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Thursday, January 13, 2005

Just Say No To Crack(s)

With all of the recent rain we have been getting, now is a good time to check an important but easily overlooked aspect of your house - lot grading.  An incorrectly sloped lot can allow water to pool next to your foundation and other structures, i.e. patio slabs, pool decking and so on.  This water can cause severe damage to these structures and the cost of repairs can get quite high. 

The types of damage that can occur range from deterioration of concrete, heaving and settling of foundations and slabs, and even an increased risk for termites (those critters just love moist conditions).

There are areas of expansive soil in the valley and if you live in one of these areas, you have an increased risk of damage to your home if your grading is incorrect.  As this soil gets wet, it will swell up and as it dries it shrinks.  This movement and pressure can cause cracks and settling to your foundation, walls, interior finishes and damage to roof and attic trusses to name a few.  You can use this map to help determine if you are at an increased risk (Source: AZ NRCS).  This map will not tell you exactly what kind of soil your house is built on but it can give you an indication of potential problems.

The ground should slope away from your house.  A 1-inch drop per foot for the first 12 feet is ideal, however that is often not possible.  In most cases as long as there is a positive grade away from the house and water is draining off the lot, you should not have any problems. 

If you are not sure of the condition of your lot, you should seek a professional opinion.  Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of repair.

Click here to visit Scott Hubbard's Home Page Written By: Scott Hubbard
Certified Home Inspector, ASHI Member
Homewerx Home Inspections
Office: (480) 503-2611
Toll Free: 1-888-THE-WERX
Email me

Posted by Scott Hubbard, Arizona Home Inspector on January 13, 2005 | Permalink


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