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Grading refers to the slope of the ground next to your property’s foundation.


When a building is first being constructed, the hole is slightly larger than the finished foundation. After construction is completed, the space in between is then filled in with loose soil.

The challenge is that backfilled soil is never as compact as undisturbed soil. This means, over time, the ground can settle and pull away from the foundation, which results in a dip or depression and added exposure to water.


It is extremely important property owners maintain the ground — and build the ground up if necessary — so soil slopes away from the building. Most towns and cities have minimum grading requirements (click the links for the City of Regina and City of Saskatoon grading requirements). Contact your local government office if you are unsure.

Here are four other helpful tips to ensure effective lot drainage:

  1. If they are not already, disconnect your downspouts from the sewer system. This is often now mandatory in many jurisdictions.

  2. Plant a rain garden, which is a landscaping strategy to catch and disperse water in the soil near your property. Native vegetation and plants can also help resist soil erosion.

  3. Use concrete or plastic splash blocks under your downspouts to help move water away from the property.

  4. The Insurance Bureau of Canada recommends considering the use of a swale between houses to direct stormwater away from basements. These depressions are often found under property line fences.

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