Question on grading around foundation

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  #1  
Old 03-04-15, 12:20 PM
J
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Question on grading around foundation

One of my many upcoming spring projects is going to be adding soil around my house to create a small slope away from the foundation. I'm hoping this will help or even eliminate the occasional minor water penetration I get on my basement floor. As of right now, the ground around my foundation is pretty much flat.

I've found a local company that delivers fill/soil, but I have no idea what is the correct type for the job. Here is what they have according to their website:

Topsoil:
Medium Screened: Field topsoil screened to approximately 1.
Fine Screened: Topsoil screened to 3/4.

Fill:
Embankment Fill: for deep fills, includes roots, rocks and dirt.
Medium Fill: rocks and dirt.
Screened Fill:* Medium Fill screened to 3 + or -.
Local Screenings: gravel fines and small particles of gravel.
Sandy Fill: a medium-grade fill, with a high sand component.
Dirt Fill (subsoil): a grade below topsoil, organic fill with some rock content.
Impervious Clay Fill: High clay content, good water barrier for septic berms or ponds.

My first thought was the Impervious Clay Fill because I want the water to run off and away, but I'm not sure how this would work with the shrubs that we have all along the front and side of the house.

Also, in regards to my existing shrubs, any tips for adding the soil without having to dig them up first? Some of them are very low to the ground, and if I had 4 or 5 inches of soil, I'll be covering up a good part of the shrub's stems.

Thanks!!
 
  #2  
Old 03-04-15, 02:50 PM
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The finer the soil is screened the less you'll find clumps, rocks, etc in it. Fill dirt and clay may or may not allow grass or vegetation to grow well. Normally it's not a good idea to raise the soil level around the base of the bush, some plants are more sensitive than others.
 
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Old 03-09-15, 09:12 AM
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Thanks for the reply, marksr. While my priority is to have water run off and away from my foundation, I do want anything I may plant in the future, as well as my existing plantings, to do well. If I did go with a screened topsoil, would that allow too much water to percolate straight downward and defeat my purpose of having a slope away from the foundation?
 
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Old 03-09-15, 02:28 PM
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I don't think I'd worry too much about the added soil percolating. Having a slope will move the water away from the foundation which is a start. I don't know there is a good way to stop the water from soaking in. Generally the wall is waterproofed along with a drainage system at the footer to insure a dry basement .... but that's more work than most want to tackle, especially if downspouts and grading might be enough.
 
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Old 03-10-15, 08:27 AM
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Yeah, I definitely don't want to go through the expense of a major exterior waterproofing project, even though I know that that is the correct way of solving a basement seepage issue. My basement water issue is minimal. I haven't had a single drop of water enter the basement in 3 years, and even in a major storm like Hurricane Sandy, the amount of water I had could be picked up with a mop and bucket. That's why I'm thinking that just having a proper grade around the foundation will be a major help.
 
 

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