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Grading and Regrading: Understanding Drainage and Your Home’s Positioning

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Your home can begin to leak for a myriad of reasons. Sometimes, it’s not your house that’s got anything wrong with it, but your lawn instead. If your lawn’s been poorly graded, you may find yourself dealing with more seepage than you reasonably should be.

grading around your home

Grading: The Basics

Not all lawns need to be regraded. You’ll want to have a professional look over your lawn so you can determine whether or not it’s your landscaping that’s causing your problems.

Your lawn can be graded in one of two ways:

  • Positive grading – Your lawn is positively graded when your home rests at the highest point in your yard. This way, water will flow away from your foundation and basement.
  • Negative grading – If your home is at a low or the lowest point of your yard, then your property has a negative grade.

You’ll always want to try and inspect the grade of a home you’re purchasing to ensure it’s been appropriately graded. If you’re building a new home, you may be able to terraform your plot to fix a negative grade.

What Gives Away Poor Grading?

It is not always easy to tell when your lawn is oversaturated or poorly graded. There are some signs that give a negative grade away. These include:

  • Spongy soil – When there’s too much water in your soil, that water will seep up every time you step out into the yard. It will also feel as though your soil isn’t solid but rather sponge-like in nature.
  • Ineffective drainage – It will also be more difficult for you to dry out your basement if your home is on a negative grade. Likewise, you’ll want to keep a lookout for puddles throughout your lawn.
  • Mosquitoes – Mosquitoes thrive when exposed to standing bodies of water. If you have a negatively graded lawn, then you may notice a spike in your local mosquito population.
  • Drying grass – If there’s too much water in your lawn, then the roots supporting your grass will begin to rot away. This means that you may see more patches of dying grass throughout your yard.
  • Dying landscaping – It is also much more difficult to maintain the health of your landscaped plants if your soil is too soggy.

If you don’t notice any of the aforementioned signs in your yard, your poor grading may be working in more subtle ways. It may eventually reveal itself in the form of more significant structural damage. You’re likely to see significant property damage, including the following, if you’re not able to act quickly:

  • Rear and side swale holding water
  • Unwanted ponds
  • Inappropriately high grading around a home
  • Unnatural sloping toward a home
  • Foundation damage

How Can Contractors Improve Your Grading?

You can work with a basement waterproofing and foundation repair contractor to install home waterproofing measures that’ll keep your basement dry. Some of the simplest to implement outside of your home may include:

  • Catch-basins – Catch-basins are designed to keep any drains you’ve installed around your home clear of debris. You can cover these basins with gravel to keep them from clogging up. This way, they’ll continue to do their jobs while also blending in with the rest of your landscaping.
  • Gutters and downspouts – You already have a few waterproofing measures installed around your home. It’s your job to maintain them if you want them to continue working as they’re meant to. Before a storm, you’ll want to clear out your gutters to better compensate for any negative grading that might send water back toward your home. Your cleared gutters and properly attached downspouts will make sure that rainwater is directed away from your home. If these measures aren’t cared for, you’ll have to deal with the side effects of negative grading as well as overflow from your gutters.

If your lawn hasn’t been properly graded, you can work with the contractors in the St. Cloud, MN, area to terraform it accordingly. Alternatively, you can invest in home waterproofing solutions that’ll direct water away from your foundation and basement. Either way, be sure to discuss your options with a professional before the rain and snow start to take advantage of your unprotected home. Contact the experts at Innovative Basement Authority today for a free inspection and estimate and to learn how to better protect your home.

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We service Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Eastern Montana for basement waterproofing and crawl space repair.

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