wood on cement foundation Colorado

Old 06-18-16, 10:13 PM
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wood on cement foundation Colorado

I purchased a 60 year old ranch on a crawl space. The wood on the foundation is visible from outside the house. There is siding, then a setback of 6 inches or so to the wood then cement foundation. I was told that dirt should not touch that wood, but I recently had my property re-graded and the grader pushed dirt up against that wood. I don't have excessive water issues in the crawlspace, but there has definitely been some intrusion over time due to poor grading and drainage. The two ends of the home have no gutters! Additionally, the land around two sides of my home was dumping water into my foundation, hence the regrading.

1st question - do I need to pull all that dirt back out away from the wood?
2nd question - it was suggested that I pour a cement curb or sidewalk around the house with the correct grade to direct the water away. I assume a rock bed angled away from the house would accomplish the same thing?

I may be overreacting, since I've done the grading and am working on the gutters. It just bothers me that there isn't anything to protect that wood from snow/rain.
Old 06-19-16, 02:01 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

You never want the soil to touch the wood, especially if the wood isn't PT and rated for ground contact!!! Whoever graded the lot should have known better. You always want a minimum of 6" clearance between the ground and the wood - some climates work better with more.

If you post some pics that show how the grade interacts with the wood we might be able to come up with better suggestions. The pic should show the lay of the land along with the bottom of the house.
Old 06-19-16, 05:45 AM
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As Mark mentioned, the ground should not be any closer than 6" to the wood, so he did you a disservice by grading it too high. Water splashes on the wood, rotting it... and termites can more easily get in the house when the grade is too close. It also makes it impossible to paint it if you don't have room to get your brush in there. The regrading should have maintained 6" to grade, with at least 1 foot of slope for the first 10' away from the house. You should have gutters and long downspouts, that would likely solve your problem. Blocks can be put under the downspouts if you want to extend them a little further, or you might be able to install underground drainage and popups that are farther from the house. Gutters obviously do not get installed on the gable ends of the house.

I am not a fan of concrete around a house. People think concrete stops water and in some respects it will, but it also creates maintenence... caulking the gap where the slab and foundation meet... and it prevents the ground underneath the slab from drying... so it may not help in your case. I am guessing the ground level in your crawlspace must be lower than the grade outside?

A rock bed may do the opposite of what you want. Digging a ditch and filling it with rock will just attract water since it's basically still a ditch. So I would not suggest you do that either, unless you want a moat around your house.

I would call your guy back out and have him pull that 6" of dirt away and spread it out.

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