LOT GRADING; WHY IS IT IMPORTANT
Tuesday Apr 19th, 2022
Lately, I have gone on home inspections and one of the deficiencies that seems to come up is the Lot Grading. Hence, my reason for writing this article about it, as many of us after living in a house for a few years don't realize that if your lot grading is not right (ie adjusted to the slope of the land around your home so that it pulls away from your foundation and towards a drain in your yard or a storm or a storm drain away from your home) you will eventually have water seeping into your basement which will cause cracks to the basement walls
The Lot Grading Bylaw ensures all new residential or commercial buildings have a properly graded lot with surface water drainage directed away from the structure and towards drainage runways.
So, who decides the grading on the property? In most cases, new residential lots must have a grading plan that meets Planning specifications. The builder is responsible for final lot grading. Over the long term, it's the homeowner's responsibility to maintain proper grading around the property.
Over the years, it's natural that soil becomes compacted or is eroded away. So from time-to-time, it needs to be "topped up". The grading can also be "accidently" altered through landscaping. Planting trees or changing the elevation in one part of the yard can alter the slope a property needs to have if it's going to "flow" surface water properly. This includes not blocking Culver (a tunnel that carries water) or altering a swale (a shallow, subtle, channel that directs rainwater runoff). Planting a tree in the wrong place can block these drainage paths.
If landscaping is part of your outdoor plan, be sure the professional you hire respects the proper grade for your property and that new plans keep water flowing in the right direction.