Grading questions


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Old 03-05-06, 01:29 AM
C
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Grading questions

Southwest style home on a slab. No basement.

At the bottom of the stucco exterior is, what appears to be, a foam-like barrier. My grading is a bit suspect here & there and I would like to "clean it up".

One question is - do I begin the grade away from the structure below the point of where stucco meets foam? I've seen this on other homes. This home seems to be without a weep screed.

Another question is at the bottom of the stucco, "they" have left a shelf of material. This shelf doesn't extend out everywhere but in some places can run 5 or 6 or more feet in length and maybe 4 or 5 inches in depth away from the exterior wall. How do I approach the grading in those areas?

In areas where I have some negative grade can I just fill & tamp it with regular fill dirt?

I'm also thinking that I can run a grade away from the structure and cover it with gravel (cosmetics). With the grade of the dirt underneath the gravel can the gravel be laid flat or does that need to be graded as well?

TIA
 
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Old 03-10-06, 12:17 AM
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Any ideas would be a great help!
 
  #3  
Old 03-12-06, 08:03 PM
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Ground should slope away from house in all directions so it drops at least 2 or 3 in. for every 10 ft. The finished grade should also end up matching the level of existing fixtures, such as walks and patios. If seeding, soil should be 1 inch below fixtures. If sodding, grade should be 2 inches lower. The need for grading is to give slope to the landscape to carry excess water away from structure.

As far as stucco construction and your questions about it, you need to consult with a stucco professional. Traditional stucco has plaster or concrete applied over wire mesh. Fake stucco is an Exterior Insulation and Finish System that is polystyrene panels with acrylic finish. Real stucco sounds solid but the synthetic has give to it when you press on it. If you can place your hand under and behind the bottom edge, it is likely synthetic. It is easily punctured and can allow water to enter behind it. It should never make contact with the ground or where water can collect behind it. Proper installation is critical to its performance. Only a certified installer can tell you if it was properly installed.
 
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Old 03-16-06, 03:43 AM
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But...

I appreciate your response and understand the points you made about proper grading.

It is a traditional stucco application but it appears they may have back-filled too high prior to the stucco work as there is a "shelf" here and there at the same level where the bottom of the stucco ends cleanly at other places around the house.

So I guess what you're saying is that I should start the grade leaving some of the foam (styrofoam looking stuff that seems to be wrapped around the edge of the slab) exposed and not above the bottom "line" of the stucco as it is in some places on this house?

It's not at a consistant level thru-out the slab perimeter. Erosion, poor original grading or a combo of both - I don't know but I do have some points with negaive grade and I would like to clean up the entire grade properly.

If so (leaving some of that foam exposed) then my only question is still - what would I do with that shelf slag?


Should I cross-post this in a stucco orientated forum here?
 
 

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