What Is Grading and Why Is It So Important?

January 22, 2019 11:39 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Building a high-quality home involves a lot more than nice architecture and a good foundation. Before you start any aspect of the construction process, you need to make sure the land has been graded properly.

But what exactly is grading, and what makes it such an important part of the home building process? Here is some information from our team of professional earthmoving contractors in Jeffersonville, IN.

All about grading

The term “grading” refers to the type of base or slope on which your home rests. Proper grading ensures water flows away from the home and into nearby storm drains rather than collecting near the foundation, which could result in some significant problems. Water that pushes back toward your house from irrigation systems or storm water could compromise the integrity of your foundation wall over the course of time, necessitating some significant structural repairs.

Even if the water doesn’t make it to the foundation wall itself, it will still saturate all the soil that sits adjacent to your home’s foundation. As this water builds up, it can cause the hydrostatic pressure next to the foundation wall to significantly increase. When this occurs, cracks in the foundation can start to build up, which causes potential damage to the structure of the home, as well as some problematic soil erosion.

Sometimes grading problems won’t even affect your property, but that doesn’t mean they’re not still problematic. For example, grading problems could result in water running and causing issues for your neighbors. Erosion or flooding issues that extend to your neighbor’s property could result in you or your builder being held liable for any damages they incur—something you certainly don’t want to have on your plate.

Working with grading professionals

Ultimately, if you’re going to be successful in preventing this type of damage from occurring to your home (or your neighbors’ homes), you’re going to need to work with a professional grading contractor. There are several methods these workers will use to make sure your grading is done properly. These methods include:

  • Grading out slopes that divert water away from your home’s foundation and safely into drainage areas
  • Creating swales (lower tracts of land) that divert ground water away from the foundation
  • Determining amounts of soil that must be either added to or removed from the site to ensure proper drainage and prevent grading issues

Your grading contractor will develop a grading plan that carefully analyzes the slope of the lot, typically in five-foot increments. This process must be completed before any work on the foundation can begin—you only get one opportunity to get this done correctly, and it becomes much more difficult to do the grading work once the foundation is poured and construction on the project has begun.

If you’re interested in learning more about grading and the other types of work done by our earthmoving contractors in Jeffersonville, IN, we encourage you to reach out to the team at Estes Excavating Inc. with your questions. We look forward to assisting you!

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