Best Dirt to Use Around Foundation of Home Reviews and Buying Guide

Best Dirt to Use Around Foundation of Home
Best Dirt to Use Around Foundation of Home

Looking to build a perfect foundation of your home?

Then you should need best dirt to do this.


As you might expect, finding your basement knee deep in water after a major spring snow melt or heavy downpour would be so irritating. Costs of finding and repairing the leak come to mind.

There is draining work to do, cleaning after, and repairing water damaged furniture to think about. Subsequently, there will be costs to prevent this from ever happening again.

To prevent such a tragedy to your home in the future, the best dirt to use around the foundation of your home site is something you need to think about carefully. So is the soil on which your home foundation rests and how the land surrounding your house slopes.

The right dirt for your backyard sloping, or grading, will keep away many damages. Whether you live in the countryside or city, your home is built on this dirt. The type of soil used in the grading process has great implications in this too.

This article intends to help you choose the best dirt to use around foundation of home structures. This is from the many options the market has to offer. Our editorial panelists have spoken to local building inspectors and identified dirt types that fit specific needs for any area.

Top 5 Best Dirt to Use Around Foundation of Home Reviews

From among many products studied by our editorial panel, these five products have proven to have the best all round qualities. This has been determined through interviewing building experts and positive online reviews.

1. Michigan Peat 5540 Garden Magic Top Soil, 40-Pound Review

Aside from its foundation protection friendly traits, this dirt is darkly good looking. This means it improves how the space between your walls and lawns or flowerbeds looks like.


It has high water retention capabilities that protects your foundation constructions from excess water. It is a great foundation guard when inserted between your foundation and original soil. This is if you have sandy or other porous soils.

In addition, the manufacturer made this soil to allow plants to grow and thrive where original soils do not allow this to happen well. This means your wall crawling plants, flowers, and decorative plants will thrive when grown on this dirt near your foundation walls.

We Love
  • Absorbs large amounts of excess water.
  • Offers thriving environment for decorative plants.
  • Good looking.
We Don't Love
  • Requires mixing with other soils.

2. Hoffman 10410 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix, 10 Quarts (4)

This dirt will help drain water from your foundation easily without corroding your foundation structures chemically. This is because it was made for growing desert and jungle cacti. It has excellent drainage characteristics and pH balance as a result.


This dirt type fends off water when dry meaning it has hydrophobic tendencies. As a soil surrounding your foundation, this water repelling quality will help in keeping your foundation dry.

This is while making it difficult for water to seep through your foundation into your basement.

Even after heavy rainfall or flooding, this dirt type remains dry, acting as a barrier between water and structures making your foundation. This is because the hydrophobic tendencies in this soil make it hard to entirely water every part of the soil.

We Love
  • Stops water from seeping through structures.
  • It does not wet equally on every part due to hydrophobicity.
  • Also It works well in dry or wet regions.
We Don't Love
  • It has big pieces of foreign material difficult to remove.

3. Succulent & Cactus Soil Mix – Pre-Mixed Fast Draining Blend Review

This blend of soil has fast draining powers. Its preparation favors over-watering for plants sitting in water for long periods. It will, therefore, control amount of water reaching your foundation.


It has a composition that supports a good balance between retaining water and air. That balance stops this soil from corroding your foundation structure. Primary components, over time provide excellent drainage, water retention, and air circulation, thereby promoting healthy foundation environments.

This dirt mixture consists of non-organic primary components. These work as a seal between water and your foundation structures.

Its expanded shale and pine bark components absorb excess water. Pumice volcanic byproduct and Japanese hard clay components retain water too. These components keep water away from your foundation for long periods, keeping your basement dry.

We Love
  • Good for mixing with poor local soil.
  • Dries quickly on top improving barrier strength.
  • Compact at the bottom strengthening barrier strength.
We Don't Love
  • Poor soil for growing decorative plants next to buildings.

4. Miracle-Gro 70551430 All-Purpose Garden Soil, 1 CF Review

Miracle Gro created garden soil to satisfy growing conditions for any plant grown on it. This gives it excellent qualities as an offsetting go-between if your original soil is a poor grading type.


This soil product is intensely dense and compact. It would therefore act as a good mixture to improve drainage for foundation sandy soil.

With its special components, it works great with water plants. This means it absorbs rather than lets excess water through to your foundation construction.

It has excellent qualities for growing flowers and other decorative plants that go near buildings.

The product also comes in relatively large quantities giving it good value for the purchasing and transportation costs you incur.

We Love
  • Improves your poor foundation dirt.
  • Absorbs large amounts of water.
  • Excellent for growing decorative plants.
We Don't Love
  • Package may have foreign materials.

5. Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix, 8-Quart Review

The manufacturer makes this dirt to protect plants from both overwatering and under watering. This gives power to absorb thirty-three percent more moisture compared to other dirt types.


Its high water absorbing power gives it excellent qualities to mix with clay and sandy soils to keep moisture away from the foundation structures. It is attained the nickname “moisture control” online because of this trait.

The dirt is airy and light. This means when it gets wet or dry, it will not push against your foundation wall, at a high pressure, causing cracks. It will also let you grow flowers and other plants along your foundation, as long as these are not epiphytic or succulents.

We Love
  • High water retention character.
  • Light and airy.
  • Mixes with others to lighten or add density.
We Don't Love
  • May introduce fungus, gnats, and mites to your backyard garden.

A Foundation Dirt Buyer’s Guide

So now, lets go, we will write here a details guide on how to purchase foundation dirt. So you can buy it easily from the market.

What Are Symptoms Of Wrong Soil Around Your Foundations?

The moment you find your basement is flooded to your knee caps, it becomes apparent you have a big problem with your foundation structure. It is leaking water from outside into your home. Tracing the leak most often leads back to what soil you have around your foundation.

Think of another scenario. Walk into your basement and nightmare of nightmares, there is a crack on the wall. Do not panic with the thought your house is coming down. Cracks are a symptom of an underlying problem. Among the several basement crack causes include lateral pressure from the soil surrounding your home.

Should your foundation soil consist of expanding clay, wall cracks will not be permanent. They will merely change when soil water content changes during different seasonal changes. In spring, for example, snow melts saturating your soil, making your wall bow out slightly and cracking.

Conversely, in summer, evaporation and plants draw out moisture closing out the cracks. Winter and freezing soil leads to similar movements with cracks arising from ice buildup and melting.

Another danger lies in soil erosion taking place over time. This creates slopes towards your house and wells or collects against your foundation where excess water accumulates.

What Should You Look For In Good Foundation Soil?

Soil has different strength ranges. Your building foundation needs to rest on strong and stable soil such as All-Purpose Garden Soil. Otherwise the foundation will crack, sink, or your home may fall.

Physical properties determine how stable and strong your soil is. Good structured soil has advanced stability features. Clay textured dirt, for example, has better stability than dirt with sand textures. The trick is mixing weak textured soil with better structured and more stable soil like the Pre-Mixed Fast Draining Blend.

This means the best dirt to use around foundation of home structures should have higher clay texture than the surrounding dirt.

Some clay minerals have a higher tendency to shrink and expand during respective dry and wet weather seasons than others. The best soil for grading around house foundations will also capture precipitation stopping runoff or erosion from damaging foundation structures.

Again, dirt with balanced chemistry straits, such as Hoffman Soil Mix, prevents home construction materials from corroding. This means cracks, through which water leaks into your home, will not develop.

Type of Your Soil

Clay has less porous tendencies compared to other soil types. This means water will not run through it and it is heavier, meaning it erodes less easily. When thinking of the preferred type of filling in dirt around foundation structures, the objective is ensuring water drainage, away from your house foundation, is fast and as easy as possible.

Properly compacted soil forces excess water to run over without soaking in. Avoid dirt that contains obstructions to rapid water run-off. This means filling dirt needs to be clean, devoid of rock, bark, and mulch.

Have your subsoil analyzed too because impervious clay underneath a poorly graded and porous topsoil directs water into your foundation too.

A good mix in particle sizes, All-Purpose Garden Soil, for example, is great for home engineering and adding dirt around foundation edifices.

Buy soil that maintains its stability through both dry and wet seasons. This way, expanding or contracting dirt will not crack your home foundations. Also, seek professional help in determining how to build up dirt around foundation structures in the right manner.

Solution of Your Soil

Numerous homes in the United States stand on expansive soils. Once this soil type gets wet, it expands by as much as 150% of its original dry volume. This exerts as much as 500 lbs. per square foot of pressure.

This expansion, in turn, creates movement as pressure increases, leading to foundation and framing damages. To stop this, a well graded soil type that will direct water away from the house is recommended.

Home foundation edges pose as prime positions to plant flowers and shrubs. Such cultivations, and erosion from rain rolling off your roof, are top culprits in creating weakness that allow water leaking through your foundation and into your home.

The remedy is back filling. A poor dirt push back up against the foundation can, however create water and structural problems.

Backfilling requires one of two types of material. If there is adequate compactible soil on site, it should go up against your foundation. This dirt has to be organic material free because these tend to decompose and create excess settlement.

Lack of enough good dirt to use around foundation of home constructions means some needs to be bought from elsewhere. Ultimately, as excess water flows away from your foundation fast, there is no time for it to soak through, preventing leaks through foundation cracks.

What are the steps on how to regrade around foundation structures?

Dirt placed in the hole next to your foundation requires mechanical compacting using a vibrator. This is every six inches of depth. Erectors of structural elements need to avoid this area too. A patio, for example, should go outside foundation backfill spots unless special compaction arrangements on such spots is initiated.

Again, it is important to have any organic material bound to decompose removed from back filling areas. This prevents dirt sinking around foundation constructions.

Best Brands in the Dirt Industry

In every industry, there are brands that take top positions in creating and marketing products for their discerning clients. The best dirt to use around foundation of home industry is no different.

To top the list is Hofman the Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix product creators. A close second on this list is SuperFly Bonsai who gave you the Succulent Cactus Soil.

Fat Plants San Diego make it onto this list and one of their great products is the Fat Plants San Diego Succulent Soil Gallon dirt. This list would be incomplete without Perfect Plants propelled by their leading dirt mixture, the Succulent Soil Mix.

Final Verdict

A flooded basement is a huge irritation. So are cracks on basement walls. This article lets you identify what to look for in the best dirt to use around foundation of home for grading procedures. Only then can you stop future flooding incidents.

You can also check our garden tools, hand tools and power tools.

5 thoughts on “Best Dirt to Use Around Foundation of Home Reviews and Buying Guide”

  1. Thanks for your posting! I’ve been looking for the soil to grade my foundation. I’m looking at your Miracle-Gro 70551430, but it’s not available in my local home depot or Lowes. They have different model number for it. does it have to be this specific item? or any Miraclegro In ground garden soil would work? I’m looking at Lowe’s Miracle-Gro Garden Soil All Purpose 75030430. Please let me know. Thanks!

  2. Can I use the dirt from my back yard ( I have an acre of land) for grading/sloping around my house?

  3. Alok Oberoi says:

    I live in city of Urbandale in Iowa state. I need to buy some kind of soil to grade around the home. I am planning to grow grass once slope is ready.
    My questions are:
    What kind of soil I shall use so the water slopes away from the house?
    Will it be good to grow grass?
    Is it good in summer and snow?
    Do I need to use any plastic under the soil I use to protect the water going in the foundation?

    Thanks so much.

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