Home inspectors tend to talk a lot about grading around the house and its implications. But what is grading? Simply put, the grade or grading around your house is the level of the ground. The ground level and how it’s graded is the deciding factor of where water will flow. Storm water, sprinkler water, just plain ol’ rain water.
There are two types of grading: positive and negative. Positive grading is good, negative grading is bad. Positive grading slopes away from your home, directing water away from your foundation. Negative grading slopes toward your home, directing water toward your foundation. When water consistently collects near the home only bad things can happen. That is why we tell our customers and document that negative grading needs to be corrected.
How do you know if you have positive or negative grading?
First of all, individuals who are buying a home should have a home inspection prior to purchase. Checking for grading issues will be one of the things your inspector will do. He will look for visual signs of negative grading. Like a dripline in the ground or grass from the edge of the roof about a foot from the foundation of the house with areas that have washed away. It’s important to be informed though, because if the ground is extremely dry, the evaluation on inspection day may not reveal all conditions like that little moat that has formed between the house and that dripline in the ground. Upon moving in and as part of regular home maintenance, homeowners should review gutters, downspouts and grading after heavy rains. This is the perfect time to notice where water flows. If water is collecting near the home, then the grading should be corrected. Note: Most new home owners will make changes to landscaping once they move in, like putting in flower beds, or walkways and other aesthetic changes. Just be sure to always be thinking about grade and how you may be effecting how water flows around your home as you make changes. It’s so important that every homeowner takes the time to watch and see where the water goes.
Can I fix negative grading?
Negative grading can be repaired, fairly cheaply. It can be as simple as shoveling soil toward your house or bringing in soil from another part of your property. Be careful not to cover your existing siding, this condition brings up a number of problems, like inviting termites over to that area to name one. If you must add soil from an exterior source, use top soil or grading soil. These soils will keep much of the water at grade level until it has a chance to move away from your house. The low areas next to the foundation which need some correction by adding additional backfill to create a higher grade (about 4”) at the house and a proper pitch away from the house to direct the water flow. Some of these areas may require sod to keep the top soil from eroding away.
See related article http://www.jaymathy.home-wizard.com/foundation/care/inspect-foundation
Since 2007, Advanced Look Property Inspections, LLC. has been one of the most preferred condo, townhouse, and single-family home inspectors in Metro Orlando and its surrounding areas. We’ve inspected millions of square feet of local real estate and are familiar with the way Central Florida homes are built. There’s simply no better option than Advanced Look Property Inspections, LLC. We provide comprehensive inspections and reporting on over 400 distinct home items to give buyers and sellers the best assessment of a property’s durability and functionality.
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