Negative grading is an issue that is commonly found during Ohio home inspections. Due to the amount of rainfall we get the soil around home erodes some each year. When we do inspections on homes that are only 11 months old (we do this with what we call an 11 month home warranty inspection just before the builder’s one year warranty ends) we find grading issues.
The soil around the new home will settle a lot the first few years creating the negative slope. The issue with soils sloping down towards the home can result in water accumulating around the structure’s foundation, or in basements and crawl spaces. Wet soil and the pressure it can exert (especially when it freezes and expands) may also cause the foundation to settle and possibly fail over time. Accumulated water is a conducive condition to wood destroying insects and organisms.
The soil should slope down and away from the structure in all areas. A common recommendation is that the grade should drop at least 6 inches within the first 10 feet. Some people will take soil from 10-12 away from the home and bring it next to the home as a way to improve the grading. It is also important to ensure that the downspouts direct water away from the home as far as reasonable.
When there is a downspout with no extension and negative grading in the same location it is a matter of time until more issues will develop. If you are moving to the Columbus Ohio area then you should contact Habitation Investigation for your home inspection. Schedule online or call 614-413-0075