Adjust the Grade of Your Home’s Foundation
It’s possible that the grade surrounding your home’s foundation has changed. A foundation can shift, changing the soil around it, and it’s even possible that weather conditions can erode and wear away the soil. It’s incredibly common—the foundations of newer homes move considerably over the first fifteen years. And it’s relatively simple to fix; a little know-how and the right tools and you can have your home’s grade perfected as soon as the ground thaws (Conveniently, the springtime is a terrific time to adjust your grade, because the rest of the lawn won’t have grown back fully, and you can re-sod or seed the areas affected). Even though it’s a simple enough job to do on the weekends, it’s also a very important job: an improper grade can cause water to runoff and congregate at the foundation; a simple spring rain storm could bring water in a home’s crawlspace or basement.
You will need several tools to do the job well. First, a handy spade shovel will help with the digging and a flat-nosed shovel will help to clear away dirt and level the ground. You’ll also need landscape string, brightly colored, and several stakes. A quality hammer or sledge to pound the stakes into the soil will also come in handy.
To begin pound a stake at the home’s foundation and affix the landscape string to it. Pound a second stake approx. ten feet away from the home’s foundation, and then attach a string level to the string and determine the correct height to tie it off. At the further stake, measure the distance between the string and the ground. If the distance is between ten and twelve inches, then the grade is fine. If it’s less, remove the sod and dig away the high areas. If it’s low (Sometimes there’s a negative grade that extends from the foundation to a few feet away, add dirt to correct the height.