A nice house on the beach with walkway into the sand and a suspension bridge in the background

There’s nothing quite like waterfront living, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with its own unique set of challenges. Homeowners who have never owned coastal property before are often surprised at the extra work that it requires. From dealing with the effects of saltwater corrosion to beach erosion, there’s plenty to keep you busy.

While land grading isn’t unique to waterfront properties, it does require some extra considerations and a little bit of extra care. If you haven’t given much thought to the slope of your property, then it may be time to start paying attention to this critical characteristic. This article will provide the primer you need to decide if the grade of your land requires attention.

Grading Basics

Grading might seem intimidating if you aren’t familiar with the term, but the concept is relatively simple. The slope of the land around homes and other buildings helps to direct water safely away from the structure. This type of engineering protects your foundation, reduces soil erosion, and protects your lawn and home from developing severe problems in the future.

Grading problems can be subtle, but they usually aren’t hard to recognize. Does water seem to pool towards your home after major storms? If so, then you are likely suffering from a negative grading problem. As you might expect, positive grading means that the slope of your land correctly moves water away from your foundation.

Depending on your home’s drainage systems and the foundation, you may be able to go for years without incident, even if you have a negative grade. Unfortunately, water pooling against your foundation is always a recipe for trouble. Aside from basement flooding, negative slopes can also result in tens of thousands of dollars of foundation damage.

Coastal Property Land Grade

No homeowner can ignore the effects of a negative grade for long, but coastal property owners must be especially wary. The primary concern for any waterfront property owner is always the same: storm surge. Florida residents are no strangers to storms, and major hurricanes or other weather events can lead to significant storm surge for homeowners along the coast.

While this surge of water naturally makes its way back out to the ocean, negative grade on your property can lead to additional water damage. Water can pool against your foundation or even find its way into the basement. Since seawater is inevitably salty, this surge can be unexpectedly damaging. Proper grading of your land helps to guarantee that surge water drains away as quickly as possible.

Negative Grade Correction

Fortunately, a negative grade doesn’t have to be a permanent black mark on your property or its value. If you suspect that your property may have a drainage issue, then there are several steps that you can take to correct it. To begin with, always consider hiring an experienced contractor to check the slope of your property. Subtle grading issues are not always easy to detect without a trained eye.

Once you’ve discovered that a problem exists, the work to correct it is straightforward: you must either raise the ground near your foundation or lower the ground farther away from it. Most contractors will choose to use existing soil from your property to reduce the effort, time, and cost of the project.

Fixing a negative grade is rarely an expensive project, but ignoring the problem can result in thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars of damage. Abbotts’ Construction Services, Inc. is experienced with grade work and can help you to evaluate your property and regrade your land as needed. Contact us today for your estimate!