Backyard Patio: Level or Sloped?

A backyard patio lets you enjoy the outdoors in seclusion. But, water that pools on an improperly sloped paver patio may undermine your foundation and attract mosquitoes and other pests.

Sloped patios help drain rainwater. The slope between the drain and the terrace guides water. This piece discusses how much slope a paver patio should have and how to fix it.

What is a Slope on a Patio?

A slope on a patio is simply the angle of the patio surface in relation to the ground. For water to drain correctly, patios must have a slight slope.

An adequately sloped patio will also resist erosion and keep rainwater from seeping into your home’s foundation.  A good rule of thumb is to create a 1/4-inch-per-foot slope.

Why Slope Matters

The purpose of the slope on your patio is twofold. First, it helps to prevent water from pooling on your patio surface. Water can cause problems for patios, including cracking, warping, mold growth, and attracting flies.

By sloping your patio away from your home or other building structures, you can help ensure that water will drain off the patio instead of sitting on top of it.

Second, the slope of your patio can also affect its overall stability. A properly sloped patio will be less likely to settle unevenly or experience other damage over time. So, if you’re looking for a durable and long-lasting patio, give some thought to the slope!

How to Determine if Your Patio Needs a Slope

You will need a laser line or string to determine if your patio needs a slope. For this example, we will use string.

1. Measure the distance from the building to the patio’s edge.

2. Multiply the distance by 1/4 or 0.25 to get the slope percentage.

3. Measure how much it was raised to make it level, then divide by 4 (for a 4-foot level) or 2 (for a 2-foot level). This gives you the drop per foot.

4. Hammer stakes into the ground at each corner of the patio and write the required height on the post nearest the building. The sixth mark is “String around all stakes to form a perimeter.”

5. Tie off the string at each stake and use a line level to adjust each side until it is level.

6. Mark the perimeter with the string to start.

7. Add the drainage base layer thickness to the slope percentage for the total depth below the starting point.

Tips for Constructing a Sloped Patio

Patio Slope
Patio Slope

When constructing a sloped patio, you need to consider a few key things: the slope, the tools you’ll need, and the type of patio.

  • The slope is significant because it determines how well your patio will drain.
  • For water to drain correctly, you must ensure that the slope is at least 1/4 inch per foot or 2%.
  • This slope should be measured from the patio’s highest to the lowest point.

The type of patio you choose will also affect how well it drains.

Paved patios must have a fall overrun instead of a rising overrun to be correctly draining.

This means there should be a 6″ drop for every 10 feet away from a building and a 5% grade. Within 10 feet of a building, patios made of any material must have at least a 1/4-inch slope per foot away from said building.

Tools you’ll need for constructing a sloped patio include a level and 2×4. It’s also helpful to have stakes and string to mark the height and slope of your patio.

Inadequate Slope on Your Patio

If your patio has an inadequate slope, it can cause water damage to your home’s foundation. You may be able to repair the slope yourself by using a leveling agent, thin-set plaster, slurry, or concrete.

If the patio is made of concrete, you can install a hydraulic jack under the slab’s edge and raise it until it is level. You can then use sand, mud, or another material to fill in the gaps and level the concrete.

However, if the patio is made of pavers, the size and slope of the pavers will determine whether or not they all need to be removed or one at a time for tiny repairs. If the patio is extensive, repairs will entail removing all the stones and fixing the base before returning the stones.

No-fail Patio Building Guide

Check out this video from Brett Landscaping for a no-fail DIY tutorial on installing patio pavers and constructing a basic patio. They are the largest makers of hard landscaping goods in the UK, and their YouTube channel is worth exploring if you’re looking for construction guidance and how-to guides.


Brett Landscaping. (2012, September 3). DIY How to Lay a Patio. YouTube. Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLHRcUUm7bc

Conclusion

So, if you’re considering adding a patio to your backyard oasis, give it the correct slope!

Not only will this help with drainage (and prevent water damage), but it will also make your patio more comfortable and inviting. And who doesn’t love spending time outdoors? Don’t worry if your current patio might need some tweaks; I’m here to assist you.

Describe your predicament in the space provided below, and I will try my best to respond with some sound suggestions in a subsequent article.

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