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How Yard Grading Affects Your Home and What to Do About It

Yard grading around your home

Your home could sustain damage for many reasons, but did you know one culprit could be your yard? Your landscape grading (the way your yard slopes) affects the amount of water that collects near your home.

If your home is poorly graded, runoff easily flows toward your foundation, causing leaks and instability. Let’s explore everything you need to know about yard grading, its impacts, and what you can do to repair and protect your home.

Grading: The Basics

The grade of your lawn refers to its slope and the flow of water through it. There are high points and low points in your yard, and your grade will be judged based on where your home is in regard to those points.

To put it more simply, there are two types of grading. These include:

  • Positive Grading: When your home is built at the highest point of your lawn, your landscape has been appropriately – or positively – graded. This means the soil slopes down and away from your home. It allows water to follow suit, flowing away from your foundation and basement, resulting in fewer leaks.
  • Negative Grading: Homes built at their lawns’ low points are considered to be on negative grades. Soil can also erode over time, sloping down but angled towards your home. Runoff follows the same path, collecting next to your home, leaking inside, and causing more damage.

Before you purchase or build a home, you’ll always want to have a professional, such as a landscaper, inspect the land for its grade.

What Gives Away Poor Grading?

It takes a certain kind of experience to tell negative grading from positive grading. That said, there are some signs that give a faulty lawn away. These include:

  • Spongy Soil: Poorly graded soil collects water like a sponge. You can rapidly identify poor grading by assessing the texture of your yard. If you step outside and your shoes are immediately soaked, or you never feel as though you’re on firm ground, you’ll want to get in touch with a contractor to explore your restorative options.
  • Ineffective Drainage: If your lawn isn’t draining properly, you’ll notice pools of water cropping up in its lowest spots.
  • Mosquitoes: Pesky mosquitoes thrive in areas that have high humidity and lots of standing water. If your lawn isn’t properly draining, then it may become a breeding ground for these most annoying insects.
  • Drying Grass: If your lawn is poorly graded, the patches of grass in its lowest parts may start to die. Pools of water underground can begin to rot away the roots of your grass if it has nowhere to go. Luckily, this sign makes itself relatively obvious, but it can be difficult to reinvigorate your lawn if you don’t invest in regrading.
  • Dying Landscaping: It may not be your lack of a green thumb that keeps killing your landscaping. Instead, your plants’ roots may be rotting due to the excessive amounts of water in the ground.

Signs of Home Damage Due to Poor Yard Grading

If you don’t act quickly, it’s possible that the damage in your yard will only worsen. The consequences of poor grading can often manifest as:

  • Rear and side swale holding water
  • Unwanted ponds
  • Inappropriately high grading around a home
  • Unnatural sloping toward a home
  • Foundation damage
  • Cracking and bowing basement walls
  • Water in your basement
  • Mold growth

How Can I Improve My Yard Grading?

You can talk to a landscaping professional about regrading your home after it’s been built. This process can be lengthy and expensive, but it can save you a lot of trouble in the years to come.

Alternatively, you can implement exterior waterproofing measures that can directly help you deal with poor grading. Some of the most effective include:

  • Catch-Basins: Catch-basins are designed to blend in with your landscaping, making them the perfect additions to a pre-built home. These basins keep the drains surrounding your home free of debris. You can cover them in loose gravel to ensure that water continues to flow freely out of and away from your home.
  • Gutters and Downspouts: It’s possible you already have grading-proof protective measures installed around your home. They’ll only continue to protect your home from poor drainage, however, if you maintain them. You’ll need to regularly clean your gutters if you want to keep them from overflowing. Similarly, you’ll want to make sure your downspouts are properly aligned, or they won’t direct water away from your home.

How Professionals Repair and Protect Your Home

If your home has sustained damage because of poor grading, it’s important to remedy the issues and prevent them from happening again. Foundation repair professionals like Indiana Foundation Service understand how challenging this can be, but our customizable permanent repairs are the answer.

Depending on your home’s damage, we may recommend the following solutions:

Foundation/Wall Repair

  • Wall braces
  • Wall anchors or channel anchors
  • Carbon fiber supports
  • Foundation piers

Basement Waterproofing

  • Interior drains
  • Sump pumps
  • Wall vapor barriers
  • Dehumidifiers

Trust Indiana Foundation Service for the Best Solution

The weather and soil conditions can be challenging to deal with, but you don’t have to do it alone. Contact Indiana Foundation Service today to schedule a free inspection and estimate.

Homeowners throughout Indiana have trusted us to repair and protect their homes for more than 30 years. They know they can count on our thorough inspections, attention to detail, customized solutions, and unmatched customer service. Experience the excellence for yourself and contact us today!

Holly Richards-Purpura

Holly Richards-Purpura

Content Writer

Holly is a Content Writer for Groundworks who has written and edited web content for the foundation services industry for almost 10 years. With a background in journalism, her passion for the written word runs deep. Holly lives in Columbus, OH, with her husband. Along with educating homeowners, she also has a big heart for the Big Apple.

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