A critical aspect of safety and protection remains the slope of a property, which is often neglected. The grading of a yard should be done with great care. How can the right be determined? Learn how a poorly graded yard can affect your home and how you can fix it below. The best way to avoid the problem altogether is by knowing what to look for beforehand.
A sump pump can be equipped with all the latest features but if your house sits on land with a slope upward from its foundation, effective protection against water damage is as futile as trying to carry grains of rice in a bucket with holes.
The key is to make sure that the grading on your home or the property you are considering buying slopes away from the foundation. Generally, a drop of 2 to 3 inches every 10 feet with a drop of 6 inches in the first 10 feet is a good rule of thumb. If the grading slopes toward your home, you may need to call in a professional to determine the amount of work involved in changing the slope away from your property.
According to the principle of least resistance, water flows downward. Whenever a blockage forms, water gathers and builds pressure. In addition to offending the structural balance of a home, water pressure can negatively impact the durability of a structure.
Thousands of dollars in damage can result from this issue. The most common foundation problems you’ll encounter are settling (heave), standing water under the home (especially noticeable if you have a crawl space), and seepage and flooding in basements. Cracked walls and floors, musty odors, and deteriorated foundation walls are also telltale signs.
Is it possible to tell if you have water damage in an existing home? You should begin by assessing your sightlines. Walls should be examined. In both directions, they should appear straight. An apparent bulge or curvature in the middle of the house could mean the house has shifted.
Move in closer to see the concrete’s consistency. Are there any spots where you see flaking? If so, use a sturdy tool to probe the area thoroughly. The surrounding material is damaged if it is soft enough to chip off.
Look up at the chimney before heading inside. A leaning structure indicates a possible structural imbalance, just like its exterior walls.
Points to consider include basement posts that are angled in a normal manner, as well as crawl spaces that show visible bowing. Check the floors for sagging with a marble. Test the porch slats and stoops in the same way.
Last but not least, make sure that your home’s windows and doors are operating properly. Is it smooth to open them? Is the lid latchable? Aside from the doorway seams, do you notice intricate cracks like webs? Where do walls intersect at corners? All of these signs point to water damage in your home at some point.
The presence of water damage in any structure puts it at risk for two additional structural threats, both of which are major health problems. A moist environment is created between water-soaked plaster, woodwork, carpet, and upholstery. A mold spore produces more and more spores as it multiplies.
Symptoms of upper respiratory congestion, sneezing, and labored breathing should be watched for. Especially if a particular part of the house causes you or your family members harm.
You may have to spend a lot of money and time getting rid of mold. Plaster and woodwork that is wet should be removed, and most often replaced. When the damage is not too invasive, carpets and upholstery may be salvageable. Scrub cleaning with mold barrier products and a vinegar-based antifungal agent may be helpful.
Infestations of pests are another health threat caused by compromised home barriers. Rodents and insects enter buildings through even the tiniest cracks and cracks in search of shelter, food, and water. Even a mouse can fit through an opening of 1/4 inch, while ants require slits only 1/32 inch wide.
A pest carries a disease. During their burrowing and reproduction process, they become exponentially difficult to remove. In conventional pest control methods, toxic chemicals, including those that are known to cause cancer, are used. It is much safer to safely store food, keep your home environment humidity-free, and remove piles of papers and stored clothing which may harbor insects.
Water damage to a home structure compromises its durability, promotes the growth of mold and pests, and breaks the airtight seal required for efficient use of energy resources.
Water and heat follow predictable paths; they rise from the bottom and rush to the top. A room with a well-heated window that has a tiny crack in the glass in winter will quickly become cold as the heat escapes into the cold exterior air.
Just a quarter-inch gap around windows and doors that are crooked allows air to flow indoors as much as a hole six inches square in an exterior wall. As a result of structural shift, attic insulation, wall insulation, and floor insulation move. Ductwork and pipes are also vulnerable to pressure, nearly always bending as a result of which flow is blocked or they break.
No matter whether you are buying a pre-existing house or designing your own, eliminating the possibility of water damage should be the top priority. Construction or landscaping techniques such as yard grading can modify the directional slope of a piece of property.
Homes that sit on sloped terrain are at risk of being destroyed by heavy rains, storms, and the melting of snow. As a result, slopes away from the base are changed to slope downward.
This methodology can be used to grade around a preexisting structure:
Maintain your newly graded yard by evening out uneven areas in the rest of your lawn while your landscape supplies and gardening materials are out. In time, areas with bumps or bulging become eroded. Strips of grass should be rolled back as before. Until the soil is at the same level, dig the soil down. Water the well and plant grass coils.
Sloping lawns or low-lying areas can result in standing pools of water after a storm. Secure away-from-the-house slope in the same way you did for this scenario. Grass can be rolled back. Use a compactor to compact soil firmly into dips. Water the root systems liberally after replanting grass.
In addition, some homeowners dig a dry creek and fill it in with river stones. Keeping above-ground outbuildings dry is possible by using an absorbent bed feature.
Raze the Earth
While yard grading is an efficient means of reducing structural water damage, it also has some disadvantages. If you raze your yard to fix drainage issues, you will interfere with local wildlife growth patterns and reproduction patterns. Understand this before you raze your yard.
We breath in harmful off-gasses from landscaping machines that burn fossil fuels. Grading the yard is the only way to protect a house that is already there. Environmentally sensitive people may find it difficult to make this decision, but protecting your home and family from water damage and the effects of that damage to your foundation should win out.