DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Garden and Lawncare > BackYard needs Help ASAP!! Pics included




Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-24-2009, 09:27 AM  
fiji-fa5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 9
Default BackYard needs Help ASAP!! Pics included

Hello everyone. Maybe someone here can help me out. I am having some issues with my backyard. I have had numerous contractors (graders, drain tile expert, concrete contractor) come out to my home to help identify the problem. No one has given me a solid answer as to what the problem is.

sorry for being so long:

We'll start with a little background:
I have been at this house since Oct 2007, first home ever. When purchased the house the yard and lawn was a little wet but paid no attentioned to it. According to the disclosure, the previous owners have had drain tiles installed to improve drainage. I have also talked to some neighbors and they have noticed previous owners using various contractors working on the yard throughout the years. I guess after talking to the neighbors this area used to be a wet-land area and redeveloped to an established neighborhood. Neighbors had mentioned that they too have had drainage issues and some have brought in top soil dirt or contracted to have drain tiles installed.
Current status:
Come spring 2008 water was slowly building up in the backyard. We have had heavy rainstorms that spring, location IOWA. I let the yard dry up for days and other parts of the yard was dry, except for these particular areas and along hill side. Isn't water suppose to drain down a hill, ie slope? My father and I figured drainage issue. We rented a trencher, bought drain tiles, and order 8 tons of pea rock. As we attempted to begin trenching but every so feet we'd run into existing drain tiles and immediatedly stopped. We picked a different location to begin trenching. Once again ran into more existing drain tiles. . Picked another location, began, trench, same problem.
At this point, we were unable to determine the configuration of the exisiting layout of the tiles and gave up after 3 days. They were running up and down, left to right, diagonal. It was very difficult to navigate the trencher as the ground where we want the drain tiles to run through was very wet. We'd get stuck here and there. The ground is made up of clay dirt. The retaining water always had a foul smell, sat in numerous areas, and always had the film on top. Film easiest to described as if you pour gasoline on water. I thought it was sewage of some sort and call the city out to check. They stated that it was not sewage as no sewage pipes runs through the back yard.
I gave up all spring, summer, and fall of 2008. The yard has been a mess since then, kids can not play in yard without coming back muddy. I figured that I can put basketball court over everything( concrete slabs) but concrete man said it would crack and be very useless.

Analysis of contractors:
1. drainage issue, install more drain tiles, tear up old grass, bring in loads of top soil, lay sod. est: over 12k. No guarantee this could fix problem.
2. Underground spring, must channel water away using drain tiles, but won't do the work.
3. Concrete guy: no can do due to unstable ground. Risk of concrete cracking
4. drainage issue, must bring in dirt regrade. No guarantee to fix.
5. Put in a swimming pool
6. Flat out said: I DON'T KNOW and left.

Plea:
Can someone out there anywhere, that has run into this issue before, please help me? Or at least help me figure out how to temporary fix so I can sell this POS . I am not going to spend 12k-20k on a no guarantee fix. Someone please please help!!!!

Pictures: 38 photos total

Pictures click here!!!



__________________
fiji-fa5 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-24-2009, 02:00 PM  
fiji-fa5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 9
Default

Is there any quick solution to this problem? I am at the point where this wouldn't even be worth my time to even try to find a permanent fix. I'd like to fix this quickly and fast, and move on to a new home. $10-20k just does not fit my budget or even try to take out a second mortgage for a home that I did not plan on staying for more the 5 years. I'd like to find a quick fix, ie bandaid lasting 1 or even two years, and then moving on. Is there anything out there I can use to suck up the current standing water? Make the mud dry out? To make the house look sellable at this current state? ie. sawdust, or wood chips or some sort of absorbant product? Thanks for your advice.



__________________

Last edited by fiji-fa5; 04-24-2009 at 02:32 PM.
fiji-fa5 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-24-2009, 02:50 PM  
inspectorD
Housebroken
HRT_MODERATOR.png
 
inspectorD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Litchfield, CT
Posts: 3,936
Liked 96 Times on 82 Posts
Likes Given: 189

Default Hmmm

Quick answer is there is no answer until you physically find out what is causing the issue.
If it is a spring, you will need some serious drainage if it is still wet. That means removing what is inadequate, start by removing what you already have and starting over.
This is one that can not be answered from an armchair. You really need to find more contractors to give you better advice for your area. The soils in your area will determine what will work. You may need to truck in tons sand as one solution, but if you put it on wet clay, it will sink in.

This sounds like a septic field, I hope it is not.

__________________

Just My
Made in the

inspectorD is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-24-2009, 03:11 PM  
fiji-fa5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 9
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by inspectorD View Post
Quick answer is there is no answer until you physically find out what is causing the issue.
If it is a spring, you will need some serious drainage if it is still wet. That means removing what is inadequate, start by removing what you already have and starting over.
This is one that can not be answered from an armchair. You really need to find more contractors to give you better advice for your area. The soils in your area will determine what will work. You may need to truck in tons sand as one solution, but if you put it on wet clay, it will sink in.

This sounds like a septic field, I hope it is not.
Nope, no septic field here or tank of any sort. Starting over could be an answer but the time and money does not justify the solution of a POSSIBLE permanent fix.
__________________
fiji-fa5 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-26-2009, 04:48 AM  
GreenIsGood
Howdy Ya'll!
 
GreenIsGood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 29
Default A possibility...

We live on a large piece of land way out away from the world. Whenever we have drainage problems in new fields, etc. we create a suitably sized sump. The sump catches the water and the additional surface area of the inside of the hole helps perk it away fast. The more water that is in the sump, the faster it will perk out - due to the weight of the water pushing downard. We have drilled holes and filled them with washed rock, and also have dug trenches and filled them with washed rock. Last year we edged a five acre field with a trench and it has worked marvelously. Naturally, the deeper and wider/longer the trench, the more water it will get rid of faster.

The surface area of a 10' x 2' section of your yard is 20 sq ft. If you dig a 2' deep hole that size, that 20 sq ft becomes 68 sq ft - including all the exposed sides.

__________________

Measure [B]Twice[/B], Cut [B]Once[/B]! 'Cause the lumber stretcher is broken!
[COLOR="Green"][B]Think [/B][/COLOR]before you throw it away! If you can't use it, maybe someone else can!
[URL="http://mymilescity.com"]My Website[/URL]

GreenIsGood is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-26-2009, 08:05 AM  
DaveyDIY
Extreme DIY Homeowner
 
DaveyDIY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 82
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fiji-fa5 View Post
Nope, no septic field here or tank of any sort. Starting over could be an answer but the time and money does not justify the solution of a POSSIBLE permanent fix.
No one will be able to give you a guaranteed fix to an unknown problem

They built on a wet land
This is what happens

Unless the land is HIGHER then some surrounding land then water will sit at the lowest point
Drains do not help unless there is somewhere for the water to drain TO
__________________
DaveyDIY is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-27-2009, 08:27 AM  
fiji-fa5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 9
Default

Thanks, Are there any other solutions?

__________________
fiji-fa5 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-27-2009, 12:24 PM  
ddman
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1
Default response to drainage issue

I agree with the previous respondent - "...no one will be able to give you a guaranteed fix to an unknown problem...they built on a wet land...this is what happens...Unless the land is HIGHER then some surrounding land then water will sit at the lowest point...Drains do not help unless there is somewhere for the water to drain TO..." All good points.

As an engineer, I design drainage plans for a living. I work for a consulting company that charges lots of money to mitigate these types of problems, and believe me, it is possible to spend a whole bunch of money installing drain tile, bringing in fill, etc...only to find the result does not live up to your expectations. I understand you want a solution that does not cost a ton of money.

I've reviewed your photos. I think you are dealing with a lot of water. It would be difficult to fight nature by installing pumps as a sole solutoin to the problem. They usually become a constant maintenance issue. Also, if your looking at selling your house in the future, a potential buyer may have negative perceptions regarding a pump system in the backyard.

I'm also a father of two so I understand what it's like to have kids return from playing in the yard with muddy feet.

Here's a suggestion: Let nature take its course to a certain extent. Take some of the areas that are mucky and that don't seem to dry-out and naturalize them. Instead of grass put in native plantings at these areas. There are native plantings, natural to your area, that are wet tolerant and drought tolerant. They have deeper root zones than grass and will help stabilize the soil and soak up the water. There are many varieties of native plantings. Local garden/ landscaping stores and maybe even the natural resources department for your state may have information available. I know it chews up yardspace, but it's probably cheaper than other alternatives. Naturalized plantings can look very attractive (multiple flower colors, etc) and can add to the beauty of your yard. If your not sure, spend a little money and try a small area at first and see if you like it. In my community the local drainage district actually pays for 50% of the cost of the plants for a rain garden installation through a grant program they administer, which is kind of a similar application. Just a thought. Hope this helps, good luck.

__________________
ddman is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-28-2009, 07:17 AM  
fiji-fa5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 9
Default

Has anyone heard of this? Panhandler Someone here recommended it as when baseball fields flood he used this to dry it up quicker.

__________________
fiji-fa5 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-28-2009, 09:27 AM  
cibula11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 331
Default

Installing a sump pit and pump would be fairly inexpensive, but also require you to figure out where to pump the water. I'm sure neighbors wouldn't appreciate your water in their yard. Another "band-aid" depending on the size of the area in your yard, would be to create a rain garden. Essentially you collect the water in an area of your yard (which it sounds like is happening naturally) and you fill the area with rocks and water loving plants. You can install a drain near the lowest spot and water would drain slowly over a few hours. You can google them to see some pics.



__________________
cibula11 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter DIY Home Repair Forum Replies Last Post
backyard mud and dogs...bad combo Christian Garden and Lawncare 17 03-01-2012 11:01 AM
Need help on Siding issue ASAP f150dash Roofing and Siding 15 02-21-2009 06:02 AM
Backyard Lawn RustyShack General Home Improvement Discussion 1 05-23-2008 01:00 PM
Please help! must repipe asap / need advice floridagrl Plumbing Forum 2 11-08-2007 06:27 PM