Understanding Grades To Avoid Flooding At Home
Understanding the ground forces around the house can actually help you avoid flooding at home. The ground around the home is constantly shifting and moving, especially with water. When the ground gets hit with a lot of water, the ground swells and pushes onto the foundation of your home. When the ground dries out it contracts. This actually puts a different kind of pressure on the foundation as the ground squeezes your home. But there are a few ways to engineer the ground around your home to alleviate the stress and reduce the chance of flooding.
The grade of the ground around your home is very important. The grade refers to a slope, like the side of a hill. If the slope, or grade, is leading down to your home, like your home is at the bottom of the hill, this may cause all sorts of problems. Water will flow downhill toward your home and drench the ground right at the base of the foundation. The ground there will swell and put an amazing amount of pressure right onto the foundational walls of your home. This can cause the walls to crack, but the real worry is the pooling.
Water pressed up against the wall of your home will seep into the ground until the ground is saturated. Then it will just pool near your home and look for ways into your basement. This can be done through a window, a basement door or newly formed cracks in the foundation.
By taking the grade away from your home, or putting you home at the top of the hill, you are doing your home and basement a great service. The water will flow downhill, away from your home. This keeps the ground at the highest point, which is now up against the wall of your home, drier than the ground at the bottom of the grade, which is away from your home. This means that the ground nearest your home will not swell as much.
A downgrade away from the home will also see the water pool at the bottom of the hill, away from your home. Here, the water just creates a puddle that will eventually sink into the ground and disperse or evaporate. Puddles sitting away from your home are harmless and do not pose a risk of getting into your basement. All these puddle do is pose a risk to get your child or pet dirty before coming back inside.