Boulder City Magazine is a monthly publication full of information about Boulder City and Southern Nevada. Boulder City Magazine features the Boulder City Home Guide, a real estate guide to Boulder City and Southern Nevada.

Home Care
by Scott Sauer
Advanced Structural Inspections

Grading and Drainage
A great threat to your home is water intrusion, and the older the home is, the greater the chance is that the grading and drainage have been compromised. It’s important to know how to properly evaluate these two items, since incorrect drainage can cause water to pool near your home. Drainage is facilitated by one of three methods: either with the use of drain swales, hard surfaces or area drains and soil percolation.

Drain swales are by far the most efficient form of drainage. Swales are small ditches that start in the middle of the backyard and move down the side yards to the front in an A pattern. Water is moved by grading away from the structure to the drain swales, which then move the moisture to the front of the home. As part of regular maintenance, you should inspect around the yard to insure that the grade is moving all moisture away from the structure and your yard walls. Drain swales are sometimes compromised by the addition of hard surfaces and landscaping. If you have created areas near the home that will hold moisture, then be sure to use proper grading to move the moisture as far away from the home as possible.

Hard surfaces, area drains, and soil percolation are not ideal. Drains tend to become clogged, hard surfaces and soil percolation may tend to cause the ground to settle. You should regularly monitor the area drains and insure that they stay clear of leaves and other debris. Grading should move moisture to the area drains where it is then moved out of the yard. If hard surfaces begin to settle, they may direct moisture toward the structure. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do for this condition other than replacing or removing the concrete. Any areas near the structure where water cannot drain, such as planters or areas sealed by walkways, prevent moisture from draining and create soil percolation. It’s very important to limit the amount of moisture in these areas as the soil can expand like a sponge. The expansion of the soil near the foundation can generate enough pressure to move the entire home, therefore damaging the foundation.

For more information, contact Scott at

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688 Wells Rd #A
Boulder City, Nevada 89005
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