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How To Level A Sloping Concrete Patio

How Much Slope Should A Patio Have

How To Pour A LARGE Concrete Patio Slab (With 3″ Slope)

The lay of the land is a key consideration when placing and building a patio, and ensuring it falls so it sheds water quickly. Surfaces stretching out from a building should move water away from the structure. It may be necessary to angle the grade towards one end or even a corner depending on its relationship to foundation walls and the flow of the ground.

The slope, setbacks, and materials also may be governed by local ordinances and codes that differ from other areas. It is best to check locally for any requirements or restrictions.

What Slope Is Too Steep

The minimum required drainage grade within 10 feet of a building, according to the IRC, is 5%. Most disability associations identify a maximum 1:12 slope for unassisted wheelchair movement.

Sidewalks must have a longitudinal slope of 1:20 or less, or they are classed as a ramp. The lateral slope of a sidewalk cannot exceed 5%, and for comparison, the maximum recommended slope for a golf green is 3%.

Many restaurants set up patios on existing sidewalks with a slope of 2% to a maximum of 5%, which supports the practice that the maximum slope of a patio is 5% or 5/8 per foot. Furniture sitting with the grade may not experience much from a 2% patio grade at all. You may, however, feel a tilt if diagonal or perpendicular to the grade if it is 5%.

Some individuals argue that a 2% slope is too much and worry that their glass will spill. A 1/4 per foot translates into 1/16 in 3 the base diameter of a wine bottle and most glasses have a smaller base, so experience less of a deviation. A 2% grade wont negatively affect your outdoor enjoyment.

What Is The Minimum Slope For Drainage

The minimum slope for drainage under Section R401.3 of the IRC is a fall of 6 or more in the first 10-feet out from a building or a 5% grade. Proper drainage is important to protect structures from moisture damage and erosion.

Drainage pipes fall under plumbing codes and need a minimum slope of 1/4 every foot. They may slope to a maximum of 3 per foot, or run vertically. The minimum slope for hardscape or patios within ten feet of a building is 1/4 per foot or a 2% grade away from the dwelling.

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Lay Out The Rebar Grid

Cut and bend pieces of rebar to form the perimeter reinforcing. Splice the pieces together by overlapping them at least 6 in. and wrapping tie wire around the overlap. Wire the perimeter rebar to rebar stakes for support. Then cut and lay out pieces in a 4-ft.-on-center grid pattern. Wire the intersections together. Youll pull the grid up into the center of the concrete as you pour the slab.

Level Sloped Concrete Pad

Level Concrete Patio for Drainage

A level sloped pad probably sounds like an oxymoron, but consider the end of a driveway as it slopes down into the street. In this case, the concrete needs to be level horizontally with an equal slope on each side vertically. The key is not only preparing the ground to be level from side to side but also choosing the right kind of concrete and adding it in the right way.

Once in place, level the concrete with 2x4s placed over the top of the frame walls and leave it to set. This should leave you with an angled concrete pad that is even and level to itself and made to fit the grade of your slope.

Things You Will Need

  • Steel or other support frame

  • Lumber

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How To Level A Concrete Floor That Slopes

For over a millennial, concrete has been used as a foundation material. It has massive strength and durability. A concrete object can last for decades if not a whole lifetime of your house. It is excellent for a steady base for an infrastructure.

During the older era, housing was built with sloping concrete floors. These floors are something to worry about. If you own an older house and want to install hardwood or laminate on your flooring, this will become an issue. To solve this issue, you can level the concrete floor. That way, you will get rid of the uneven floor. By doing so, you will also have a smooth and sleek surface ideal for another material.

You can always call a professional to do this job. However, hiring often can be quite expensive. This article will show you how to level a concrete floor that slopes by yourself.

Code Requirements For Patios

The main concern for most codes is people and building safety. So, ensuring patios are constructed to meet safe usage requirements, dont interfere with egress, and wont cause damage to the structure which could lead to injury are important.

The 2018 IRC is used by many States and jurisdictions to guide their codes. Some States use older versions of the IRC, and others use completely different regulations.

Section R401.3 addresses drainage and requires the grade or slope to fall 6 or more in the first 10-feet. An exception is impervious or hardscape surfaces like patios within 10 of a building, they must have a 2% or greater slope away from the structure.

A 2% grade is 1:48 or 1-inch every 4-feet or 1/4 per foot. In addition to the building code, many home associations and communities may have other unique requirements.

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How To Pour A Level Concrete Pad On Unlevel Ground

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There are a number of reasons you may need to pour a level concrete pad in your yard. Maybe you need a pad to anchor the bottom of a new set of stairs from your porch, or maybe youre looking to repour a part of your driveway that needs work and are pouring concrete on a slope. While working with unlevel ground can be tricky, the basic steps of pouring concrete remain the same no matter what: build a frame, support the frame and pour the concrete. The question is: How does the slope interact with this process?

Guide To Leveling An Uneven Exterior Concrete Slab

A-1 Concrete Leveling Pittsburgh – Concrete Patio Repair

Uneven exterior concrete slabs are both inconvenient and pose a considerable risk to peoples safety. If one intends to build anything or lay down outdoor tiles on a slab, it must be as even as possible.

There are several ways one can level an uneven slab, including completely replacing the concrete slab, covering it with a leveling compound, or even grinding it. Grinding is quite efficient, especially when dealing with a large surface area.

Today concrete leveling compounds are available in most hardware stores, making it easier for people to level uneven slabs in a DIY manner. The compounds are placed on top of the already existing concrete, which allows room for repairs on the sunken points that may cause problems.

Guide to leveling an uneven exterior concrete slab with powerful grinding equipment

When dealing with large surfaces, it is advisable to rent out power grinding equipment from the rental centers that serve building contractors.

However, even for these power tools, the amount and intensity of work to be carried out determine which is most appropriate. For a big grinding machine, expect to spend between $80 and $160 per day, which can be more than ample time for the grinder to complete the set-out project.

For a smaller surface, one can opt for an angle grinder fitted with a diamond grinding wheel for about $50 per day. It is recommended that one engages a skilled operator. However, with free time, anyone can accomplish the task.

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How To Measure Slope For A Patio

Unlike stairs which are measured from their lowest point to highest, the slope of patios is measured from the highest point, commonly nearest a building, to its lowest. So, instead of using the rise over the run, we use the fall over the run. The size of the patio determines which is the easiest way to measure the slope.

Measure the distance out from the building to where the patio ends. Convert that distance from feet to inches and divide by 48. For example, a 16 run is 192-inches which has a 4 fall . The resulting value is the overall required fall of the surface from one side to the other to achieve a fall to run ratio of 4:198 which reduces to 1:48, or a 2% slope .

Using a 4-foot builders level and tape measure to identify the slope is helpful and accurate in short distances. A short 6 level or a 2-foot level is often used when laying pavers and bricks which fall 1/4 per foot, and a long, flat board with a 4 or 8-foot level is useful for checking larger concrete surfaces. However, patios may need to slope in more than one direction, which means a string line and string-level is helpful.

Can You Lay Pavers Over Uneven Concrete

According to several paver manufacturers, paving blocks can be installed on top of concrete without mortar if you first lay down a 1/2 to 1 bed of coarse sand. Drainage: The biggest problem with laying pavers over a concrete slab is the inability for water to drain through the blocks and down into the earth.

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What Are The Solutions For Existing Patios

If you have an existing concrete patio that does not have a drainage system, its not too late to install one. Where the water tends to collect, cut out a sloping channel in the concrete to direct the water away, filling it with decorative stone or gravel.

Instead of gravel, you can also have a trench or channel drain made of metal installed. These drains are typically just a few inches wide and allow water to pass through, but keep out debris. They are installed flush with the surrounding patio so they won’t be a triping hazard.

A more radical yet effective solution is to reestablish the pitch of the patio slab by installing a cement-based overlay. On this project, the pitch of the patio was corrected by installing an overlay ranging from 4 inches down to under an inch. The overlay was placed in sections separated by integrally colored borders to add decorative interest and to eliminate the need for sawcuts.

Does Water Drain Through Paver Base

Paver Patio Slope

Base beneath The standard interlocking paving stone is not permeable, which means it does not drain water. While regular pavers are designed to be flexible, they are not meant to be permeable. This large gravel pieces leave voids, which then allows water to pass through easily. See this figure below.

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Grind Down The Uneven High Points

How to level a concrete floor that slopes by grinding down uneven high points.? You can even out the high areas by grinding them down. A concrete grinder is made for that job.

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Make sure to wear protective equipment. Eye protection and gloves are a must-have. Lay the machined disc flatly against the desired mark. Then start grinding front to back. Grind until the spot is evenly leveled with the rest of the flooring. Once youve smoothed out everything, use the shop-vac to vacuum the debris.

Calculate How Much Fill Youll Need

The key to crack-resistant concrete is a firm base that drains well. Unless you have sandy soil, this means adding a layer of gravel.

With the forms in place, you can estimate how much fill you need. To calculate the amount of fill needed, stretch a string across the top of the forms and measure down to the ground. Do this in three or four spots and average the results. Subtract the thickness of your slab. Then use this depth to calculate the cubic yards of fill needed. Be sure to ask what your supplier recommends for fill under slabs. Crushed concrete compacts and drains well.

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Leveling Uneven Concrete Patios

  • Written by Emma McKie on Feb 06, 2010To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience.Reviewed by

As concrete patios get older, they often begin to sink or crack. You may not need to replace the entire slab because there are a few different techniques available to help you level the surface again so that you have a patio to be proud of once more. You will be able to carry out some of the procedures yourself but may want to call in a professional company when specialized equipment is required.

Slab Jacking

Whether your whole concrete slab or only some sections have sunk, slab jacking is one option to repair the damage. It is recommended that you use a professional company to carry out this procedure as it needs specialist equipment and knowledge for the best results. A concrete mixture is pumped underneath the existing slab to raise it so that it is level.

An advantage of this procedure is that it will also fill in any gaps under the concrete where sinking has not yet occurred and prevents water from pooling or running through the foundations. This reduces the odds of a similar problem occurring again.



Once the surface has been prepared, mix a thin mortar, pour it onto the surface and level it carefully. After leaving it to cure for 30 minutes, use a trowel or brush to finish the surface.

Extensive Veneering

How To Build A Patio On A Slope

How to Setup and Pour a Concrete Backyard Patio #4

A well-built patio adds beauty, value, and a place for fellowship to your home. If your backyard backs right up to a hill, you may be concerned that you wont be able to make your patio dream a reality.

Im happy to tell you that whether youre using pavers, stone, or paved concrete, building a patio on a slope is not really that different than building on a level surface. Stay tuned, because Im about to share what I know about how to build a patio on a slope.

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Pour A New Concrete Pad

If all else fails and youre just not satisfied with other leveling options, consider having a new, level concrete pad poured. You can have it poured over the existing pad, providing extra support for the hot tub.

Or, its the perfect chance to relocate your hot tub to that spot in the yard where you really wanted to put it anyway. Either way, pouring concrete is an expensive proposition, but you may find it worthwhile in the long run. Contact a local concrete mixing plant to determine costs in your area.

Fixing A Patio With An Improper Slope

A patio that collects water or allows water to flow back and sit against the foundation needs to be re-sloped. Fixing a patio with an improper slope doesnt necessarily require the removal of the patio, re-sloping of the base, and rebuilding of the patio, although it might. The size of the patio and how much the fall needs to be adjusted impact repair options.

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Why Level When You Could Replace

What you must ask yourself here is, does it make more sense to spend twice as much or more to demolish the old slab, haul it away, reform, and repour the concrete?

A new slab might be a good option, but consider the cost of repair will likely be significantly less. The price of hauling away the old slab could cost as much leveling it. Concrete leveling is less expensive, more convenient, and could give you a finished product in less than half time that is almost as good.

Granted, you might need to fill the cracks, sand, and polish the leveled slab, but you would have to do some finishing for a new slab anyway. Many homeowners are even getting creative with concrete slabs by using epoxy and other finishing products to make their slab look impressive without going to the expense of floor covering.

Use Wooden Shims And A Platform

Paver Patios &  Driveways

For slopes around an inch or so, you can build your own shims and a platform from pressure-treated lumber. After moving the tub aside, use pressure-treated 2×4 boards and a sheet of exterior grade plywood and:

  • Cut the 2x4s into wedge-shaped pieces based on your specific slope.
  • Insert them every foot or so across the low end of the tub base.
  • Cut and attach exterior grade plywood to the wood shims with screws.
  • Return the tub to its new, level platform.
  • For added stability, consider topping your platform with a spa pad like an E-Z pad. Specifically designed for use with hot tubs, these pads are relatively inexpensive and have a lifetime guarantee.

    They are made of heavy-duty plastic and can be picked up and moved if you ever need to relocate your hot tub. E-Z pads can also be used by themselves on any level surface.

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    Why Does The Concrete Patio Settle

    In the first place, why does the concrete patio settle or sink? Before the concrete is installed, the ground is prepared and the earth is compacted using heavy machinery. Typically, the compacted surface usually comprises of gravel or it will have at least a layer of gravel. This is usually done to prevent the ground from sinking because of the weight of the concrete patio that is installed above.

    Settlement can occur because of weather conditions or the soil below it eroding due to rainwater. It may also occur if the compacting is not done thoroughly or properly.


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