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Marciamax
Stone or dirt grading?

My husband and I just bought our first house, and have one significant problem...the yard's mostly level, but the section directly around the house slopes inward. Currently, there's river rock along the foundation the entire way around the house. I was wondering: is it better to remove the rock and replace with well-sloped dirt and plants, or should we just pile more rock on there and build it up at a nice angle so water will run away from the house?

Thanks!

A. Spruce
Re: Stone or dirt grading?

Think of it this way, the rock is in a hole, piling more rock won't cure the problem. Remove the rock, grade the soil to at least 3" below the siding material and sloping away from the house.

Marciamax
Re: Stone or dirt grading?

Thanks! The only reason I'd considered more rock was an article I'd found online suggesting using rock would help equally disperse the water. Thanks for your clarification :)

A. Spruce
Re: Stone or dirt grading?

In drain systems such as a drywell, rock is used to create a "cavity" in hard soils, where water can collect until it has time to seep it's way into the ground. This is not unlike the situation you describe along your house. The rock sits in a depression next to the house, which means that not unlike a drywell, it's merely holding a place for the water to rest until it seeps in and that is not a good thing right up next to the house.

You must first direct the water away from the foundation and structure before you think about giving it a place to dissipate. Usually, you can grade the soil away from the house and direct it naturally to municipal drain systems. Sometimes it is necessary to install drainage pipes to catch gutter water and excess run off and direct it to municipal systems. In the most severe cases, pumps are set up when water volume or negative elevations exist and you cannot facilitate natural water run off.

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