Grading and Regrading – A Complete Guide

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We have seen numerous floods and cyclones in the last few years unlike ever before. Alongside, incessant rains and climate change create an ever-increasing need for waterproofing homes. Emphasizing the same, foundation repair in Knoxville is gaining traction.

Due to variation in topography and terrains, the ground levels of different sections of your entire home can differ. Some may be above sea level and some may be below it. This can lead water to make its way into your homes. 

That’s how grading comes into the picture.

What is Grading?

Grading is a civil engineering technique used to level the ground to avoid erosion. It helps to shape the ground around the house so that it slopes rainwater away from it.

The level of the ground can be uneven for different parts of the plot. Like the yard’s grade can differ from that of the home. This decides the direction of the flow of water.

Based on this direction of the flow, grading can be of two types:

  • Positive Grading

If the level of the ground on which the home lies is higher than that of the rest of the yard, then it is positive grading. It is a good sign since all the water will flow away from the house. This will avoid any kind of water clogging in the house.

  • Negative Grading 

On the contrary, if the rest of the yard is on a higher ground level than the home itself, it is Negative grading. It can have many detrimental effects in the future since there are greater chances of water flooding the house.

Why is there a need for Re-Grading?

It is always recommended that water should flow away from the house. Else if it is towards the house it can affect the foundation of the house in case of standing water. What’s worse, blocked water is also a cause of insects and algae. Another cause of concern is the clogging of the pores of the soil. It can spoil grass on your lawn.

If you see any of these, these are the signs why you may need to regrade your house. Keeping all these factors in mind, grading can save you a lot of money

How to Re-Grade your House?

Although you get ample professional re-grading services, you can do the task on your own as well. It is challenging considering the effort and time required. Yet, with little skill and some tools, it is possible. 

Here is a simple process to follow to regrade your house and sort out these water issues.

  • Ascertain the High and Low points

High Point is from where the water flows towards your home.

The low point is where it gets collected after flowing from the higher point.

  •  Find the level grade line

Depending upon the premises, we need to measure both the vertical as well as the horizontal distance for which we need to do the grading.

The tools required for this are:

  1. Stakes
  2. Rope

The vertical distance is the “rise” and the horizontal distance is the “run”. When you find the high point, place a stake at that point. 

Similarly, put one stake at the low point. 

Connect both stakes using a rope. The length of this rope between the points is the “run” or the horizontal distance. Now the “rise” is the height of the rope from the low point, that is, the distance between the ground and rope.

  •  Dump the Soil

For the next step, you will need soil. Not a handful of it, but bags of soil to fill up your yard. For leveling, start dumping soil on the current low point. The amount of soil required must be more than the height measured (rise) so that it gets changed to the high point. We need to reverse the angle of the slope.

  •  Leveling the Soil

For this, you need a thin wooden plank. With the help of a plank, you can level out the soil in a way that more of it is towards the new high point and it gets lesser as we move to make a new low point. With the help of this plank smoothen out the entire soil.

This is an easy Do-it-Yourself solution to your grading issues. As an alternative, there are various professional services available to keep such water problems at bay. For instance, french drain or surface drain is an efficient way to solve drainage issues.

We will discuss some of those as well :

Basement Waterproofing: 

Waterproofing options are both for the internal as well as the external basement.

  •  Internal Waterproofing: This is the most efficient one since it is pocket-friendly. It involves building a ditch with a drain within the basement. A sump pump is used to suck the water out. So in case of a leak from walls or floors, a sump pump pulls the water and pushes it out of the basement.
  •  External Waterproofing: This is for waterproofing the exterior of the walls with polymers and a trench outside. The combined solution works best but costs more since the excavation of a trench is a costly affair.

Knowing the difference between interior and exterior waterproofing in detail will be ideal to make a choice.

Downspout Leader Installation: 

It is a roof piping solution built to divert the water from your home. A gutter collects all the water from the roof and is attached to a downspout. This downspout passes the water outside the house. The connection between these two is crucial because if these two are not joined properly, the water is bound to leak.


Hiring a quality foundation repair firm is essential for grading. Else any water intrusion can cost enormous sums of money. So taking care of it at the right time and having foolproof services is very critical. 

Be it for re-grading services or basic foundation repair, investing in professionals is the best way forward. At Guardian Foundation Repair, we understand the diversity in topography and provide tailored solutions. With years of experience, our professionals are adept at securing foundation integrity with long-term solutions. One call and we would be on the way to secure your foundation.

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