important part of protecting your foundations is ensuring correct grading around your property. Here’s what you should know about proper grading and foundations.

What is Grading?

Grading around your property is the slope of the ground. Grading around the property will determine where water, whether rain water, storm water, or other water, goes. There are two types of grading: negative grading and positive grading. Positive grading means the water flows and drains away from your foundation and home. This is the ideal situation. With negative grading, the water flows toward the foundation or puddle in areas around the property. When either of the negative grading symptoms occur, you have an issue that requires attention.

The Importance of Proper Grading

In order to protect the foundation of your home, all water should flow toward the street to drain. If there are puddles and pooling of water around the perimeter after rainfall, this is a sign of negative grading that should be corrected. Water that collects close to the home has the potential to cause damage to the foundation. After the next rain storm, do an inspection around the perimeter of your home and see where water has collected. When it’s raining, notice where the rainfall is flowing.

If there are areas where the water flows toward the home and foundation, or it sits creating puddles, attention is required. Taking care of any grading issues as soon as possible will save you money in the long-run by protecting your foundation from damage. Foundation damage that can be caused by negative grading include: cracks in the foundation, leaks, and rotting of the wooden structure of the house.

How to Have the Grading Corrected

If you currently have proper grading around your property, it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on it as the situation can change over time. Once you notice grading issues such as water flowing toward your home or pooling water around your property, you can have an expert come in an assess the situation and decide the best way to correct it.

Correcting the grading can be as simple as adding soil to the landscaping around your home. This is not recommended for all situations though as soil does hold water and if the soil is close to the home, this creates moist conditions. If the lawn has to be re-graded, this will involve scraping away higher areas and filling in low areas. It’s important to remember that in addition to the sidewalks and driveways being positively graded, the lawn must be as well.

By making sure that the grading around your property is correct, you are helping to protect your foundation and your home from water damage. Consider checking the grading around your home as part of your regular maintenance.