DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   Framing and Foundation (
-   -   Grading around foundation for keeping basement dry (

strategery 05-02-2012 03:02 AM

Grading around foundation for keeping basement dry
I often hear about the importance of grading around the foundation in order to keep the basement dry. I have examined the perimeter of my house and it looks like the grading could be improved some.

I went to one of the big box stores and asked them where I could get some clean fill dirt for this purpose and they looked at me like I was an alien.

Is this the correct name for what I need? Where should I get it?

oldognewtrick 05-02-2012 04:13 AM

Try going to your local nursery or look on Craigslist for fill dirt.

nealtw 05-02-2012 07:05 AM

Landscaper supply or perhaps a local gravel pit could put you in touch with truck drivers that haul fill away from construction sites.
You want 6 to 8 inches of concrete showing on the foundation and if you have a basement, you want to have waterproffing on the concrete before you add fill.

strategery 05-02-2012 11:38 AM

I don't have any waterproofing on there now but it's a 100 year old house

CallMeVilla 05-02-2012 05:50 PM

Is your basement wet?

Grading is one element of the waterproofing process. You want water to shed away from the perimeter of the foundation. BUT (always a "big but") the old houses used simple parging on the foundation wall and (maybe) clay weeping tiles. Both are inadequate by modern standards. To truly handle the water, you need to excavate all around the perimeter, parge, attach a plastic membrane, drill and nail plastic sheeting, install modern weeping tile (hose) connected to a good drain, then backfill.

Sometimes, I have seen an interior solution where the floor along the perimeter is jacked out and modern weeping tile is installed. It is directed to a sump where it is pumped outside as needed.

Let us know what you decide to do.

strategery 05-02-2012 11:56 PM

Yeah the basement is pretty damp. My dehumidifier keeps it dry at right about 50% humidity. I don't get any water on the floors but I think I would if that dehumidifier weren't keeping it dry down there.

I just cleaned my gutters recently (which I do twice a year), but I may need to replace them as they are getting kind of worn.

Other than replacing the gutters I don't know what to do other than adding some fill dirt. Should I call a landscaping company to help me with this?

nealtw 05-03-2012 07:16 AM

I would start by talking to a foundation waterproofing company first. Your best bet is like Villa said in his posting.

strategery 05-03-2012 12:54 PM

I've talked to 3 of them and they barely said anything about the outside they just told me that I need their inside French drain and sump pump. One of them also said that they won't even do that unless I replace the basement floor.

mudmixer 05-03-2012 03:19 PM

The drain tile (interior or exterior) at the level of the bottom of the footings is the key since it collects the water and eliminates the pressure against the walls. Interior drain tile also reduces the hydrostatic pressure under the basement floor slab.

The soil around the foundation is a mixed bag. The surface ideally should direct the water away from the house foundation. If it is a heavy soil (fine grained or just dirt) that can hold the moisture against the foundation. If it is "rock" or clean well drained material, it will allow drainage down to the footings and hopefully to the drain tile system that will remove it and prevent any leakge as it is intended to do.


nealtw 05-03-2012 05:37 PM

Was there a reason they didn't talk about the outside drain?

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:27 PM.