Making sure you understand the landscape around you is important before you break land. Here is why landscape grading is a crucial part to building.
There is a lot to think about when you are building a property.
With zoning rules, budgets and timescales all pressing concerns, grading your land can easily slip down your priority list. But if you fail to properly grade your landscape, you will be setting yourself up for a host of problems down the road.
Read on to learn why landscape grading is a crucial part of building your property.
What is Landscape Grading?
You can’t successfully build on uneven ground. Landscape grading (or land leveling) is the process of creating a smooth landscape to build on.
This ensures there are no unwanted variations in gradient around the property. This is to prepare the land for specific landscape elements and provide a level surface for foundations.
As well as creating a level surface, landscape grading provides some important functions both pre and post construction.
Why is it Important?
When construction takes place on the uneven ground, drainage and other problems can become a real issue. Here are some of the reasons why landscape grading is so important.
With the weather getting more extreme, it is now more important than ever to ensure your site is draining properly.
If grading hasn’t been done right water won’t drain where you want it to. Instead of flowing away from the building, it might flow towards it instead. This can lead to some very serious problems in the long run.
In cases of heavy rainfall, this could cause water build up around the foundations. This, in turn, leads to erosion and damage. Not only that, it also poses a flood risk to the interior of the property and all the damage that comes with it.
You also want the water to flow in the right direction, as it could flow into neighboring lots. If this causes them a problem, you can be sure that problem will then become yours too!
Damage to Vegetation and Garden Landscaping
If you are building a property with a garden, you don’t want to see it washed down the storm drain!
There are also long-term effects to consider. If your soil becomes too water-logged, this won’t just kill off any existing plants.
Water takes up the pore space where oxygen should be. With no oxygen, plant roots cannot survive. This will leave the plant with no way of getting the needed water and nutrients. The soil will be impossible to plant on in the future if it remains waterlogged.
If you have failed to properly grade the property, by the time you come to landscaping you may find that the land has become unsuitable for plants. This far down the line, it can be costly and time consuming to fix.
Discourages Standing Water
The collection of standing water doesn’t only cause damage to your garden landscaping.
As well as being unsightly and potentially causing nasty smells, standing water also brings hazards. Mosquitoes carry nasty diseases and are attracted to standing water to lay their eggs. The increased moisture levels also encourage mold in and around the property.
Ensuring correct and adequate drainage protects family members and employees.
Landscaping Foundations and Increased Stability
Landscape grading isn’t only practical. Having well thought out, precise landscape grading can go a long way for the aesthetics of the property.
Landscape grading is often done to put in place specific features like patios or driveways. It is also used to create layers to the garden by utilizing stairs, embankments, and slopes. Around this, you can place flower beds and features to enhance the look of the garden.
Some landscape features or building foundations also have stability issues to consider. Things like rock walls or water features may need you to reinforce the area around them.
Improving the water drainage and soil quality can go a long way in providing this stability. You can also feature stones and large rocks in your design to help with this.
Topography can have a huge impact on how people perceive and move across your property. Features like ponds, paths and driveways all re-direct and dictate traffic. A more welcoming property will be nicer to live in and has a higher resale value.
Large flat spaces encourage wandering and exploration. Varying gradients will see people sticking to the lower levels.
If you have a particular entrance to the property you wish to direct people to you can use landscape grading to guide people where you need them to be.
Landscape grading is great for enhancing the aesthetic appeal and leaves you in control of how people move across your property.
What Can Happen if My Property Isn’t Graded Right?
The most serious problem you will see is the damage large amounts of water can do to your foundations.
If too much water soaks into the soil beside the foundations, this causes hydrostatic pressure. The weight of the water and the downward pull of gravity causes a heavy weight next to the foundations.
If left, this hydrostatic pressure will lead to cracks in the foundations, structural damage and soil erosion.
Water can also seep into the walls or even the basement. This moisture can cause rising damp, a problem that is both time-consuming and expensive to fix.
Landscape Grading – Don’t Forget It!
As you can see, reliable and precise landscape grading is crucial to any building project. By doing it you giving yourself a solid, level base for which to build off.
You are also ensuring correct long-term drainage. This prevents water damage to your property and the landscape around it which will save you time and money in the long run.
Check out our blog for more tips that anyone preparing to build a property shouldn’t be without.
If you are looking for help with professionally grading your property, then you can contact us. We will be more than happy to help as our team of expert engineers can provide efficient and effective designs to suit your needs.