How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes

How much is the ground required to slope away from a house?

Saturday, June 30, 2018

The minimum drainage slope of the ground around a home is 6 inches of drop in the first 10 feet away from the home, according to the International Residential Code (IRC) and the Florida Building Code (FBC - R401.3), and this applies to all sides of the home. Where the house is closer to the property line than 10 feet, or walls or other barriers prevent compliance, drains or swales should be constructed to ensure adequate drainage away from the house. Impervious surfaces within 10 feet of the home, such as a driveway, are required to be sloped a minimum of 2 percent away from the house, which equals approximately 1/4 inch per foot.

    Draining rainwater away from the home is important to protect your home’s foundation. Although a new home gets inspected by the local building department to be sure it meets these requirements, we often see older homes in which the homeowner’s landscaping has mounded soil that unintentionally reversed the slope of the ground towards the home. This seems to happen most often at inside corners of exterior walls, a place where a lot of water is running off the valley between two intersecting slopes of the roof above—exactly where it is most important keep water from ponding near the foundation.

    Also, see our blog post How do I look for yard drainage problems when buying a house?

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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about a home’s SITE:

Why do so many more sinkholes open up after a hurricane? 

Are house numbers required by law on the front of a house?

Should I seal the pavers at my patio and driveway or not? 

What is a flag lot?

• What is a chimney sinkhole?

How do I recognize structural problems in a retaining wall?  

What are the warning signs of a sinkhole? 

What causes sinkholes?

How can homebuyers protect themselves against buying a house over a sinkhole?  

What should I do about a tree with roots running under my house?

Will the electric company trim branches rubbing against the overhead service lines to my house?

How can trees damage a house? 

•  What causes cracks in a driveway?

• What is my chance of buying a Florida home over a sinkhole? 

    Visit our SITE page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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