Plain and simple, what’s the most common problem that home inspectors find? Let me give you a hint, it has nothing to do with the house itself.  It’s everything around the house.  The lot the house sits on can be it’s biggest beneficiary like it can also lead to massive problems. Let’s look at how your grade will affect your house.

In a ideal situation, a house is sitting on top of a “hill” and allows for water all around to drain away from the foundation effortlessly. However, this is rarely the case.  There will often be at least one side of the house where the lot grades towards the foundation wall. 

As I’m sure you can figure out, this is no good.  Water draining towards a house allows for puddles to gather against your foundation wall, which will eventually lead to leakage.  Once those leaks start, you’re looking at water damage problems, rot, moisture, weakened structures in severe cases and the list goes on.  Water is a house’s worst enemy. 

So what can you do about it?  Well keep in mind that if your house suffers from an improperly slopped lot, it most likely won’t be on all sides.  If so, call your builder simply to tell him he’s a moron.  But for the ones who want to fix the problem, re-grading is the answer.  The minimum slope you should find around the perimeter of your house is a 5-degree slope.  This means that if you measure six feet out from your foundation wall, your lot should have descended a minimum of 3 inches.  This doesn’t seem like much, but it’s the bare minimum that a grade should be. 

For those with lots grading towards the house, simply adding soil against the foundation wall may not be so simple.  If windows or stone veneer for example are restricting you from adding soil, you may have to dig out some of the terrain that slopes towards your house to compensate.

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