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Wed Jun 8, 2016, 03:33 PM

I just bought a house in Iowa.

My inspector said to change the grade of the yard so that water flows away from the house, not towards it. Does it make sense to put more dirt next to the house and plant grass and clover on it, or should I remove dirt and grass further from the house?

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Response to roody (Original post)

Wed Jun 8, 2016, 04:17 PM

1. Retaining walls and French drains are your best friends.

Anything is better than a cellar full of water and a mildewed house.

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Response to roody (Original post)

Wed Jun 8, 2016, 10:08 PM

2. Cut and Fill

You take fill from the furthest point from the house and transfer it next to the house....done right you have a diagonal that touches the existing level at the midpoint with no need to buy fill or truck away excess...

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Response to catnhatnh (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 8, 2016, 10:59 PM

3. Thank you.

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Response to roody (Original post)

Wed Jun 8, 2016, 11:04 PM

4. If you have the room in height on the house side to add dirt that's what I wold do.

Only because I hate digging and spreading a load of dirt around can be done without hiring or renting a machine.

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 11:50 AM

9. Roody might get *free* soil from a contractor who excavated for a foundation

To extend on your idea.
I would not worry if the soil was subsoil, infertile, or a lot of clay. There are ways to get grass to grow.

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Response to roody (Original post)

Thu Jun 9, 2016, 12:22 AM

5. There is actually a lot to the answer.

I'll start with downspouts from the gutters. You can buy those accordion extenders which can shoot a lot of water past where the grade brings water back to your foundation.

That thing about bringing dirt to the house..it really is a judgement and code call.

Lots of questions come to mind. Are you doing the work yourself, how severe is the problem, do you need mechanized equipment, do you see signs in crawl space or basement of major problem.

I had a home in Ohio with soil of pure clay, and the foundation on the downside of a hill faced saturated soil freezing in the winter pushing in the foundation block.

I'm betting it's a small issue though, so grade away from the house, dirt close to house...I forget...maybe 5-6 inches from wood or shingles...make a slope to the point the water does not come back...things like that.

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Response to rusty quoin (Reply #5)

Thu Jun 16, 2016, 10:47 AM

6. Thanks. I actually "inherited" some houses. Dad is still living well at 96.

But he neglected his rental units for years. I get to fix them.

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Response to rusty quoin (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 05:04 PM

7. Word of caution about those accordion downspout extenders

 

Mosquitoes can breed in them, particularly those nasty Asian tiger mosquitoes that can breed in a half teaspoonful of water. We got rid of ours.

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Response to rusty quoin (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 11:54 AM

10. The clay soil on my house dissolved the foundation blocks and left cracks in them.

The builders added an odd extension to the house and it ruined the foundation drains on one corner of the house. When I bought it thirty five years later, there was efflorescence
on the wall as the limey cement was dissolving.

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Response to roody (Original post)

Sat Oct 8, 2016, 06:50 PM

8. DIY tips

 

I am wife and mother of 3 so when it comes to budgeting, I am very cautious, I always think if I can use something or resue something from our old stuff. Be creative.

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