Trouble determining grade against the house

I’m am having Trouble determining grade of the lawn that is against the house when it is close to level. Do you guys have a trick in. Determining grade?

R401.3 Drainage. Lots shall be graded to drain surface water away from foundation walls. The grade shall fall a minimum of 6 inches within the first 10 feet.

I know that, I can’t see it easily. I was wondering if you guys have any tricks in seeing a grade that is + or - of the 6” per 10’?

I eye ball it normally. I did a grade inspection for someone who bought a new home and had drainage problems so I did the following to provide evidence to the builder.
Go buy a 10ft pvc gutter downspout. Put one side against the house on the ground, and put a level on top the of other end. Once level then measure the bottom of it to the ground.

A line level, string, and a stake would be cheaper and would fit in the toolbox. You keep a downspout in the truck? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00002N5NZ/ref=psdc_553256_t3_B00EC8MW5C

I goes in the report as default along with a pic that grade needs improvements. 99% of the homes inspected needs grade improvements.

In my mind I would think that a 3in drop in 10 feet” or so should be considered a “need improvement “ commit, “- “grade is a “defect “ and need of repair?

No, I said I typically eye ball it. I used that technique to provide evidence for a home owner that having flooding and was getting the run around from their builder. Was only $10 and light weight.

My comments.
"The exterior drainage is generally away from the foundation with any exceptions noted.

Lot grading and drainage have a significant impact on the building, simply because of the direct and indirect damage that moisture can have on the foundation. It is very important, therefore, that surface runoff water be adequately diverted away from the home. Lot grading should slope away and fall a minimum of one (1) inch every foot for a distance of six (6) feet around the perimeter of the building.

While performance of lot drainage and water handling systems may appear serviceable at the time of inspection, the inspector cannot always accurately predict this performance as conditions constantly change. Furthermore, items such as leakage in downspout/gutter systems are very difficult to detect during dry weather. Inspection of foundation performance and water handling systems, therefore, is limited to visible conditions and evidence of past problems."

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Laser levels are the easiest way to go. Either the plumb/level combination type, or the rotary laser level.:sunglasses:

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