There's a portion of concrete slab that slopes towards the basement wall of my house. It is winter already so I can't really pour concrete, but I do have several bags of 3/4" gravel (crushed stone) in my backyard.

Can I use it to grade the land away from my basement walls?

Won't it just allow water to go through, making it pointless to use?

  • 2
    You could use the gravel to hold a sheet of plastic in place that would guide water away. Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 19:54
  • 1
    If those are normal 50 - 60 lb bags, that doesn't sound like much material for any significant change in grade - each bag only holds about half a cubic foot of material.
    – Johnny
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 1:33

4 Answers 4


Won't it just allow water to go through, making it pointless to use?

You said it.

Start by checking your downspouts to make sure they direct roof water runoff away from your house.


Why not pour the concrete anyway? It won't set properly but it will still shed water. Spread about 4" of your crushed stone on top to protect it.

I had this same problem and I used clay from another part of my property, sloped 1/10 away from the foundation. I covered with stone to hold it in place.


3/4" gravel is typically a free draining rock freely allow water to travel rather than limit water penetration. If the rock you have is clean (no sand/powder mixed in), then it will easily drain water though.

This type of rock would be be useful if you wanted to add a french drain to ensure the water drops away from the house. Cut a hole 8" wide, drop a perforated plastic pipe down to the bottom, cover with your clean rock. If you are able to put weedblock/filter fabric into the hole before anything else it may make a difference down the line to keeping the drain from clogging.


Gravel wont do anything at all. Plastic can be used on top of the gravel to act as a barrier, but water will get under and around it. If you don't want to pour concrete and tarp it/put straw on it, you can use clay. It is hard to spread, dig and level, but a little water works well to soften it up. Then just smooth it out like you are working with concrete and then cover it with plastic. The clay is non-porous so it will let far less water in. However, its just a temporary fix. You will be far happier if you just smash out the old concrete and pour a new slab. Sometimes a quick fix costs you more than just doing it right.

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