Homeowner Maintenance - Grading and Drainage

Covington Homes emphasizes that maintaining proper grading and drainage around your home is essential for preventing water damage and keeping your property in good condition. Unfortunately, many homeowners forget the importance of this and neglect this aspect of home maintenance, which can lead to costly repairs and even significant damage over time. Here are some reasons why maintaining proper grading and drainage is so important:

  • Maintaining grading and drainage prevents water damage: If water is not properly drained away from your home, it can seep into your foundation, causing significant damage. This can result in costly repairs and other potential damages which can be hazardous to your health. Proper grading and drainage can prevent water from pooling around your foundation and causing damage.
  • Keeps water from getting into your basement by not allowing the water to flow into your window wells. By maintaining the proper drainage and maintaining the grading AWAY from your window wells, you eliminate water from getting into the window wells.
  • Preserves your landscaping: Poor grading and drainage can also damage your landscaping. Excess water can drown your plants, and soil erosion can cause your lawn to become uneven and unsightly. Proper grading and drainage can help preserve your landscaping and keep it looking healthy and beautiful.
  • Increases property value: A well-maintained property with proper grading and drainage is more attractive to potential buyers and can increase the value of your home. By investing in the maintenance of your grading and drainage, you are investing in the long-term value of your property.
  • Will keep you from voiding your Homebuilders Limited Warranty. Damage to the home, the foundation of the home, and other components of the home and property is not warranted by Homebuilders if you change the grading and drainage, do not maintain the grading and drainage, or otherwise damage the grading and drainage.

So, what should you do to maintain proper grading and drainage around your home? Here are some tips:

  • Keep the grading as it was originally designed and installed: When your home was built, the grading was designed to ensure proper drainage away from your foundation. It's important to maintain this grading, as even small changes can affect the drainage and cause water damage. If you're not sure what the original grading was, contact us for another copy of your Grade Certificate (which documents the way the grading and drainage was left at the time the home closed) or developer for the master drainage plan.
  • Ensure to maintain a minimum of 3% slope away from the foundation: The grading around your home should slope away from your foundation at a minimum of 3%. This ensures that water is properly drained away from your home and helps prevent damage. The grading should also slope away from your area wells, so ensure to maintain any usual settlement that may occur around the area wells. This is particularly important because as time passes and weather cycles occur yearly, natural settlement of the dirt around the foundation and areas wells may occur.
  • Check all gutters and downspouts to ensure downspouts do not discharge next to or into the area wells. If the downspouts are discharging too much water in an area that can drain to your window wells, redirect them.
  • Maintain drainage swales: If your property has drainage swales, it's important to maintain them to ensure proper drainage. Remove any debris or sediment that may have accumulated in the swale and ensure that the slope of the swale is maintained.
  • If your yard does not have landscaping because you are waiting on the landscaper to install it, make sure to maintain all dirt and grading. If there is erosion in your yard because of rains or snow, it is important to put all sediment and dirt in the yard back to the way it was left by us.
  • When installing your landscaping, whether it is installed by you or a reputable landscaping contractor, DO NOT CAHNGE the Grading and Drainage. Design a landscape plan around the existing grading and drainage. Do not flatten the slope away from the foundation, do not change drainage swales, do not direct water in new directions.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your property has proper grading and drainage, which will help prevent water damage and keep your property in good condition. Remember, regular maintenance is key to preventing costly repairs down the road.