Grading land around house to keep water from entering basement

I have a small house where there is a substantial slope toward the basement in the rear of the house from the midpoint of the backyard (about 30 ft.) that causes the house's basement to leak. (The furthest part of the backyard away from the basement slopes away from the house and that is where I would direct the water to.) I have been told numerous times that keeping water away from a house is 90% of the solution to a leaky basement. I am wondering whether it is possible for me to obtain the dirt necessary to change the slope (At some points, I will need 2 ft. of dirt to raise the slope up the back wall) and to do this work myself. Also, I would appreciate tips on commonly made mistakes in this type of work so that I could avoid them if I decide to do this work myself.
Thanks,
JD
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digitalmaster wrote:

Last time I checked topsoil and/or fill is readily available just about everywhere. Whether you can do it depends on what shape you are in and how much time you have. You can also rent a Bobcat or similar to make it a lot easier.
The bigger question is whether it is really possible. There aren't that many houses where you can raise the grade 2 ft at the house without running into problems like the siding, existing sidewalks, entrance doors, patios, etc. But if it takes 2ft to fix this, clearly something needs to be done, cause that's a hell of a slope in the wrong direction.
Assuming it's raised 2ft at the house wall, what pitch does that give?
Also, I would appreciate tips on commonly

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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net says...

Yes. In this case, it may be better to create a swale in the yard on that side of the house.
Banty
--


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On 6 Jul 2006 11:43:32 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@spamgourmet.com"

You shouldn't need any more dirt than in already in your yard. You just move dirt from where you want the low spot to where you want the high spot, until it is so.
Note, of course that this only works if there is some point on your property that's lower than either.
The most common mistakes are, in no particular order, (A) Piling dirt somewhere to keep water away without providing a place for the water to go, (B) Pissing of the neighbors and/or municipality by dumping excess water someplace you shouldn't. (C) Hitting something important while digging. (D) Letting your trench collapse and damage your equipment, your house, or your body.
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wrote:

(E) Getting all liquored up and finding out how much fun it is to drive a Bobcat.
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snipped-for-privacy@spamgourmet.com wrote:

You are absolutely correct. Fix the grade and direct the gutters away from foundation and you will most likely have solved your water problem.
Could you do a combination of lowering the grade in the middle/back of the yard and raising it at the house? If so, you could just move the dirt from one area to the other. When your order fill, if you really do need it, try and have it dumped in the area you need it. Sounds like an opportunity to rent a small bobcat! If you don't feel that ambitious a landscaper would be the guy to call.
Also - If you really want to get ambitions, do what I did.
I have a 12' deep by 5' wide hole in the back of my yard. Its filled with 1-2" rocks. All downspouts (And basement sump pump) go through under ground pipes into the hole (Called a dry well). It takes some planning to make sure gravity does all the work at moving the water to the dry well. At the top of the dry well a pipe exits and has a grate on it. This lets air out when water goes into the well, it also serves as an overflow. Inside the dry well the pipe is perforated. Dirt covers the well and grass grows. All we see is the overflow/vent pipe.
Good luck
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No wrote:

Thanks for the suggestion about moving the dirt from the high point to the low point. However, I have 2 large elm trees in the backyard (One of which is definitely going because it is dying, and the other which I may get rid of because it is too close to the house -- but it will be expensive to move), and I suspect that getting the dirt from the high spot to the low spot may be difficult because there are probably a lot of roots in the backyard. Am I correct in thinking that digging will be difficult in the high spot because both trees are within 15 feet of the high spot.
Thanks,
JD
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snipped-for-privacy@spamgourmet.com wrote:

If lowering the high area in the middle is the right solution, I wouldn't let roots from 2 trees be an obstacle. Get a backhoe in there for a few hours and the problem is solved. Also, by moving the soil, you will save on the cost of buying topsoil, which could more than pay for the backhoe.
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snipped-for-privacy@spamgourmet.com wrote:

That is wrong. It is 95% of the solution. Another 4% is moving the water from your roof away from the house.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
  Click to see the full signature.
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BEEN THERE DONE ALL THIS:(
The problem largely depends on WHERE that water is coming from. If your in just a little bit of a valley or place where water flows underground all that earth moving will perhaps look nice but accomplish nothing.
certinally downspouts must direct water well away from foundation, and gutters clean so they dont overflow dumping water at foundation. futher grade should be away from home.
I DID ALL THIS!!! and it didnt help much, just slowed the volume a little.
finally got inside french drain with sump pump and that was the end of the problem.
the outside work cost over 8 grand including new sidewalks near home, but it didnt help the water table was just below the level of the floor.
the interior drain at 4 grand might have saved me a ton of money, and unreal amount of work putting in new lawn and all that went with it.
run some estimates for backhoe etc, fill dirt, recommend drain in area with gravel to keep water away from foundation.
then price interior french drain and decide.....
theres the right way, regrading yard removing trees etc.
then theres the easy way, interior drain, which is standard equiptement on most new homes today.
Honestly I enjoyed ther BIG DIG as that summer was named here. could of cried when it didnt fix the problem:(
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Haller,
The house is actually on top of a small knoll, but certain specific areas near the house drain toward the house. I would doubt that the water table would be a problem.
Thanks,
JD
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you might be surprised, a friend worked for a water well driller and claimed sometimes they hit a lot of water on top of hill very shallow. apparently springs go uphill or something with the right conditions.
do price the interior french drain even just for the effected area of basement. just for the heck of it estimates are FREE.
you might be surprised that for just the cost of one pro tree removal you could fix the water problem from inside and avoid a ton of work mess and save big bucks......
having been tru this you now know theres another solution, very valuable just in case the outside work still leaves moisture issues...
Incidently a friend who happens to live at the top of a hill decided to dig a dry well for his downspout drains. they were dumping water right at his homes foundation..........
He began digging by hand, wanted the exercise, don is a long distance runner,
at 6 feet he hit mud, by 8 feet running water and gave up. all some 30 feet from his home
his downspouts now go to the curb...
water is very specific to location, his next door neighbor had a backhoe in for sewer work.
one area down 12 feet DRY, got 20 feet away water flooded entire trench, they had to pump it out.
backhoe operator says that happens a lot./
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" snipped-for-privacy@spamgourmet.com"

Lotsa French Drain talk here. I really didn't know what it was so I Googled it. Turns out I did know what it was but not by name.
What I was surprised at though was possibly creating a termite problem!!!
See TERMITE PROBLEMS WITH FRENCH DRAINS topic at     http://www.unexco.com/french.html
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