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Make the Grade this Winter

Posted October 30th, 2020 under renovations and repairs.

It's October, the weather is changing rapidly, and last-minute preparations for winter should be on your mind.

One of the most important tasks is to check the grading around the foundation of your home. If the ground does not adequately slope away from your foundation, you risk having water penetrate your basement when the snow melts in the spring.

It may seem surprising to you that, year after year, the ground around your home seems to keep sinking lower and lower. The reality is that when homes are constructed, the soil around the house is usually not compacted sufficiently at the time of backfilling. It’s also common for construction debris, such as broken blocks, bricks, and even wood, to be thrown in the hole before backfilling.

This creates small pockets of air. Each year, a minute amount of soil compacts into this space, allowing the ground to sink further.

Over several years, this amounts to enough that water begins flowing toward the foundation instead of away from it.

You should aim for a grade of one inch of height for every four feet of distance (2cm/m), and extend this grade at least six feet (2m) out from your home. A steeper grade is even better, and will buy you more time before needing to worry about grading again.

Want to know more about grading and water damage? Just ask me, I'll be happy to help.

--Peter

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