Improper grading

The house I inspected yesterday was built in 2003. I noticed the grade was flat and or sloping toward foundation, some waterproofing exposed, 1-3". Went in the basement and horizontal cracking along front and back wall 1/16th of an inch, at or about the grade line outside. Moistue meter detected high content. Suggested improve grading at a rate of 1" per foot in the 1st 6-10’ My question, is it ok to raise the grade above the waterproofing?

Grade shall fall 6" within the first 10’ with exceptions…I know little or nothing about basement waterproofing, Land O’ Slabs…but grade above WP would seem to be asking for problems if these areas are intended to be maintained dry

Out here it would be okay for 11 months of the year. There in OH it might be okay for a couple days of the year. So, no.

The foundation is exposed above ground 2 blocks, so if the grade shuldn’t go above the waterproofing and currently the water is setting against foundation, how do we improve the grade so it slopes away properly.

That would be a question for the licensed contractor I would recommend in my report to correct or modify the defect I noted.

From your description, around here, I use an irrigation/landscape specialist very familiar with local hydrogeology to set proper benchmark elevations for the grade addition and a WP contractor to make the necessary applications prior to grade being elevated.

This is when I run into this on many pier and beam homes, or the 4 basements I’ve seen in 10 years, with water problems.

It’s not unusual for our older yards to have flat or negative drainage and crawlspaces to be at or below grade. With no frost footings to worry about it’s not uncommon to see daylight under the beams, imagine screen doors on a submarine.

The addition of gutters or other additional means of drainage comes into play on many occasions.

Changing the grade is unlikely to affect the water problem or the cracked basement wall, although it should still be done. If the wall is cracked horizontally, it should be checked for any bowing, now and at regular intervals in the future, such as monthly. Such cracking can be caused by insufficient wall thickness and/or reinforcing, hydrostatic pressure, or heavy equipment run too close to the wall. It is important to determine whether the cracking is static or dynamic.

The grade issue is to the cracked wall as a pimple is to an elephant’s derriere.

I can’t agree at all with that analogy.


Derrieres aside, I agree that it’s likely more than negative grade and an issue this serious needs to have liability passed on to a structural engineer.

I think too many people have not seen the damage that a negative grade can do over time. There’s a reason why water damage is very high up in the Top 5 (like #1) of insurance claims.

Agree. Raising the grade will NOT solve/repair an exterior crack and/or a wall bowing in. In fact, ADDING SOIL ‘could-might’ CAUSE FURTHER movement, bowing. Oh yes. This added soil, especially when WET could cause more movement because its added WEIGHT on outside against/atop a wall that has already lost x-amount of lateral resistance. Raise the grade all ya like, it cannot possibly repair an exterior crack in hollow block wall.

Adding/pouring concrete along side of house and/or over existing concrete ‘could-might’ CAUSE more movement,crack(s) widening due to WEIGHT.

For instance,scroll down about 1/2 way to ‘hydrostatic pressure’…
pic of wall bowing in. How would adding soil and sloping the soil away help solve this problem? Sure looks like grade is already sloped away. Some walls simply built like chtt and/or not backfilled the way they should be.

Adding soil doesnt SOLVE lateral pressure, doesnt remove possible roots etc against exterior of wall, doesn`t repair exterior cracks etc…NEVER has, never will.

LOOK at the PIC/wall, somebody please describe EXACTLY how adding soil, sloping it away is going to help save walls like this. Article after article read where so n so says/assumes raising-sloping grade will SOLVE 80%+ of all leaky basements....BLLCHTTT. Complete CRAP. Hey, prove these assumptions to me will ya please, show me where 80%+ of the time where these bimbos have recommended this and....5-10 YEARS down the road MANY Hos have NOT leaked. Weve SEEN, year after year, decade after decade HO after HO has TRIED all kinds of CHTT...raising-sloping grade, adding 2 mile long downspout extensions,pouring 1-2' of concrete against top 1-2' of wall,mudjacking slabs,putting in drain tile w/gravel and running chtt out to street,laying down tarps or shingles 1-2' deepn adding soil etc, they were TALKED into these things many times,didn`t solve a thing…if anything cost HO more money, wasted time, still leaked. Yeah, a couple may get L U C K Y…for…awhile.

Some fluff off possibility of termites or other insects entering SAME exterior cracks, just had another who told me i was outta my mind, i was completely full of chtt when i said termites can enter house/basements here in MI through foundation cracks. If wall is bowed in, better believe there are cracks on exterior of block wall and you cannot repair cracks by adding soil or installing an inside drain tile blllchtt system. That HO gets termites in house/basement because crack(s) were left open, then somebody needs to get poked in their azz, period. ONLY way to shut some up.
No termites in MI huh? Can`t enter house/basement through foundation cracks,huh? …How Termites Enter Homes… ‘termites can enter buildings through CRACKS, expansion joints,hollow bricks or concrete blocks around plumbing. They can find their way into a structure through an OPENING as small as 1/32 of an inch’ Foundation cracks provide hidden entry points for termites

Here`s an old link/story where HO was talked into adding soil around house which CAUSED MORE weight/pressure against basement wall, caused wall to bow in, cracks,leak.

…“Engineer found while water accumulation in basement reduced drastically(didn`t stop/prevent all) since the swale was filled with soil, the WEIGHT of the soil, when WET CAUSED the foundation wall to buckle”
Scroll down to …‘A Little crack can mean…’