Make Sure Your Home Has Proper Grading

What Is Grading?

Grading is actually how level your yard is. Each homeowner or business owner’s yard is graded differently than their neighbors. Grading is important, because it determines how stormwater flows in your yard. There are only two types of grading: positive grading and negative grading. If you think that positive grading is the right type of grading to have, you’re right. You always want to have a yard with a positive grade rather than a negative grade.

If your yard has a positive grade, it slopes away from your house. That means any stormwater runoff isn’t moving towards your foundation, it is moving away from your foundation. If you have a negative grade, it will slope towards your home, and your foundation. This is never good. You do not want any water directed at your foundation, because over time, this can damage your foundation, which is a very expensive problem to fix.

How Can I Tell Whether I Have Positive or Negative Grading?

If you are buying a home, you need to have a home inspection before you buy your home. Your inspector will look for signs of positive or negative grading. If you have been living in your house for a while, you can check for grading yourself. Wait until after a heavy rain, and go out to look at your gutters and downspouts. That way, you can see where storm water is flowing. If the water is flowing away from your home, you are in good shape. If the water is flowing towards your home, or it is collecting near your home, you have negative grading, and it will need to be corrected.

Sometimes, the water flow can be changed around your house when you change something in your yard, such as putting in a new flower bed or a walkway. That’s why it is important to periodically check your grading each year to make sure it hasn’t changed over time.

How to Fix Negative Grading

Of all of the problems homeowners have, negative grading is a small one, if you catch it early. You can move soil towards your house, but don’t cover your siding. If you need to add more soil around your foundation, be sure that it is topsoil. In order to make sure you are keeping water away from your foundation, the soil has to be densely packed. Don’t use sand, because it may make the situation worse rather than better. Topsoil or blacksoil works well to direct water away from your home. After you put new topsoil around your foundation, check your grading the next time it rains, and make sure that you placed enough soil to direct water away from your home.

If you need a home inspection, why not give us a call today? We would love to help you make sure your home is in the best condition possible.


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