How to Fix the Slope Grading for a House

Published On: June 7, 2024
  1. Identify Problem Areas: After heavy rainfall, inspect the areas around your house for signs of water pooling or standing near the foundation. Look for low spots where water collects rather than draining away. Use spray paint or wooden stakes to mark these problem areas for later attention.
  1. Equipment Rental: When renting a skid steer loader with a scraper blade attachment, ensure it’s appropriately sized for your project. Consider the terrain and accessibility of your yard when selecting the equipment.
  1. Prepare the Site: Before beginning grading work, clear the marked areas of surface vegetation, such as grass or weeds. Remove any debris, rocks, or sticks that could interfere with the grading process.
  1. Excavation: Using the skid steer loader or a shovel, carefully excavate the topsoil from the identified low spots. Be mindful not to disturb the surrounding areas more than necessary. Set aside the excavated soil for later use.
  1. Measure Slope: To accurately measure the slope of your yard, drive stakes into the ground near the foundation and at the desired distance away. Attach a string tightly between the stakes and use a string level to ensure it’s level. Measure the distance between the string and the ground at various points to determine the slope.
  1. Set Guides: Install additional string guides or stakes as needed to outline the areas where grading adjustments are required. These guides will serve as reference points during the regrading process.
  1. Regrade: With the skid steer loader equipped with the scraper blade attachment, begin adjusting the slope of the lawn according to the established guides. Gradually build up the low spots and create a gentle slope away from the foundation, ensuring water will drain effectively.
  1. Replace Topsoil: Once the grading is complete, spread the reserved topsoil evenly over the graded areas. Use a garden tiller to mix the topsoil with the subsoil, creating a smooth transition. Ensure the surface is level with adjacent hard surfaces, such as sidewalks or driveways.
  1. Reseed or Sod: Depending on your preference and the extent of the grading work, you can either reseed the graded areas with grass seed or lay sod for instant coverage. Water the newly seeded or sodded areas thoroughly to promote germination and establishment.
  1. Additional Considerations: Before starting the project, check with your local building codes office to determine if any permits are required for grading work. Contact utility companies to mark the locations of buried lines before excavating. If you’re considering installing irrigation, take advantage of the disturbed landscape to plan and implement irrigation systems as needed.

By adhering to the best practice guideline of a 6-inch slope for every 10 feet of horizontal run, you can effectively improve drainage around your house and reduce the risk of water damage to your foundation.