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Old 01-25-2010, 04:40 PM   #1
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flooding


Our house sits lower than the road and when it rains, our garage and lower floor get flooded. We spent major money installing a french drain at the top and bottom of the driveway - the metal grate kind - across the width of the driveway. They go into pipes buried in the ground and then end up in a large pit in the backyard. The pit holds two containers 50 gallon or so with holes in them. When one fills up it goes over into the other one. There is a bubbler at the top where it can get back to the surface when full, otherwise it is supposed to drain into the pit which is lined with stone, fabric etc.

After doing all of this, we still get flooded when it rains hard and/or when we have a prolonged rain and the ground is saturated. Our township will do nothing for us.

We have a sump pump to the side of the french grate drain at the bottom of the driveway to be able to divert that water faster into the french drain pit down the side of the house to the backyard.

What else can we do? Desperate and not having fun every time it rains!

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Old 01-25-2010, 04:57 PM   #2
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A 100g reservoir is not enough for anything but a small amount of rainfall
1" of rain on a 1000' sq ft roof = 625 gallons

Our lot is around 24,000 sq ft = 15,000 gallons of water in a 1" rain fall
Now figure out if other yards are draining into yours
If the street is draining into your yard now you have a huge problem

You are better off raising your driveway to prevent water coming down the driveway

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Old 01-25-2010, 05:02 PM   #3
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The driveway slants down towards the house. The main problem is we have all the street water running down in our driveway and some goes through the grass as well. The street has been repaved which only makes it worse.

Before we had the driveway redone (with pavers), we had a bump (think speed bump) across our driveway to try to channel the water past our property.

It would be harder now with the pavers and french drain to put something back in, not to mention ugly, but it helped a little. If it would solve the problem, we would do it in a heartbeat. If the township would lower the road at the edge creating a small culvert, that would help too.
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:08 PM   #4
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My last house I & my neighbor had the same issue
I had a crawl space so not a problem for me
But the back of my neighbors property would get flooded as would my crawl space

He finally brought in an 18 wheeler full of dirt & raised the ground up above the road
Next heavy rains the street flooded
Then the Town had no choice but to do something

You either need to prevent the water from getting to your house
Or install a system that can get rid of over 15,000g of water when it rains
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:17 PM   #5
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Yeah, I guess I'm screwed then. The driveway drops to almost a story below street level. The house is a raised rancher. Right side is level with street. As you move to the left, the middle is where the transition is major and it becomes almost a story below street level. The house follows the slope of the road. The house if really built into the slope, side to side.

We can handle the water from our property, but the water from the unoccuplied house directly across the street and from the top of the slope just go directly to our driveway or side yard through the grass.

An answer would be to "lose" the garage and put in dirt to make it appear to be one level from the front but we would have to transition because at the far left the side yard is at ground level correctly. Hard to explain.

We would lose a tremendous value in our home. Basically no room to place a garage elsewhere either and we just spent in excess of $20 redoing the driveway, sloping it etc with pavers, redoing the retaining wall to the side of the driveway at the big transition and basically all the french drain work that was done, so it would be like burying 20K plus and losing value by losing the garage.

Then to add on a garage, even if we had room, would cost even more - seems like a steep price to pay! Your comments are wonderful though. Keep em coming!
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:00 PM   #6
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You need to hire a professional engineer to evaluate your situation. Clearly you spent money on a "fix" that didn't fix anything already, so now would be a good time to step back, hire a pro, and let them perform a thorough evaluation of your situation. From the description, you may be collecting a large amount of water both from your lot, your neighbor's lot, and the road, but only a decent topographic map will allow you to determine how much water is coming in.

Bear in mind that just because you dump the water to the back yard does not mean you have solved any problem, you may simply be raising the groundwater level. As the groundwater level rises, you are going to get groundwater flowing away from the barrels, possibly into your basement. Only a detailed study will indicate the cause of the problem. You can't come up with a fix until you know the issues.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:53 AM   #7
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I think Daniel is right. You need a pro.
The situation sounds awful.
Maybe your home owners insurance can help out to get the problem fixed.
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:04 AM   #8
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Maybe you could cut a swale across the front yard to direct the water away from the house? It sounds like your only options involve regrading- cutting and filling.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
You need to hire a professional engineer to evaluate your situation. Clearly you spent money on a "fix" that didn't fix anything already, so now would be a good time to step back, hire a pro, and let them perform a thorough evaluation of your situation. From the description, you may be collecting a large amount of water both from your lot, your neighbor's lot, and the road, but only a decent topographic map will allow you to determine how much water is coming in.

Bear in mind that just because you dump the water to the back yard does not mean you have solved any problem, you may simply be raising the groundwater level. As the groundwater level rises, you are going to get groundwater flowing away from the barrels, possibly into your basement. Only a detailed study will indicate the cause of the problem. You can't come up with a fix until you know the issues.
2Xs... water has to go somewhere, and if you're in a 'bowl' it can't. Civil Engineer will be able to see what volumes you are dealing with, and from where, and may also be able to put more pressure on the City/County if this is a problem they've created with their road improvements. Down here they are very strict about historical flows and no being allowed to shed onto adjacent properties (of course, everything is FLAT, so it makes it pretty tricky). Had similar problems at my old neighborhood, except that the entire neighborhood had become a bowl due to surrounding development that should not have been allowed to be constructed without addressing historical flows... FINALLY (10yrs of petitions, CEs, county commissioners, etc.) it was addressed and corrected!

Good Luck!
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:34 AM   #10
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Thanks - I've driven through the entire neighborhood and we are the ONLY ones that are in this situation. Plus one street behind us falls into the next township. Our township referred me to a civil engineer that they work with and he basically said they won't do anything but sees the problem. His comment was that the builder should never have been allowed to build there or with that style of house.

He feels it is our proble, even though we didn't build the house. Who could have known when we purchased it that this would be the issue. We've been trying to find a solution for many years. When we invested the $20,000 in land improvements, this was supposed to be the solution.

I'm reluctant to put any more into the property. To sell it also has costs associated with it and you have to disclose the issue so the value is lower.

I will continue to work on the township's civil engineer and the township. As I get older, it is harder to get set up to fight the flood by hooking up sump pumps and hoses and shop vacs and occasionaly sand bags in front of the door. We spent the entire night awake and in flood mode recently when we had heavy rain.

I'm too old for this nonsense!
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:22 PM   #11
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if it's the only house with a problem and it is orginal construction/grading, you may have some recourse with the builder/seller. also, if there was previous flooding that was not disclosed, there is liability with the seller and possibly can be rectified through the title agency that was to check owners/insurance claims/FEMA/ etc. i know in my old neighborhood one of the houses (the lowest one) was condemned by FEMA as there was no way to save it without raising the entire house.

Feel for you and sympathize. Tough position to be in and aggrevating everytime it rains!

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