• John Schott

How Do I Improve the Grade of my Yard?


I get this question a lot. I get many calls in the central Indianapolis area where homes were built 75-100 years ago, literally within less than 10 ft of each other! The customer is concerned that there is grading issue between both houses. Very often, when a customer has a water issue going into their basement it can be a few different problems. I always look at the grade of the yard. Most older homes were not built with a perimeter drainage system that flows into a sump pump. So, the resulting issue is water between both houses has to go somewhere and many times this is caused by improper discharge of roof water from downspouts.

So, two places to look to determine where the problem is starting.

1. Look at your downspouts from gutters.

If you have downspouts that are directed straight down the side of your house, but end right at the base of your house. Many times this is the cause of water leaking into your basement. There is a huge amount of water that comes off your roof. Just imagine your roof like a really big net for rain and then direct that to a few small corners/sides of your house. If all that rain is directed along your foundation. And, if you have any type of negative grade coming back towards your house, this can creat a water problem for your crawlspace or basement.

2. Look at level of the ground around the foundation of your house

If it looks like it sloping towards the house, then this can be a problem as well. When it rains or snow melts, this water can collect and overtime will build up enough that it will seep into your foundation walls. Ultimately it is not good for the structure of your house to have any water seeping or sitting near your foundation. This can be corrected by either bringing in fill dirt to bring up grade. Or, it can be corrected by removing soil from around your house to have a positive grade to flow water away!

There can be many different factors that cause a grading issue around your house. Over time soil can settle around the foundation creating a negative grade or many years of roof water from gutters can erode away at the soil to create a problem.

I have many years experience in residential grading issues on homes. So, next time your yard seems a little out of balance give me a call or text at 317-784-8760!


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Schott Services. Indianapolis, IN