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Old 08-20-2008, 08:29 PM   #1
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Landscpaing for runoff


Ok Straight to point. Wondering if I would have better luck diverting or soaking up runoff with new topsoil and grass over plastic liner or keep the existing stone and evergreens over plastic.

We are having some minor water problems with water and trying to do the easy stuff first.

Thanks

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Old 08-21-2008, 09:20 AM   #2
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Landscpaing for runoff


If you have a plastic liner, you are going to have a drainage problem regardless. Why the liner?

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Old 08-21-2008, 09:11 PM   #3
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Landscpaing for runoff


Quote:
Why the liner?
Wondered that myself.

Buckethead,
A little too straight to the point, almost. Do you want to divert the runoff OR soak it up? How much runoff do you have? Is this an erosion issue?
"Minor water problems" sounds a little like your best friend's buddy's "good looking" sister.
Could you describe what you call minor water problems and what you want to accomplish. Do we understand that your evergreens are planted on top of the plastic?
Don't intend to sound condescending, but right now it would take a whole chapter or two in a book to answer your question. There are many things, and a number of them cheap and easy, that you can do to control runoff.
One answer I can give you irregardless of any other plan, I wouldn't plant anything on top of plastic.
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:53 PM   #4
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Landscpaing for runoff


Ok....

So currently the front SW corner of our block basement leaks after a heavy storm. I recently resealed the walls on that side of the basement where it was leaking in. The leak seems to be on the joint between the first block and the floor. As I said its fine right now, but in the winter after a good thaw and rain I expect probelms or even after a heavy spring rain.

The old owner had landscaped the front and west side of the house. In front of the SW corner I have a bush and lava rock over a plastic liner. My thoughts on this is that the liner is pulled away from the house a couple of inches and it appears that if it were to rain that the water would be diverted toward the house. My wife doesn't want any bushes removed so I am only planning on pulling off the lava rock, regrading, and installing new plastic liner.

Second on the west side of the house they installed a 3' strip stone over a layer of plastic liner. They then installed evergreen bushes. What I would like to do is install grass and remove the bushes, stone, and liner. However if I am looking to prevent any further problems of a wet basement should I rethink that grass.

Hope this clarifies.





We also live in a heavy clay area with a high seasonal water table.
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Old 08-22-2008, 07:20 PM   #5
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Landscpaing for runoff


We're getting there!

Here's my thoughts:

I really do not think this is an issue with your plants or lack thereof.

1. First, is this a head-high "basement" ( I presume ) or crawl space?
2. Did you seal this from the inside? Probably yes?
3. Suggestion: You might try a post in the construction forum regarding causes/cures for the leak at this particular joint.
4. If the liner pulled away from the house "a couple of inches" that should not be significant. If you mean 12-18 inches that could be a problem IF you do not have gutters and downspouts. Short story- I knew a fellow once tried to save a few dollars on a new house, no gutters, and one Sunday morning half his basement wall caved in from the weight of the water saturated soil.
5. As far as the grading is concerned, 3 ft is not quite sufficient. You don't need a lot of slope. One inch in ten feet is okay but the water needs to KEEP going away from the house. Someone else may say two or three inches and I wouldn't argue that either. Just a couple of feet, though and then down and possibly over through wherever the soil is loosest could be straight at your wall.
6. From a landscaping perspective, I don't like the idea of bushes planted on top of (how much on top of?) plastic liner.
7. "After a good thaw" suggests that you are in the northern part of the country. Just asking, but is it possible that the footing was constructed improperly, i.e. not below the frost line?
8. Hate to suggest this expense, but perhaps a french drain? Or, if you have water to the point of standing rather than just damp, might be easier to install a drywell type area from the inside, maybe with a sump pump. Still rather keep the water out in the first place, though.
9. Should have mentioned this with 2 above but sealing is usually more efficient from the outside unless maybe you used something like 'Drylock'.
10. FWIW- I built a new house, constantly wet in the crawl space with water standing in low places around the foundation since it wasn't backfilled very well. Spent about a year after every good rain re-checking, re-grading, etc. One day heard water running while I was standing near the crawl space door. Asked what was going on inside. Found out that the TUB DRAIN had not been properly installed and every time someone took a bath, part of the water ran out. Point is, check the basics but don't assume anything to solidly.
11. Is the leak worst with the high water table?

Time for me to hush up!
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