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Grading and Drainage

Photographs of landscape grading and drainage issues found during home inspections.

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gradingintohouseThis home sits on a hill, so the rain water will flow down the rear side of the home. This happens to be the garage on this house. On one side, there is a curb which directs water into a ditch. A solution for this side may be to create a garden bed with a wall to direct water to the side of the house, allowing it to continue down the hill without pooling by the home.

downspout in the airI wish that builders, homeowners, and installers would think more about how gutters should be installed. This downspout was over my head in the area of the breaker box. The gutter is supposed to direct water away from the home. This “shower” causes more problems.


This splashguard at the downspout is turned in the wrong direction. This is great for mosquitoes, and to cause moisture problems for the home in this area.

gutter on path

This is a common building practice, which I feel could have been resolved with a little thought. Gutters dumping water on the front walkway can be problematic during a heavy rain. This could become a slip and fall spot. What can be the solution? A covered walkway to the entrance would bring the gutter downspout to the garden, but you could also create an entrance portal which carries the gutter over the walkway. Think of the trellises which create an entrance to a garden. A small wall with portal could be added here.

gutter by foundation

The downspout moves away from its original location, yet the water is still coming out by the foundation. This can cause a depression in the grading, which will allow water to pool by the foundation. This water can cause expansive clay soil to expand, thus causing a foundation problem. Downspouts should move water away from the home.

permeable driveway

In Houston, we have a new few based upon the amount of impervious surface present on our property. Rain water cannot drain through concrete, helping to cause flooding. There are ways homeowners can reduce these hard surfaces by having a green driveway. In the photograph, we see a drive made with a decorative block that allows rain water to filter through. What you need to examine is what is in the holes. Compacted soils will not drain. In this case we have sand, which does drain, but it also can flow away. Some type of planting would hold the material in place, while still allowing drainage.

© Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Home Inspector Houston, Texas
Frank Theodor Schulte-Ladbeck
home inspector, TREC# 9073
Houston , Texas , 77063 United States
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