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Old 02-20-2012, 11:36 AM   #1
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Drainage issue..do you think this will work?


I posted a thread a while back regarding this, but have not had a chance to deal with it yet.
The issue I have is that after a hard rain we have some moisture coming through the basement wall concrete blocks (wall is below grade). The moisture is all coming in pretty much in the middle of the wall. Water is not accumulating or anything like that, its just that the blocks are slightly moist.

On the outside there really is no grade sloping away from the house. Also, the soil at the house is a very loose sandy soil, which water pretty much funnels through. The yard is pretty much flat for about 20 feet (see images), then a paved drive, then a retaining wall and steep slope beyond that.

Rather than trenching down 10 ft to install a drain at the base of the foundation block wall (which would be$$; plus the house was built in 2002, so i would guess there would be a foundation drain already??), i figured that I should at least try to grade the yard first to see if that will solve the problem.

Here is what I am thinking of doing..any thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated. I am thinking of removing some soil next to the house and sloping out about 6 feet away from the house (the entire length), then laying down some heavy mil plastic that slopes away from the house to a french drain which will run parallel to the house. The idea is that this will funnel all the water that penetrates the ground near the house to the french drain. Do you think this will work? Is there something beside heavy mil plastic that I could use to 'funnel' the water away from the house?
Thanks in advance!
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Drainage issue..do you think this will work?-2011-07-31_15-29-18_476.jpg   Drainage issue..do you think this will work?-2011-07-31_15-29-48_818.jpg  

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Old 02-20-2012, 11:45 AM   #2
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Drainage issue..do you think this will work?


Figured I post a few pics of basement wall. As you can see the moisture only occurs in the middle section of block wall. My only guess as to why is that the loose soil that is next the house (fill?) meets a more clayey soil at about this level?

Again this only occurs after very intense rainfalls. Also, the water level is about 30 ft below land surface...well below the foundation.
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Drainage issue..do you think this will work?-2011-07-31_16-05-19_986.jpg   Drainage issue..do you think this will work?-2011-07-31_16-05-31_719.jpg  

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Old 02-20-2012, 11:47 AM   #3
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Drainage issue..do you think this will work?


Looks like your stuck between a rock and a hard spot on this one..
The grade at the foundation should not be raised because it needs to be right at the height you have now. Any higher and your going to be dealing with splash back on the siding and possible sheathing damage under the siding.
From the picture of the tared driveway it's hard to see the grade. Is it lower over toward the side door? If so to get rid of the water running down that drive was a simple curb (sort of like a tared speed bump) running along the lenght of it toward what looks like a wood area would get rid of a lot of that water before it get to that grassy area.
A french drain all most parallel to the house at an angle so it clears the steps that drains to day light and grade the grassy away away from the house should take care of the rest of it.

Last edited by joecaption; 02-20-2012 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:56 AM   #4
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Drainage issue..do you think this will work?


Yeah, that is why I was thinking of digging down, and sloping the plastic barrier away from the house to a french drain. I plan on trenching the drain along the length of the house (about 6 feet away) and draining out down slope (top of second picture). I figure the french drain will be about 2 feet deep, and have the plastic barrier start just below the current grade against the house and sloping toward the french drain.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:00 PM   #5
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Drainage issue..do you think this will work?


here is a crude attempt to illustrate what i am thinking
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:02 PM   #6
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Drainage issue..do you think this will work?


Thanks for the reply! The driveway is sloped away from the house so that all the runoff goes towards the retaining wall side, then down and away from the house.
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:58 PM   #7
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Drainage issue..do you think this will work?


you have the right Idea it should work.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:43 PM   #8
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Drainage issue..do you think this will work?


Thanks for the reply!
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:21 PM   #9
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Drainage issue..do you think this will work?


Well a year and a half later, and after what equates to a monsoon season around here (~15 inches over last 2 weeks), I figure I really need to tackle this sooner than later. Any other suggestions as to what I can do on the cheap (at least initially to help control the issue). I am about to to as I described above unless there is a better way to go about this. I figured the drain will be fairly shallow a few feet max, just to act as a surface water drain. I plan on putting down rock or mulch over the plastic barrier between the drain and the house.

I guess the one advantage I have is that there is nothing in the way of digging, and the digging is easy.

Also, just realized I had 2 accounts on this forum..woops

Last edited by markley; 07-12-2013 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 07-12-2013, 06:09 PM   #10
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Drainage issue..do you think this will work?


Also, I wanted to clarify that the moisture only shows up on the wall after very intense rains. It could rain steady for a week with no issues. So I am also wondering of the gutters are being overwhelmed (ie. undersize downspouts). I have not been home during any of the intense rains that cause this, but there are no signs that this is occuring (ie an eroded line under gutter).
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:40 PM   #11
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Drainage issue..do you think this will work?


it shows up due to inadequate dampproofing on the exterior wall however it may have met bldg code rqmts when built.

what you're describing is a ' swale ' ( surface drain to somewhere ),, it probably won't completely resolve your issue however its also certainly better'n a sharp stick in the eye

good luck !

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