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Old 04-17-2008, 03:54 PM   #1
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Re-grading around foundation?


We bought a house in December and the home inspector noted that the gutter downspouts were directed toward the house foundation (poured concrete basement) rather than away and there are four locations around the foundation where the soil actually dips leaving depressions (about 8" x 36 to 48" x 4" deep) against the foundations. The inspector suggested re-directing the downspouts and "re-grading" around the foundation.

I have already added extensions and re-directed the downspouts. During the melting and rain this spring I noted that the four depressions would fill with standing water against the concrete foundation (and we would get minor leaking into the unfinished basement corresponding to the standing water locations.

Now that we have some warmer weather I would like to fill the depressions and slope the ground away from the house around the entire foundation. I'm guessing I could have some gravel/soil dumped in the yard by a local supplier and use a wheelbarrow and a shovel to do this but I'm completely stumped by the wide variety of gravel and soil available.

Do I just get top spoil and shovel it on filling the depressions and adding soil around the foundation until it is sloped away? Would this just wash away in heavy rain? Should I put a layer of gravel down first and then cover it with soil?

Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Robert

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Old 05-02-2009, 10:11 AM   #2
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Re-grading around foundation?


We have the same issue and are about to tackle it this weekend. Did you ever get an answer to your questions?

Thx,
Jeff

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Old 05-02-2009, 06:06 PM   #3
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We have the same issue and are about to tackle it this weekend. Did you ever get an answer to your questions?

Thx,
Jeff

Not on line but I did wind up talking to a local sand/gravel wholesaler and they suggested a high clay content sand for regrading. We used it filling the holes and sloping it about 1' over 6'. We had no leaks during the melting and rain this spring.

We plan on installing railroad ties around a 25'x10' area and filling it with pea stone this summer but it looks like you could put topsoil right on top of the clay sand if you wanted grass or plants.

Good Luck!
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Old 05-02-2009, 07:17 PM   #4
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Re-grading around foundation?


that's perfect since our soil actually has a high clay content...I believe we graded to similar dimensions as you as well.

Thanks for the reply!

Cheers,
Jeff
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:58 PM   #5
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Re-grading around foundation?


We bought our house last June and had the EXACT same problem - only our inspector didn't see anything in advance. Every new house comes with surprises!!

Fortunately we have a family friend with an excavator and he came in and dug a large "dry well" in our back yard (big ditch filled with larger gravel and covered back over with dirt). All the leader drains were directed to this drainage area and the dirt dug out to create the was used to fill in the dips by the foundation and regrade the yard toward the dry well. We also had to bring in some "fill" - much cheaper than top soil because it's not any good for growing (too rocky and no nutrients). We have not had any water in our basement since (all winter and so far in the rainy New England Spring) and are now in the process of growing a new lawn in a load of top soil laid right on top of the fill.

So far so good!!
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:07 PM   #6
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Re-grading around foundation?


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We bought our house last June and had the EXACT same problem - only our inspector didn't see anything in advance. Every new house comes with surprises!!

Fortunately we have a family friend with an excavator and he came in and dug a large "dry well" in our back yard (big ditch filled with larger gravel and covered back over with dirt). All the leader drains were directed to this drainage area and the dirt dug out to create the was used to fill in the dips by the foundation and regrade the yard toward the dry well. We also had to bring in some "fill" - much cheaper than top soil because it's not any good for growing (too rocky and no nutrients). We have not had any water in our basement since (all winter and so far in the rainy New England Spring) and are now in the process of growing a new lawn in a load of top soil laid right on top of the fill.

So far so good!!
How much top soil did you put on top of the fill? did you just shovel it on? did you have to tamp it down?

I am in the same boat. I need to order a ton of top soil and scatter it all over the front of my yard to get some nice new seed in there.

thanks
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:17 PM   #7
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Re-grading around foundation?


We live on a little over a quarter acre and brought in two loads (high sided pick-up truck size) to cover our front and back yard, a total of approximately 85'x160'. They shoveled the soil into small piles evenly spaced throughout the yard and then spread each of those out to make sure it was even (about 4"-6" deep) and didn't affect the proper grading of the yard. It is starting to grow in at various rates so it is still difficult to tell what the overall "fullness" will be. We used a seed mix because of our location and sun/shade situation.
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Old 05-21-2009, 07:29 PM   #8
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Re-grading around foundation?


One thing to consider when adding top soil is to add stones for erosion control. I used to dig around my house to put in plants and always wondered why the soil was rocky. It's the stone that's added that prevents the dirt alone from eroding away.

Along the perimeter of your house, consider adding about 6-12" width of black tarp and then put stone mulch over that. This will keep the soil underneath from washing away and will keep the soil dry along the perimeter in an attempt to deter termites.
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Old 05-22-2009, 06:37 AM   #9
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Re-grading around foundation?


We heard smaller rocks were good for irrigation too. Fortunately we live in a part of New England where there are PLENTY of rocks.
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Old 05-22-2009, 04:47 PM   #10
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Re-grading around foundation?


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We heard smaller rocks were good for irrigation too. Fortunately we live in a part of New England where there are PLENTY of rocks.
Rocks are good for "irrigation?"
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Old 05-23-2009, 05:34 PM   #11
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Re-grading around foundation?


I've been told that smaller rocks in the soil help with the flow of moisture. Maybe that is just an old wives tale to make us feel better about our irreversibly rocky soil?

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