The Best time to regrade your yard is during the warm season. It will make your work easier.
Regrading is the process of changing the slope of the yard. In order to create downhill angles away from your home.or other areas with drainage problems.
Water naturally flows downhill. Therefore, regrading prevents water run offs and pooling around your house.
The slopes and low spots can cause damage to your plants, trees, grass and even your home. You would not want to have cracks or a shifted foundation in your home. Would you?
Reason to regrade could be that there is a drainage problem at your neighbor’s yard. such that water drains to their side when it rains.
Or the drainage problem is in your yard. Where there are puddles of water forming at different spots when it rains. Which are not visually appealing.
In most cases, regrading is usually done in order to get that yard to slope away from the house. So that the water doesn’t pool next to the foundation of the house. And potentially cause flooding problems.
Do drainage for the downspouts. To direct the water into another direction.
You could also regrade because you just had some construction done. For example a swimming pool. And you have some excess material left that should be removed.
Regrading could also come in handy when transforming your yard. Could be from grass to having a stone yard or to having a garden all together.
You could opt to refresh the grass with new seed. While creating a uniform look on your landscape at the same time.
Another reason for regrading could be because of mold and fungus growing in the lawn. This is a sign that there is excess water in the lawn. Hence a drainage issue.
This excess water can attract mosquitoes. Or other water loving pests that could pose a threat to your family’s health.
You also regrade when there is water pooling on the sidewalks or drive way. Especially after making a new sidewalk or the latter along them.
Or the path where you walk on or drive the car to the parking. Has experienced erosion which creates a slope. Due to constant activity as compared to other parts of the yard.
Apart from getting control of where the water goes after rain. Regrading creates a more uniform slope instead of hills and low areas. Which improves the overall look of your yard.
If you already have water leaking into your basement or the neighbor’s yard. You should consider grading your yard as soon as possible.
The size of your yard will determine the type of tool you will use. Either you will till the yard by hand or using machinery.
However, oftentimes you will just need a track full of dirt and a rake or two.
If you are doing it by hand, you would use a backhoe. It is a very convenient tool to chop away at edges and dirt. And break up large holes or mounds as well.
Begin by clearing out the yard. Any stones, debris. Even out the area where it needs regrading. You get to reduce the deviation at some parts.
Take your time to observe the yard. From how it slopes to how it has some patches on it. Mark your problem areas.
From the high points to the low ones. So that when the dirt comes you know which areas to target.
The high points are where the water starts draining in the wrong direction. Hence causing the water to drain towards the house.
While the low point is where the water ends up. Usually it’s a wet spot where the water is pooling.
After finding the high and low points, determine the rise and run of your yard. This will help you establish a level grade line. Hence knowing how much grading you need to do.
The run is the horizontal distance. Or how far your highest point is from the lowest point. It needs to be a level straight line.
While the rise is the vertical distance. The number of inches that the ground is sloping from the highest point to the low points.
Bring in a different kind of soil. Especially if the one you have doesn’t support the growth of grass or any type of gardening.
This will make the yard a little bit more user friendly. Maybe even encourage you to venture into doing some gardening and having some plants
Scrape out any remaining grass before bringing in the topsoil.The top soil could include dirt, sand and compost. Dig out the high areas as well.
If it’s a big yard, use a machine to do the scraping. This is because it folds the sod into nice rolls.
The topsoil has to be used when it’s fully dry. When used while wet, you will just end up making the lawn more bumpier. While not being able to massage it into the canopies.
Therefore, you can’t regrade the yard when it is raining. And if you get the materials when they are wet, spread them out to dry first.
While regrading, the most frequent question asked is whether to use sand alone or dirt alone? Well using them both at 50/50 would be more beneficial.
Here you keep in mind that soil is an organic matter and over time it is going to break down. Which will then cause bumps in your lawn.
Therefore when you regrade, use both soil and sand. Because sand doesn’t decompose hence keeping your lawn level overtime.
Keep off the all purpose sand. Instead go for the mason sand. The reason being the all purpose sand has huge pebbles in it. Which could get sucked up while mowing.
Mason sand is more refined and can easily be incorporated with the soil.
Once you have settled on the material to use. Set up some markers with strings running from the side of your house to the high points in the yard.
Level the string then start spreading the dirt you had delivered. Or bought in bags. The string will help you gauge the slope. Ensuring that the dirt around your home is lower than the former high points.
Begin by dumping at your low point. So if the water is draining towards your house. You will want to dump soil against your foundation. So you can reverse the grade.
You will need to dump enough dirt so that the low point becomes a high point.
So check at intervals along the string. To make sure that the grade descends at the same general rate the whole way. For example, an inch of descent per every foot of distance away from the house.
Use a rake to carefully and slowly pull the dirt from your new high point to your new low point. The goal here is to change the angle of your slope.
Pack the soil down slightly once you are done. This is to make sure you are packing everything and it won’t settle too much.
Check for any traps and vents. You don’t want to be covering something important.
The finished grade should end up matching the level of existing fixtures. For example the patios and walkways. While making you happy as well.
Then seed the lawn with the grass of your choice. Toss some handfuls all over the freshly graded dirt. Slowly churn and spread the seeds lightly with a rake.
Soak the dirt with some water to give the seeds a nice drink. Then cover them with some yard clippings to help them retain the moisture. Frequent watering will enhance the rate of growth.
Once the grass starts to grow, you will be left with a great new graded yard. That will keep your home dry and the yard beautiful.
Regrading could be a better option as compared to using french drains for water control. With the latter water still flows towards your low areas. Still causing some pooling and puddling.
On the other hand, when you regrade your yard, it’s slope changes. You no longer have water problems. Since there are no longer low spots.
However, if you don’t have enough space. Such that you can’t raise the soil high enough. To be above the highest point of your yard. That you want it to slope towards. Then french draining could be the better option for you.
A french drain is a pipe with perforated holes at the top. It is buried underground so that it can direct water in another direction when it rains. Usually the drain has a slope to it.
Yard grading is something you can take on as a DIY project. With a little sweat and these helpful tips. You could have your yard graded over the weekend.
All you have to do is find your high point and low point. Then reverse them. After that use a rake to even the grade in the right direction.