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Don't do it!!!

Posted by Henry in MI on April 17th, 2001 05:55 PM
In reply to Need information about removingsoil from next to house by Kelly on April 17th, 2001 03:58 PM [Go to top of thread]

Hi, Kelly. There are regional differences and the part of the country that you are in and your local soil conditions depend a lot on the "right" answer to this question.

In most of the country, particulary places with a lot of rain or other precipitation and heavy soil, that soil that makes your yard other than level is also keeping your basement dry. Your roof will shed a lot of water that concentrates around your house, even if most of the water comes out downspouts. From there, the water runs away from the house on top of the soil. The further that you can get this water, the drier your basement will be. Driveways and patios sloped toward your house make it even easier for the water to collect next to your basement and it will eventually find it's way in. Water always wins. The "cure" for a wet basement can get very expensive. If you are on the side of a hill, this becomes more critical. Water will come down the hill and, if not diverted, will tend to puddle next to the house and bring problems. One "cure" for this is to build up the soil next to the house.

We need to know a whole lot more to be able to make a more specific suggestion for your particular situation. Even then, without seeing the whole neighborhood and knowing about the soil, not just on the top of your lot but also what's under that, we really should not comment. If your basement is dry now, don't change it without a lot of investigation. A landscape architect, at your local garden center perhaps, should be able to give you some ideas on what you can do or how to disguise what you don't like and the cost might not be much more than for buying a lot of flowers and plants from his garden center. But once you have his plan, have it checked by the Building Department of your local community to see if they think that it will lead to future drainage problems. If you run a lot of water onto your neighbors place, they could sue you also if their basement collapses or they get a flooded basement. Having the plan checked and approved would make the suit a lot more difficult to win. There are also county drain commissioners who also have the responsibility to check things like this.

Sorry about the long and boring response, but some places in the country also have to add water to their soil during times of drought. You can't win--water always wins.

Henry in MI

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  • Thanks! by Kelly  4/18/01 12:33 AM

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