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Question DetailsAsked on 3/22/2014

How do I regrade around my house foundation?

Soil around entire house is below yard level and I am getting moisture in my basement.

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OK - you need to keep dirt level at least 4 inches below the top of the foundation, and 4 inches below bottom of siding, whichever is lower (commonly bottom of siding). This is to prevent heavy rain buildup coming over the foundation wall, and to minimize insect instrusion as they commonly only explore a couple of inches up walls unless they smell something good.

From there, the ground should slope at least 1/4" per foot and preferably 1"/foot in more permeable materials, down away from the house to lower ground where the water will continue to flow away from the house. This should be the case for at least 3-5 feet from the house in tight grained soils and clays and tight bedrock, 5-10 feet in dirty sands and gravels that will pool water if you run a hose on them, 10-20 feet in clean or open sands or gravels where water pretty much drops away. If you can achieve that slope, then filling to that grade with a COMPACTED (loose will just act as a sponge) driveway base material (generally a 3/4" minus down through fines crushed product) or TIGHTLY compacted loamy topsoil to achieve drainage should solve your problem. If you have local fill you can use, then a sloped heavy duty impervious pond liner material under 4-6 inches of protective dirt can also be used.

If your surrounding conditions are such that you cannot do that, you have 2 easy choices -

1) cut away existing nearby material to achieve the desired grade (not digging up cables and pipes of course, and not removing frost protection from over water and sewer pipes) away from the house, possibly to drainage swales away from the house to direct flow around the house to low ground, or

2) put in compacted fill or concrete drain gutter(s) or buried infiltration french drain system, which will preferably drain to low ground or swales away from the house, or if no lower ground on property then can be send to a wet well where a sump pump pumps it out to a disposal area where it cannot get back to the house.

Lots more discussion on solutions for this, and importance of getting your roof drainage guttered and away from the house (commonly solves problem entirely) in the Home > Basement Waterproofing category in Browse Projects, at lower left.

Generally, for smaller jobs a Landscaping contractor can handle this - for french drains or waterproofing basement foundation a basement/foundation waterproofing contractor, for major earthwork an Excavation Contractor.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


The easy answer is to retain a landscape contractor , have him bring in truck loads of top soil have the top soil spread out across the yard near the structure to raise the existing grade to wher you want it . It is NOT an exceeding difficult proceedure , If you feel up to it , you could actually spread the soil out yourself , and if you do , make certain that you mark your sewer cleanouts and water meter locations and not cover them up as you distribute the top soil . Once the soil level is raised to the appropriate height apply fertilizer and grass seed , water frequently and watch the grass grow !

Answered 5 years ago by BentheBuilder

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