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Yard Grading: An Understanding of Surface Ground Level and the Rise and Fall of the Land

Yard Grading: An Understanding of Surface Ground Level and the Rise and Fall of the Land

November 30, 2023

When speaking about landscaping, the importance of yard grading, or the process responsible for making the terrain level and slope, is often underappreciated. Many homeowners are unaware of how significantly yard grading can influence the health of the property and its surrounding. In this post, we will delve into yard grading, putting a highlight on surface ground level and the rise and fall of the land.

Let's start with the surface ground level. Unbeknownst to many, the ground is not monotonously level, particularly in varying geographies. On a rudimentary level, the surface ground level refers to the lay of the land; not necessarily perfectly flat but relatively level as opposed to towering hills or penetrating valleys. Yard grading directly impacts this surface ground level by making adjustments to the terrain to achieve the desired topographic change.

Yard grading can help maintain the base level of your house's foundation by ensuring the ground level is not high, backing up toward your home. Over time, this can lead to the ground soaking in water after precipitation, causing potential damage to your home's foundation. By adequately grading the yard to slope away from the house, you can mitigate the risk of water damage. The ideal slant is between 1% to 2% for at least 10 feet away from the house, reducing the chance of water pooling around your home.

The 'rise and fall' of the land might seem like a poetic term, but it simply refers to the natural or man-made fluctuations in the terrain’s altitude. Essentially, it accounts for the hills, mounds, valleys, and depressions that come across in a particular land area. While these undulations can undoubtedly add character to a yard, when not appropriately managed, they can cause several problems. Drastic changes can lead to soil erosion, water pooling, and even foundation issues in extreme cases.

The rise and fall of land are an integral part of yard grading. Effective grading ensures the strategic placement of these elevations and depressions to support soil erosion control, water management, and creating aesthetic appeal. Respectively, the 'rise' should be applied to the areas you need to add soil, which helps direct the flow of water away from your house. Contrastingly, the 'fall' element of the yard involves removing soil to create a pathway for the water to follow safely.

Using grading equipment and stakes, landscape professionals can accurately adjust the rise and fall for efficient water flow. The correct grade can not only preserve your property but also create a more usable space for outdoor activities and landscaping aesthetics.

In conclusion, yard grading is not merely moving soil. It’s a strategic procedure that directly influences the surface ground level, and the rise and fall of the land, affecting everything from your property’s water management to its overall aesthetic appeal. It should be regarded as a critical part of the landscaping process.

By understanding and applying the principles of yard grading, homeowners can protect their investments from water damage and soil erosion while enhancing the natural beauty and function of their yards. Whether your land is seemingly flat or characterized by an uneven terrain, a professional grade can make all the difference in preserving the health and harmony of your outdoor space.