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Old 08-19-2011, 01:30 PM   #1
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Area between foundation & driveway is below grade - how to raise


First post. Lurking quite a while.
We knew this needed changed going into the purchase of this home, but it is proving more challenging than anticipated. And there is moisture in the basement, so I'd like to do as much as possible to decrease it.

As pictured below, the new driveway was poured ABOVE the grade of the foundation. There are two glassblock windows, and the level of the driveway puts it at the level of 1/2 up the first row of glass. Water is clearly finding its way under the window at this point. I have graded some of the area up with stone (whole thing is waterproofed and filled with stone as noted). The hang up is there are nice bushes along the way living in the top 6" of soil. Of course, this is all below the grade of the driveway, against the foundation, and there isn't a filter cloth to be found. In the wettest area, I have sloped stone along the foundation to the driveway, put down 6ml black plastic, and covered with more stone. But that doesn't make for a happy wife who would prefer a solution with dirt, plants and mulch. The drive is quite long, so a bunch of stone would look very industrial.
I was thinking of doing the slope above grade to level wtih the drive, then plastic, then a bit more gravel, then filter cloth, then dirt.... ugh. This is too much.
And what about the windows- can't have dirt near those. Just use the plastic and gravel? Whatever gets behind the plastic will be minimal, I assume. The rest runs off to the driveway. (ideally).

Any input appreciated. Thanks

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Old 08-19-2011, 02:00 PM   #2
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Area between foundation & driveway is below grade - how to raise


An actual image



This whole area is now filled to above the decorative facing / waterproofed foundation line with plastic and more stone. Slopes away from house. As you can see it was originally about 6" below the driveway

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Old 08-19-2011, 03:59 PM   #3
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Area between foundation & driveway is below grade - how to raise


The glaring thing I see is the word ASSUMED regarding the footing location and the elevation of the ASSUMED drain tile. Apparently, you have ASSUMED that the "waterproofing" is continuously perfect and there is a perfect seal at the junction with the ASSUMED footing.

Depending on the age of the construction, the interior slab is possibly a "floating slab" that sits on the footing and is poured after the walls are built and the interior utilities were put in. It looks like and older home with the old rock face block.

The fact that the 18" wide space is below the slab, it is a good place to collect water and funnel it efficiently down through the "gravel" (whatever that is) to around the wall base and the and footing, and hopefully into the drain tile (if it is there). The water could also becoming up from under the slab and not through the joint between the wall and footing.which is common.

It will take a lot of investigation to determine the situation and a solution that works.

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Old 08-19-2011, 04:43 PM   #4
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Area between foundation & driveway is below grade - how to raise


Gravel: many small rocks gathered together. As pictured here.



I know what you mean, and thank you for the input.

I have verified with the neighbors and city that the house was dug up in 2005 and waterproofed. There were also new footer drains put in, and some new gutter connections. Of note, the gutter drain you see here was NOT CONNECTED to the system b/c it wasn't glued and the connection rocked loose (during backfill?). And this downspout drains about 35% of the whole house. HUGE amount of water. Dumping directly into the foundation, which had cracked thru the waterproofing and brick.

Before I applied the hydraulic cement, I chiseled away the lose stone. This is the result (hole much deeper by now - I used a shopvac to suck out the gravel...no joke).


Of note, this is the basement corner opposite (same side of house) from the corner I cemented, tarred, feathered, covered in plastic and buries. I have verified the footer drain is gathering water, btw. Any ideas if this could have entered at the back of the house, run down the perimeter and gathered at the front/street side corner?


Really nice that the disclosure form says that he knew of no moisture issues int he basement. Really? I guess this all happened in the 12 hours between him moving our and us getting the keys. Must have been.

But aren't we talking about how to GRADE the landscaping?
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:14 PM   #5
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Area between foundation & driveway is below grade - how to raise


It seems to me that the big problem is that the little strip of landscaping cannot absorb the water from the driveway.

The question is whether the driveway was supposed to drain off to the sides including onto that little strip or whether that little strip was supposed to drain off onto the driveway.

The latter cannot happen gbecause you can't fill in the strip to be higher than the driveway without interering with the glass window blocks.

So one way is to have neither drain onto the other. PUt a thin ridge or curb or thin berm of asphalt paving or concrete on the edge of the driveway so rain water on the driveway cannot flow off onto the little strip of landscaping.

Any downspouts should dump onto the driveway, not the little strip of landscaping.

In the future you can do a project to fill that strip with gravel going all the way down to foundation level where there is a perforated drain pipe. In order to handle runoff from the drivewy if you remove the curb I suggested, you would need an industrial grade sump pump.

Filling that strip with gravel above driveway level and slopihng away from the house to the driveway will not cause water to flow off that strip and onto the driveway.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 08-24-2011 at 06:19 PM.
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