A perfectly flat lawn can deliver some undeniable aesthetic and functional benefits, so it may seem ideal for all kinds of landscaping projects. However, a major drawback is that a flat lawn could cause a series of drainage-related issues around your property.
Any drainage problem that allows excess water to accumulate near your foundation can affect your entire home in more ways than one. For starters, standing water around your home may attract different pests, including mosquitoes, termites, and rodents. Additionally, it could contribute to wood rot and mold growth inside wall, ceiling, and floor systems. Deep, wide cracks in your exterior walls and uneven settling of your foundation could also occur. If any of these issues are allowed to progress, they can threaten the structural integrity of your entire home.
Fortunately, severe structural damage along with expensive home repairs can be easily prevented by regrading your yard. In general, regrading involves removing or adding dirt to change the slope of your landscape. While regrading a yard is quite an easy DIY project, let’s discuss a few important things you should consider in order to achieve the best results possible.
The Signs of Drainage Issues
Before looking into the details of the land grading process, it’s important to determine whether your lawn already has a proper slope. That said, the following are some signs indicating poor drainage due to improper grading.
- Standing water – Water pooling near your foundation or in the crawlspace is one of the most obvious signs of poor drainage.
- Dying grass or plants – When soil stays too wet for a long time, grass and plant roots begin to rot due to a lack of oxygen. If the soil remains waterlogged for long enough, the grass and plants will eventually turn yellow and dye off.
- Foundation damage – When too much water accumulates in the ground near or underneath your foundation, it could cause the clay soil under your home to swell. Over time, this may lead to foundation damage.
- Mosquito infestations – We all know that mosquitoes love standing water. Therefore, too many mosquitoes in your yard could be a sign of improper grading around your home.
The Current Slope of Your Lawn
The first step in ensuring proper drainage around your home is to determine exactly how much slope you need around your foundation. For this, you need to measure the existing grading of your landscape. In general, a slope between 3% and 25% is acceptable. If the grade of your lawn is less than 3% or exceeds 25%, it may need regrading. As well, regrading may be required when the ground doesn’t slope away from your foundation in all directions.
The Best Method to Correct Your Yard’s Grading
The proper way to regrade your yard depends on whether there is too much or not enough soil around your home’s foundation. If there is too much soil, the best course of action would be to remove the extra soil from the area until a proper slope is achieved. When regrading your yard, it’s very important to remove enough soil from around your foundation. A slope that’s steeper than the maximum grade recommended could lead to soil erosion, loss of vegetation, disruption of existing drainage patterns, and other potential issues that may cause additional drainage problems down the road.
If the grade around your foundation is below 3%, or the ground slopes toward your home instead of away from it, you need to add enough soil to the area around your foundation in order to create a slight incline that will divert water away from your home.
The Benefits of Regrading Your Yard
Lawn regrading is usually recommended when a shifting foundation is identified. This problem can be serious and quite costly to fix sometimes. However, it can be avoided by simply checking the grade and angle of the slope around your foundation after every flood or major rainstorm and making any grade adjustments necessary. Besides allowing you to prevent foundation damage, lawn regrading delivers a few more benefits, including:
- It adds visual appeal – Since land regrading improves drainage, it eliminates standing water from your yard. That can help your plants grow healthier. A good mix of healthy plants will create an attractive landscape, which could increase the value of your property.
- It can make landscaping and yard care easier – Regrading projects usually involve leveling the landscape. Not only does a level lawn look great, but it’s also easier to mow.
- You can maximize your outdoor space – A steep sloping lawn can make parts of your landscape unusable. By regrading your lawn, you could create more usable space.
During a yard regrading project, you can also install additional drainage systems and root barriers to address specific foundation problems or prevent foundation damage from occurring in the future. At Allied Foundation, we don’t provide land grading services, but we can definitely tell you if there’s something wrong with your foundation. If any foundation issues are found, our experienced professionals will also be able to recommend the most appropriate foundation repair methods for your property. For more information about our services, contact Allied Foundation today!