I need help with a serious problem. I have a significant amount of water that fills the crawl space under my house when it rains or snows allot. Usually during the spring and fall it fills up with about 4 inches of water. There are 5 separate compartments under my house and each of them fill up in this manner. I usually wind up pumping out the water and leaving the access door open with a fan in it to dry out the space. During the summer months it will get to a hard mud consistency before the summer is over. Then it fills back up again at the change of the next season. This has been going on for about 5 years now. (as long as we have owned the house). I know I've been somewhat of an idiot for letting it go on this long. However, it has been one of those things where when I've had the money to address it, I've not had the time. The reverse is also true. I will soon have both and have the opportunity to finally solve the issue.
Now... here is the reason for my writing. My house is built on flat farmland and the ground is 18 inches of topsoil on top of a VERY hard layer of clay. The water pools in the topsoil and travels under the foundation of the house. I have done a significant amount of research on this and know what I need to do. It appears that when my house was built, the builder did not put the usual french drain around the foundation to draw water away prior to making it to the foundation walls. The problem is that the house has a very sturdy covered porch that wraps around the entire house. To put the drain directly next to the foundation, I would need to rip up the entire porch flooring all the way around the house to install it. My father suggested that since the porch covers about 6 feet of area beyond the foundation and keeps it dry; that I put the drain around the edge of the porch. The problem here is that I have flower beds around the entire porch as well. What do you think I should do? Would it be a problem putting the drain around the porch instead of directly against the foundation? Would the french drain work under the flower beds? Would that be a problem for anything I plant in the beds?
Some additional info incase you were wondering... The downspouts from my guttering is currently flowing into the yard. My plans are to route them with drain pipe to a nearby drainage ditch via a separate drain system when I put in the french drains.
I've included a picture of the house to help with the thought process.
Any help you could provide would be GREAT. When I get the chance to do this, I really want to do this only once so I'm appealing to the experts.