Patios are backyard oasis to enjoy your outdoor fun time. Every patio is made by developing the land in your backyard to accommodate your patio furniture and similar utensils. In most cases, patios are set right next to the house wall. Meaning, that the pouring rainwater from your rooftop falls directly on the patio surface and drains afterward. That’s where the slops on the patio floor come in handy. The correct patio slope will help keep water from sitting on it or backing against your house.
Now if you are wondering what is a patio slope and, why they should be in two directions on a patio floor, then this content will provide food for your thoughts. Read thoroughly to understand what a two-directional slope on a patio is, the standard slope angle, how can you set such slope on your upcoming patio or identify on your existing one, their importance as per building code, and whatnot! Welcome to another journey of information about patios that you will find very unique and helpful.
- Two direction slope of a patio helps the water to quickly drain from the patio.
- The average slope angle for any patio is 2%, as recommended by the IRC building code.
- Slopes are essential to prevent water pooling and the overall safety of the nearby house wall.
- Precise measurement and design implementation are needed to have two direction slope.
Slopes In Patios
Slopes in patios are part of their design structure. Their motive for presence is to benefit you by preventing unwanted water gathering and its consequences. These slopes put the outer edges of patios lower horizontally than the opposite-direction edges. This simple design feature allows the rainwater to drain away from the patio to a muddy or grassy backyard surface. Depending on the place and dynamics of the patio, usually, there are two types of patio slopes.
- Uniform slope: These slopes are single-dimensional. They are usually directed one way only. This means the slope will start to one edge and lead its directions to the exact opposite direction edge. In this case, the whole patio is sloping at the same angle. Usually, the starting edge starts from the house wall side. This ensures even water run-off.
- Corner slopes: Another option is to slightly angle the slope into the corners of the patio. Also known as two-direction slopes, it incorporates two differential slide angles from different sides of the patio. The surface of the patio remains level but, one outward edge remains lower than the other threes, causing water to drain towards that edge only. This can give you more control over the water run-off.
Proper Slope Angle for A Patio
Patios made of hardwearing materials like pavers, flagstone, brick, cut stone, tile, and concrete, and loose materials like gravel, wood, composite, and plastic materials are classed as hardscape. That means the proper slope for patios, regardless of construction material, must have a 1:48, 1/4” per foot, or 2% grade. Though many professionals have instructed to use slope angle from 1/8” to 3/8” per foot for individual pavers, bricks, or tiles. For packing sand a perfect 2% grade slope angle is fine. The reason behind the difference is the different surface textures of the materials over the patios.
Some individuals also have argued the 2% slope grade is a very aggressive one. But in practice, this slope angle doesn’t feel any uneven tilt to your furniture and won’t negatively affect your outdoor enjoyment.
How to Select Slope Angle of Patio?
If we take the standard 2% or 1/4” slope angle, that means for every foot you have to take 0.25’’ in deviation to put. So if you have a 20×20 patio then, the lowest edge will be 5’’ lower than the upper edge. Now you may think this is a huge variance between two edges. But think of the length and width of the patio. The patio is 400 square feet in area, way over the line to feel the height variation when you are walking from one side to another.
How to Put Two-Direction Slopes in Patios?
Now you know how to select the correct slope angle of a standard slope patio. If you want to put two directions patio slopes to your patio, then first bring out the slope angle according to your patio area. Next,
- Ground Preparation: Observe the natural slope pattern of your designated patio area. Usually, the ground slope should be downwards than the house. Look for any deviation such as the soil having an upward slope than the house.
- Prepare The Base: Remember that, in two direction slop, you have to keep one certain down edge lower than the other three edge points. While filling the base, spread the stone, and soil higher in proportion than the lower edge point. Before going to the paving part, make sure that you have an accurate reading of a perfect slope.
- The Final Reading: Even after preparing the base slope-wise, you have to make sure that the paver finishing has the exact reading too. Note that, for two-direction slopes, take one upper edge point as the base and measure the slope deviation difference towards its left and right edges. Then again, from those two edges, create a slope towards the fourth edge by keeping the same height deviation gap per foot.
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Ways To Measure Your Patio Has Right Slopes
If you already have a patio with a slope and want to find out its slope angles then you start with:
- Put four stakes on the four corners of the patio.
- Tie a single piece of string to the four stakes at the same height.
- Use a spirit level measurer to confirm the strings are at the same level.
- Now start measuring from the highest edge to the lowest in comparison to the strings.
- Take note of the gaps between the edge and the strings to figure out the slope deviation per foot.
- Compare the gap between the high edge point and to low edge point to find the exact slope angle.
Building Code for Patio Slopes
Slopes are necessary for the safety of the structure of the building. The slope drains away the water from its siding wall. It causes secret draining within the close proximity of the wall, resulting in no secret damage to the wall or soil losing strength.
According to the International Residential Building Code 2008, drainage 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.
But these laws are variable based on the weather, and soil difference within the states, and many local communities has different rules to follow.
Key Points to Follow for Two-Direction Slopes
Two-directional slopes are more unique than the usual one-directional slopes. There is not much of a visible difference between them. It is only the number of water drainage directions and the angle of the slopes that differentiates them. You may need to consider these points while setting a two-directional slope by yourself:
- Identifying the right slope angle is important to have correct dual slopes.
- Observe the surface level of the designated area to select where the water should drain.
- The base preparation is immensely important for incorporating slopes from ground level.
- Additional drainage materials can be set towards the lower slope to catch and drain the water.
- For brick, block, and tile paved patios, the slope angle should be higher for safe passage of the water.
According to the IRC building code, the maximum slope angle of a patio is 5% or 5/8” per foot. The higher the slope angle, the quicker the drain amount. However, it is not recommended for safety issues.
No matter what type of patio you use, a slight slope angle benefits you by every means. Apart from the rainwater, the cleaning process will also be smoother.
Paver patios often come with uneven surface materials incorporated in their surface design. Bricks, tiles, and concrete block edges can slow the water drainage capacity of the patio. That’s why a minimum 1.5-2% slope angle is recommended.
Building a patio can benefit you with the beautification of the backyard, and act as your outdoor entertainment hub. It also has an invisible benefit which is its water-draining capacity. For that, making a patio is half the work, and keeping a generous slope is the other half. A slope allows the patio to easily drain the water towards the lower surface. A two-directional patio has a distinct slope angle that allows it to drain water from both sides of the patio. It requires precision measurement in digging, base setup, and construction process to have such a two-directional patio feature. This little angle of your patio setup can help your house walls to be durable for a longer period.
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I am Donald M. Beyer and I am backyard enthusiasts. I am a homeowner who has been doing DIY projects in and out of my house for many years. From simple backyard lunches to making an old-school pizza oven in my own backyard, I have a lot of experience in turning my backyard into my and my family’s personal playground.