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Old 07-31-2012, 01:12 AM   #1
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3 masons, different advice, please help


I am planning on hiring a contractor to redo my concrete work around my home built in 1954. During the rainy season here in Southern California, water tends to collect near the side of my home with nowhere to go. The paving was done incorrectly originally.

I got three contractors to come and give me estimates and advice on how to go about solving my issue.

First estimate: The first was a mason. He told be that running a line from the side of the house to the street gutter was plausible and the best option. I could not afford that option. So he suggested a gravel pit about a foot deep and 18" wide against the block wall. I was worried about the wall being damaged from the erosion. He said it should be no problem since the footing is at least a foot deep.

Second estimate: The second guy was a landscaper. He also stated that forcing the water to a gravel pit along the block wall was ok but he was more cautious. He stated that normally a block wall is nine bricks high and that only eight are above ground. Therefore, the one brick in the ground should be deep enough to dig a pit and fill it with gravel.

Third: The last was a concrete contractor. He said not to push the water towards the block wall due to erosion. He suggested a line down to the street. Again, it was out of my budget. The second option would be to grade the concrete properly to push the water through a shallow valley to the front yard and let it percolate there instead of near the block wall.

I am confused. The block wall is not in good shape and already leaning a bit. It is the original block wall from 1954. Eventually needs to be rebuilt but I do not want to speed up the process with erosion.

Are the first two guys right? Erosion won't occur if the pit is not deeper than the block wall footing? Any advice?

Thank you for your help.
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:54 AM   #2
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3 masons, different advice, please help


Post a picture please---keeping water away from the house is best----get the water to the street.
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:05 AM   #3
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3 masons, different advice, please help


You should always grade away from the house. If that isn't possible, you should have a trench that leads the water away from the foundation, not a gravel pit that allows it to drain right there.

The third contractor's second option would be the best, in my opinion. If your budget doesn't allow you to direct the water to the street, its better to have a mud puddle in your yard than a house that is falling down.
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:24 AM   #4
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3 masons, different advice, please help


I agree with the other replies you got. As soon as someone recommends gravel or perforated pipe near your foundation, throw him off your property.

Keep the water on the surface and grade to move it away from the house. If you have an isolated area of trapped water where this is not possible, you may be able to install a surface drain with solid pipe to a discharge point.
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Old 07-31-2012, 12:13 PM   #5
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3 masons, different advice, please help


yes, i am not a construction wizard but even i was a little doubtful about pushing the water run off towards a gravel pit against the shared block wall.

would it then be advised to grade the concrete to push it towards the front yard? the water run off is coming from the backyard. or should i just have it percolate away from the house in the backyard?

thank you again.
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:34 PM   #6
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3 masons, different advice, please help


That depends on a few things, without seeing your landscaping its hard to say. How's the drainage in your back yard? How is the slope, i.e. is it going to send a bunch of water into your neighbor's house? If it were me, and the drainage is decent, I'd just grade it away from the house, whichever is easiest.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:04 PM   #7
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3 masons, different advice, please help


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Originally Posted by Mort View Post
That depends on a few things, without seeing your landscaping its hard to say. How's the drainage in your back yard? How is the slope, i.e. is it going to send a bunch of water into your neighbor's house? If it were me, and the drainage is decent, I'd just grade it away from the house, whichever is easiest.
my land is almost flat everywhere. the last guy calculated my slope around the house.

the current drainage in the backyard is pushing the rain off to the side of house. the original hardscape work was done poorly. I am attempting to fix the issue now.

i am wondering if i should get the grading on the side of the house to drain to the front of my house and the backyard to be pushed into the back?
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