Serving the Twin Cities Metro and surrounding area — including Wisconsin

A home is one of the most significant investments a person can make. Therefore, it’s only fitting that we aim to protect it from potential damages, and grading around the outside of a home plays an essential role in that endeavor. By ensuring proper grading, maintaining gutters and downspouts, and correctly positioning sump pump discharge, we can effectively safeguard our homes from structural damage and costly repairs.


Grading refers to the slope and contour of the land around a home. When done correctly, grading directs water away from the house, preventing it from pooling around the foundation. This is critical, as excessive water near the foundation can lead to problems such as dampness, mold, basement flooding, and even structural damage. The ideal grade should slope away from your house at least 6 inches over the first 10 feet. If your home’s grading is improper or has changed over time due to erosion, it might be time for some yard work or professional landscaping to ensure the longevity of your home.


Gutters and Downspouts

Equally important is the maintenance of gutters and downspouts, the unsung heroes in protecting your home from water damage. Gutters collect rainwater from the roof and direct it to the downspouts, which carry it away from the house. Over time, gutters can become clogged with leaves, twigs, and other debris, causing water to overflow and accumulate around the foundation. Regular cleaning, especially in autumn when leaves are falling, is crucial. In addition, ensure downspouts are free of obstructions and extend at least 5 to 10 feet away from the house. This helps keep water from seeping into your basement or damaging your foundation.


Sump Pump

Lastly, let’s consider the sump pump. It’s a crucial tool in homes with basements, as it pumps out water collected in a sump basin and keeps your basement dry. The place where the water is discharged is very important.  The ideal distance for the discharge is 20 feet from the foundation.  This distance will help prevent the water from flowing back towards the house and foundation.  


If you don’t get water in your sump pit on a regular basis, it is a good idea to dump water into the pit and let the pump run.   This quick check can help you discover any issues before storms and potentially an emergency. If your sump pump runs often, installing a back up system may be a wise investment.

The exterior maintenance of your home is just as important as interior upkeep. Ensuring proper grading, maintaining gutters and downspouts, and correctly positioning your sump pump discharge will protect your home from water damage, mold growth, and structural issues. This not only saves you from costly repairs but also maintains the value and integrity of your home, offering you peace of mind knowing your sanctuary is secure.

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