How to keep water running away from a house foundation

Updated February 21, 2017

Water running straight toward your foundation can mean disaster for your home. Excessive amounts of water actually can damage the foundation. It also can leak through the ground and get into your basement, which can cause a major flooding concern. To prevent these headaches and potential serious home repairs, take the time to keep water running away from your house foundation, rather than toward it. In the long run, the hassle it takes now will be nothing compared to the hassle saved in the future.

Find the side of your home with a higher elevation. A construction level can help you determine which direction your home slopes in if it's not clear.

Measure a space that expands the entire width of the highest elevated side of your home. This space should be about six inches wide.

Dig out the space your measured. Keep digging until you reach about two feet below the surface. This is a trench that will help keep water running away from your foundation. Taper each end of the trench until it's about equal with the rest of the ground.

Cover the bottom of the trench without about two inches of gravel.

Lay a 4-inch diameter drain pipe on top of the gravel. This is what actually will take the water away from your foundation.

Add more gravel on top of the pipe until there's only an inch of space left in the trench. You can cover the top layer of gravel with sod to conceal the trench if you wish.

Things You'll Need

  • Construction level
  • Tape measure
  • Shovel
  • Gravel
  • 4-inch diameter drain pipe
  • Sod (optional)
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About the Author

J. Johnson has been completing freelance writing work since September 2009. Her work includes writing website content and small client projects. Johnson holds a degree in English from North Carolina State University.