Idea To Divert Water Away From Foundation

Discussion in 'Framing and Foundation' started by acolic, Feb 18, 2018.

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  1. Feb 18, 2018 #1

    acolic

    acolic

    acolic

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    Hi

    I have a home that is slightly below my neighbours on all three sides. My rear neighbours lawn is substantially higher than mine and sheds the water towards my backyard.

    Due to the make up of the backyard it’s difficult to grade the water away from my home.

    I was wondering if the following might be a solution.

    Along the back wall out 2 to 3 feet remove the sod and dig down a foot or two. Then backfill the trench with round stone or other appropriate aggregate.

    I would grade the trench to force the water to one side of my property.

    Just looking for some feedback on this idea.

    Thanks
     
  2. Feb 18, 2018 #2

    Snoonyb

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    Basically, you are not required to address your neighbors failure to contain their irrigation, it's theirs. If you are addressing natural water flow, that should have been addressed by the builder, and if there were a problem, it should have been disclosed in escrow.
     
  3. Feb 18, 2018 #3

    acolic

    acolic

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    All good points but not much I can do now. The house is 30+ years old and the problem has likely been there from the beginning.

    Also not much chance of forcing my neighbors all to re-grade their backyards and demolish their landscaping after all this time.

    So I’m looking for a solution.
     
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  4. Feb 18, 2018 #4

    Snoonyb

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    Well actually, I was attempting to ascertain a one or the other origin, and since it appears to be both, reminding your neighbors they they are watering excessively, by registered mail, may be a precursor to getting the city involved, or legal action, depending upon how astute they are may alleviate part of the problem.

    Regrading is a course that has an end result in mind and landscape rocks are a start.
     
  5. Feb 18, 2018 #5

    K_M

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    A French drain similar to what you are describing could be a good idea, but first you need to assess the grade around the house.

    First off, there should be a minimum of 6 inches between the soil and the lowest part of the wooden wall - usually the siding.
    From that point, you need to have a minimum of 6 inches of drop in the area 10 feet out from the foundation.
    You should then grade your yard to meet this minimum required grade drop around the foundation and also grade to send the collected water somewhere where it won't create a lake and cause a problem somewhere else, especially for a neighbor.

    If you are in an impossible situation, you may need to have an environmental engineer create a plan to help you alleviate the issue.

    Usually a 30 year old house has had tons upon tons of extra dirt and landscaping materials brought in and the soil level is just way too high.

    Here is a snippet from the 2012 IRC, but I can remember this requirement way back into the 1980's with different codes as well:
     
  6. Feb 19, 2018 #6

    aNYCdb

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    I'm a bit confused you have said that this drainage issue has existed for 30 years. Has it caused some sort of damage that you are now trying to remedy? If you aren't having issues and it has existed for 30 years perhaps there is already a french drain installed.
     
  7. Feb 19, 2018 #7

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    Drainage has a life span and something like a French drain will slow down over 30 years if the problem was addressed way back when.

    At my old house I had a wet spot and the land and my house was the original farm house and the subdivision was the farm land. I started watching the frost and light snows on the ground and I saw lines mapped out where the frost wouldn’t form. I marked them and then come spring I dug at the edge of the wet spot and found 100 year old field tile broke and plugged. I opened it up and the water started pouring thru it. It ran full force for a week or more. Couple weeks later a neighbor stopped and asked if I knew what was going on. He told me this was the first spring he could mow his back yard in 25 years in the spring.

    You could well have something that needs fixed.
     
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  8. Feb 19, 2018 #8

    acolic

    acolic

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    Hi to be clear my point around the age of the home was that it would be difficult to get my neighbours to change their grade and landscaping to suit my needs. I have lived in house for a few years and I am going to renovate my basement and just want to make sure it stays dry. I have a sump pump your seems you working on a regular basis so I thought I could alleviate the water flowing to my back wall with the ditch idea.
     
  9. Feb 19, 2018 #9

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    Well water runs down hill and it needs a place to go. If your ditch can do both of those things and not pass the water on to become someone’s problem down hill from you then you should do it if you want.
     
  10. Feb 20, 2018 #10

    aNYCdb

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    Ok so it sounds like there isn't an issue, but you want to be proactive before finishing the basement. You say you have a sump pump in the basement, but do you know how that is fed? Meaning is it designed soley for basement flooding or do you already have an exterior french drain that feeds the sump so that it can be pumped back out?
     
  11. Feb 20, 2018 #11

    acolic

    acolic

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    Hi I have a French drain along one side of my house. Not along the back.
     
  12. Feb 22, 2018 #12

    slownsteady

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    You're on the right track with your first idea, but I think it should have a better design. First, a french drain is usually placed at the base of the foundation. Second, a four inch perforated pipe can collect and move the water much better that a stone filled ditch. The pipe should be laid in the middle of a gravel bed which will protect it from being clogged and allow the water to get into the pipe.
    Since you mentioned that you are surrounded on three sides, you need to figure out where the water is going to go and guide it to that location by continuing the pipe to lower ground. If you have the room in your yard, you may also be able to move the trench away from your house and catch the water right at (or close to) the source.
     
  13. May 12, 2018 #13

    hiltonp331

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    if something like this happens it is really frustrating and irritating at the same time but there's a solution to it. You can install drain which will divert the water that is flowing down on your yard to where ever you would want to.
     

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