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Video:How to Do Land Grading Near Foundations

with David Beaulieu

Land grading near foundations is important in avoiding leaky basements. Learn the basics of land grading near foundations, including how to find the slope of the land near your house.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Do Land Grading Near Foundations

Poor drainage resulting in leaky basements often stems from having insufficient slope away from the foundation. To do land grading properly, you must first know how much slope you need away from the house foundation.

A good slope to be aimed for when grading land extending out from a house foundation is 6 inches for the first 10 feet; that means a slope of 5 percent.

Find the Slope Away from Foundation

To find the slope away from your foundation, you'll need:
  • A 12-foot long string
  • 2 stakes
  • String level
  • Tape measure
Using these supplies, you can determine if sufficient slope currently exists.

Determine if a Slope Exists

Tie one end of the string loosely around stake A. Pound stake A into the ground right near your foundation. Slide the string down stake A, so that it rests at ground level. Tie the other end of the string loosely around stake B. Now measure out 10 feet down the slope from stake A, and pound stake B into the ground there. The string between the stakes should be fairly taut, but still adjustable.

Slide the string up or down stake B, so as to make it roughly level. Put the string level on the string, at about the mid-point between the stakes. Now adjust the string up or down on stake B, so as to make it "exactly" level. Measure the distance from the string on stake B to the ground.

The slope measurement will determine whether or not you need to re-grade this land: If the measurement is 6 inches or more, you have a perfect slope and you don't need to re-grade. If not, re-grade the land by adding fill near the foundation and tamping it down, after which you can check the "new" slope by repeating the steps above.

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