Regrade an area for water run-off away from foundation

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Old 05-13-14, 01:40 PM
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Regrade an area for water run-off away from foundation

Hello - been doing some "anti-water" stuff for my basement. It doesn't "flood" but the trickle I get in very heavy rains bugs me.

In order to regrade, is there anything terribly special I need to do with my EXISTING dirt / lawn? My thought was to just buy a mound of dirt, toss it up against the house, stomp it down, and then rake it to get it to be a 10" slope within the first foot like I've read it should be - I'm not in love with the grass that's next to the house, really, and over time if it grows back, then fine. But can I DO that? Just, put dirt over the 1 foot of my lawn that's closest to the house? Or do I need to remove that grass first?
 
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Old 05-13-14, 05:54 PM
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How far does the foundation of your home extend above the ground now? You don't want to simply mound up dirt next to the house if it will get close to the sill plate, wood or siding.

How does the water flow around your home now when it rains? Is it pooling next to the house or does it run away already?

In general your idea is sorta OK. Yes, you can put dirt on top of your existing lawn. Only doing it for one foot away from the home might have minimal benefit and the 10" in 12" slope is extremely steep. You want the ground to slope away from your home for 6-8 feet and a gradual slope is OK. You just want to keep the surface water flowing away from your house.
 
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Old 05-14-14, 07:59 AM
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Thanks for replying - sorry, I should have added more details - house is all stone / block, so no wood or siding to speak of. As far as how far the foundation is above the ground? That I don't know, but there is a basement - the area I'm looking to regrade is the wife's flower bed outside the front window - the last monsoon we had, some water dripped in OVER the top of the wall in the basement and seeped THROUGH those cinder blocks right there below it, so something pooled in there or did not run off properly - again, that's the first time in the two years we've lived here that that happened and it was only after a HUGE rainstorm. Looking at it, the grade does appear to slope slightly back towards the house behind the wife's bushes there and towards the front steps, like in a corner there. My thinking was to put dirt in the lowest spot, that corner, and just slope it all out towards the front yard which DOES slope away from the house in almost all areas - no, water does not pool near the house except for ONE spot, and it's not near this area - it's near our porch, addressed below. Although we do have a low spot in the backyard that turns into a small pond in heavy rain - but that's a good 10-15 feet from the house. I'm fine with it doing that out there and not near the walls.

The reason I ask about the grass is because while I'm at it, I figured I'd just go around the rest of the house as well, at least the front there. An "ounce of prevention", etc. There is one other REALLY low spot that I mentioned above that looks like it has allowed water to pool up and seep under our porch which is a concrete slab - I want to pile dirt up against that to prevent that as well. That ought to at least keep it out from under the porch if it decides to pool - or I could even grade that away from that area I suppose but that might take a lot of dirt - it's like a depressed area where the previous owner had put a small 18" by 36" concrete slab to put a grill on I presume. It's next to the stone porch wall and I can see a gap between it and that wall, but it slopes in such a way that that little concrete slab is the lowest point - probably has sunk over the years. Thinking I might just take that little slab right out and fill that whole area with dirt.
 
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Old 05-14-14, 08:39 AM
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Certainly add soil to those areas possibly sloping back towards the house. A couple inches per foot of slope is plenty. Much steeper and mulch can start to migrate downhill and mowing can be more difficult.
 
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