Have you ever wondered why some of the areas in your yard are uneven and collecting rain or irrigation water? It may be the cause of unlevel yard or draining issues. If not treated early, you may be endangering your plants, trees, and even your house.
Regrading means leveling your yard or moving the uneven slope away from your house. You would want to transfer the lowest point of your yard to somewhere where it cannot destroy your property. Proper planning and preparation are important to ensure that your backyard project will be successful.
When you notice water pooling near your house, it’s important to investigate the situation as soon as you can. If left unchecked, there may be shifting on the foundation of your house and cracks on the building in the long run.
Read on to learn more about whether your backyard might need regrading and how to do so. In this article, we will tackle the early signs indicating that your yard needs regrading and how to properly regrade your yard.
What Is Regrading?
Regrading is a process that consists of leveling your yard or any type of land to encourage the proper flow of the drainage. As mentioned above, when your yard is uneven and the slope leads to your house, it could lead to potential damages to the overall foundation and structure of your house.
Additionally, you want to regrade your lawn before you can install new projects in your yard, which may include hardscaping, landscaping, or building a swimming pool. This will ensure that your land is even and won’t damage your project in the years to come.
Removing the possible stagnant water in your yard can prevent unnecessary bugs and mosquitoes that may endanger your plants and family. Lastly, you don’t want your family and guests to come across stagnant water on your lawn because it’s not only dirty, but it can also ruin your events.
Pipes are not only found inside your house. In fact, there are numerous pipes buried in your backyard that serve different purposes. If they start showing up in your lawn, you need to identify what kind of pipe they are and deal with them accordingly. Read our article to know how to identify pipes sticking out of the ground in your property.
Signs that Your Yard Might Need Regrading
To know whether your yard might need regrading or not, it’s important to check for the following symptoms in your yard:
- Clear signs of an uneven landscape that slopes down toward your house could pose potential dangers to the foundation of your home.
- Water sliding inside your crawl space or basement.
- Water pooling near the perimeter of your house could lead to mold growth due to the constant dampness of the area.
- Bumps or lumps in your yard near trees and exposed tree roots. Topsoil erosion is one of the signs that you should look out for in your yard.
- Water pooling on your driveway and hardscape. You should be extra vigilant when you see this sign as it can cause damages and cracks to your structural elements.
- Wear and tear in your yard. Check your shrub/tree removal, high foot traffic patterns, and utility to see if there is water pooling in.
- Fungi and mold growth in your yard are caused by standing water and can be a source of bugs and mosquitoes.
If you checked out all these signs, it means that you definitely need to level your yard as soon as possible. If you’re fond of do-it-yourself projects, you can fix these problems on your own. But if you want to make sure that all these issues go away and don’t return in the future, then it’s best to contact a professional.
A landscaper will help you find and mark all the low and high areas of your yard and where the water starts draining and pooling. They will then calculate which areas have the best vertical slope and distance. Once all of the calculations are correct and the materials are all there, they will regrade your backyard and create a proper drainage system to avoid water pooling in the future.
How to Regrade Your Backyard
If you’re unsure about whether to hire a professional landscaper or not, here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how you can successfully regrade your backyard.
1. Preparation and planning
The first thing you want to do is prepare your backyard. Measure and survey it thoroughly to ensure that you know where to put the drainage system. Draw the existing pipes and drains, backyard sheds, trees, and other fixtures of your yard. The more detailed your planning, the better.
2. Find the low and high points
Mark the low and high areas of your yard. The low points are where the water pools in, while the high points are where the water starts to drop toward the low points. In most cases, you’ll find the low and high areas near each other or there will be a path through which the water flows and heads toward the lowest point.
It’s best to use a stake to remember where the high area starts and ends. Also, measure the height difference of the low and high points and the distance between one another.
3. Determine the level grade line
After marking all the low and high points in your yard, the next thing to do is determine the level grade line to be used for your entire yard. That is when you’ll decide where the “run” and “rise” will be located for you to properly create a good drainage system.
“Run” is the distance of the stakes horizontally. As mentioned earlier, it’s important to measure the distance between the stakes you’ve put on your yard. Use a string to connect both stakes. The length of your string is what we call the “run.”
“Rise” is the distance of the stakes vertically. Once you’ve determined the “run” in your stakes, it’s time to measure the “rise.” That is where you’ll measure the string of the low point stake all the way to the ground.
When doing this step, it’s important that you use measuring tools to ensure that you create a leveled and even yard. Never conduct this process using your eyes only as you might end up with a worse drainage system than before.
Now comes the easy part.
4. Order dirt for your backyard
Now that you’ve prepared, planned, and measured your yard, it’s time to order the right amount of soil to even out your yard. You can use your preferred soil for your yard if you plan to have a garden in the future.
5. Dump your topsoil on the low point
The next thing to do is put your dirt on the low point area. Make sure to put enough soil on the area where it can reach and be even on your high point. If the low point is found near the foundation of your house, put more soil on it, so that you can reverse the flow of your drainage.
6. Smoothen the dirt
Once everything is set, smoothen out your dirt. Remember to make sure that your previous low point is higher than your high point. This will ensure that the flow of the water will change and go in the opposite direction (preferably outside your yard).
And you’re all done!
You can top the dirt off with new grass or plants. Not only will it be more appealing but it will also prevent your new soil from becoming a problem again. Just make sure that you keep monitoring your backyard from time to time to ensure that there is no water pooling happening again.
Trees contribute to the beauty and shade of your lawn. Even though they are helpful, they may cause underlying problems, such as root exposure, which can result in damages to your property and the death of the tree. Leveling your yard is the solution to this problem. If you don’t know how to do this task, read our article to learn how to level a yard with tree roots.
No one likes a muddy and soggy yard. Constant water pooling in your backyard will not only kill your plants and ruin your lawn, it can also lead to structural damages in your house, especially if the water is pooling near your foundation. Once you see constant water pooling, it’s time to decide to have your yard regraded.
Regrading your backyard is important if you notice the signs we’ve mentioned above. Whether you hire a professional landscaper or create your newest do-it-yourself project, what’s important is that you solve this issue as soon as possible to ensure that you’re not endangering the foundations of your house and ruining your backyard.