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Old 01-20-2016, 02:38 PM   #1
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Grading against house


Hello,
In the spring we need properly grade the yard away from the back of the house. We currently have three window wells that I am going to replace. I have two questions.

1. What is the best type of soil to use for grading?

2. How high can you put soil against the house? My foundation is concrete block and then it meets brick. Can I continue the soil up the brick? The reason I ask is because the high point in the yard that I need to get above for the correct grade is near where the brick and concrete foundation meet.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 01-20-2016, 03:39 PM   #2
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free soil is the best..but it depends what you are going to do after? plant grass, shrubs, or build up garden boxes....it really doesnt matter as long as you tamp it down so you dont get big sink holes... being the house is brick, it doesnt matter how high you go, It would be a good idea to moisture proof the cider block and brick if you are going to have constant soil against it, use a brush able foundation sealant,.. another trick is when you get the ground level for about 4ft out from the house is to put down a heavy plastic for about 3 to 4 ft out and then cover with more soil, if you are going to plant buses close to the house, just cut the plastic at time of planting with a knife, the reason for the plastic is so any water coming off the house doesnt seep straight down the foundation wall and find any cracks that could let water ito the basement, if no basement then you dont need the plastic, also make sure any down spouts from the gutter are run at least a few feet from the house..
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Old 01-20-2016, 04:12 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. Do you have a specific recommendations for the sealant you talked about?
Thanks
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Old 01-20-2016, 04:16 PM   #4
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the home depot special is good, as long as it says foundation cement or sealant your good, usually its a tar based sealant..
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Old 01-20-2016, 05:23 PM   #5
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I will disagree with the above post---

Grade should be kept 4 to 6 inches below the brick----the lower brick has weep holes, typically, so those must not be covered or the wall will not drain properly.

Also, water might over run the top of the foundation---and cause water damage to the framing behind the brick.
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Old 01-20-2016, 07:23 PM   #6
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weep holes for brick is if they are on a cinder block wall, any water behind the bricks on the house will seep right into the wood of the house, the tar paper if any there wont stop it, and the bricks are to be sealed with proper sealant so water will not enter between the brick and foundation....
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Old 01-20-2016, 08:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
The reason I ask is because the high point in the yard that I need to get above for the correct grade is near where the brick and concrete foundation meet.
Ayuh,.... To go along with ohmike, if ya Remove dirt elsewhere, ya don't need more dirt,....

Lower the drainage, rather than buildin' a dike 'round the house,...
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bondo View Post
Ayuh,.... To go along with ohmike, if ya Remove dirt elsewhere, ya don't need more dirt,....

Lower the drainage, rather than buildin' a dike 'round the house,...
Agreed.
When you repair your window wells, set your grade with the brick, or whatever product you choose to install off of the foundation.
Typically (in my region) it is required that the grade be 8" below any framing... In your case, below the brick veneer.
Be prepared to cut and fill as necessary and repair with sod or seed after the Window wells are installed.
If the grade is currently near the veneer, cut all the soil 10" below the veneer, install the Wells, remove all turf in the area, grade all soil away from the home, place a good loamy or composted soil 1" thick, and install turf. Or, cut 9" away, place 1"composted soil mix, and seed.

Either way, cut away the soil to grade away from the home, and amend for your preferred finish.
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Old 01-26-2016, 11:22 AM   #9
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After further inspection in the basement, I found the cinder block foundation is at least a foot above the soil. It looks like they used a couple brick courses on the outside that go down into the soil, on the other side of the brick is the cinder block foundation. Being that I will never have soil as high as the foundation, does that change my situation? I've looked at a lot of houses around my neighborhood and everyone has brick buried under soil. Is the real problem when the soil is above the cinder block foundation?
Thanks

I live in Pennsylvania
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Old 01-26-2016, 11:27 AM   #10
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your good to go as high as an inch or 2 below the top of the cinder block, just remember to seal the brick, if you think you will ever remove the dirt from against the house you could cut a flashing into a cement joint in the brick and use an approved rubber membrane against the brick , rather than a tar based sealant..
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Old 01-26-2016, 11:34 AM   #11
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So I should dig out any dirt that is currently against the brick, seal it, then proceed with soil?
thanks
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Old 01-26-2016, 11:39 AM   #12
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Also, I was looking for a sealer and am not sure which one to use in this situation. Can you recommend a specific one?
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:47 PM   #13
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http://www.homedepot.com/p/Gardner-4...5-GA/100317810 I would dig down and see if your foundation was ever sealed, if not then I wouldnt worry about sealing the last 1 or 2 feet, if you dont have any moister or water issues in the basement now..
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Old 01-27-2016, 08:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShtRnsdownhill View Post
weep holes for brick is if they are on a cinder block wall, any water behind the bricks on the house will seep right into the wood of the house, the tar paper if any there wont stop it, and the bricks are to be sealed with proper sealant so water will not enter between the brick and foundation....
Maybe in 1900's construction, yet they didn't have weep holes on any walls for the most part at that time.



@op please don't cover the bottom part of your brick with soil, this can cause lots of issues.

Keep it below as a few of the others have stated.
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Old 01-27-2016, 09:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1985gt View Post
Maybe in 1900's construction, yet they didn't have weep holes on any walls for the most part at that time.



@op please don't cover the bottom part of your brick with soil, this can cause lots of issues.

Keep it below as a few of the others have stated.
correct and those houses are still standing just fine, it is unknown if there are any weep holes here..what does the op state about any weep holes in the areas you want to raise the grade..
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