Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Landscaping & Lawn Care

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-12-2008, 05:59 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 23
Rewards Points: 0
Share |
Default

Will gravel around house help drainage?


Hi All,

I've recently undergone some major regrading to help with drainage issues in my crawlspace. I now have a yard full of dirt, it's pretty . Anyway, now it's time to landscape. Previously I had mulch beds that lined the perimeter of the house. From what I've gathered mulch, dirt, plants, etc. should not be directly next to the house as they will hold moisture which can attract pests. With that in mind I've been thinking I would line the house with gravel. My primary goal isn't necessarily to deter pests but rather to help direct water away from the house. My thought is that I would first lay down a plastic water barrier. This would keep the weeds from popping up and also carry water away from the house. Then, I would lay some 3/4" crushed gravel or something similar that compacts really well and would also carry water away from the house. I figure with the gravel and water barrier I can keep most of the surface water (rain, snow melt) from draining into the crawl space near the foundation.

Does that sound reasonable? Necessary? Will it help? How far out should I take the gravel (was thinking a couple of feet)? Any other suggestions?

Many thanks!

evolve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2008, 07:42 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 561
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Will gravel around house help drainage?


Making a waterproof barrier 2-4' off the foundation isn't going to stop water from being absorbed by the soil around that edge, and then working it's way towards it. You can't keep the soil "dry" it will always hold moisture. Shrubs and such do not attract or cause moisture problems. Neither does mulch.

LawnGuyLandSparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2008, 08:21 PM   #3
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 23
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Will gravel around house help drainage?


Thanks for the reply.

I realize I can't keep things 100% dry and trying to do so would be a wasted effort but it still seems like rain soaking into the ground at 2' from the foundation would be better than rain soaking into the ground starting at the foundation. But maybe it makes no difference? Or not enough difference to bother?

Having a stucco home I'm not all that concerned with mulch holding moisture (which it will do) and attracting pests but it can't hurt (I don't think) to keep that moisture away from the house.

Or am I crazy?
evolve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2008, 02:39 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,861
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Will gravel around house help drainage?


I believe the key to water proof a house is have Grade properly to direct water to away from the house to an exhaused vent on the street which has underground pipe system.

so did you have that in your case?

The grade should be those before you put rock on it, that is the soil ground....unless you put interlock... then the surface of the interlock dictate the grade....
KUIPORNG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2008, 03:56 PM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 23
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Will gravel around house help drainage?


The grade did slope towards the house but I had it pulled back and now it slopes away and towards swales that route the water around the house. Much like what is shown here http://acehomeinspec.com/images/Swales2.jpg. I imagine (or at least I hope) this will remedy the majority of the drainage / wet crawlspace issues.

My thought with the gravel is that it would add a little extra assistance directing water away from the house. That and it seems like people generally prefer or recommend not mulching or planting right up next to your house.

I'm just not sure if this is really going to help or is necessary.
evolve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2008, 09:51 PM   #6
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 26
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Will gravel around house help drainage?


I think the gravel will have an oppsite effect of what you want. The gravel has much greater permeability than the surrounding soils. This will allow water to travel and hold (like a "bathtub") in the gravel while it is slowed down by the lower permeable soils that surround it. Grading away from the house works best, however if you really want to try and reduce water infiltration or "bathtubing" against your foundation, use compacted clay soils and then topsoil/dirt at the surface sloped away.
wsuswim147 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2008, 05:30 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 561
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Will gravel around house help drainage?


The grading will redirect excess rainwater away from the house. It will not change anything that is occuring underground where the soil meets the foundation. Mulch holds moisture in the soil and prevents it from readily evaporating as when the soil meets the sky, it will not "attract" more moisture towards it and it's miniscule effect on a wet basement/foundation problem isn't worth consideration. Regrading and directing roof runoff away from your foundation are great 1st steps. But do not ever expect that an 18" crawlspace is going to becopme, or even needs to be, bone dry. If excessmoisture is that much of a problem, consider venting the crawlspace.
LawnGuyLandSparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2008, 02:02 PM   #8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 23
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Will gravel around house help drainage?


All, thank you for the replies. From what I've gathered it sounds like my gravel idea is not necessary. I was on the building science website and they had some nice illustrations showing a layer of impermeable clay soil, like you describe wsuswim. I did find an illustration and brief mention of using a 10 mil (min) polyethylene barrier extending out from the foundation wall but they are talking about it being a foot under the soil and 6' to 10' out from the foundation wall. I'm not about to do that much excavating.

I didn't consider the bathtub effect but, that's a good point. While I'm sure it could be designed so the water could weep out or would drain off with the gravel and barrier sitting higher than its surrounding... it's not looking like it would be worth the effort or necessary. The layer of compacted clay soil is going to do the same thing.

As far as whether to use mulch or gravel in general, I haven't found any real definitive answers. I've found a lot of resources / people saying not to mulch right next to the house for pest and fire reasons and others' saying it makes no difference. Not sure what I'll do yet.
evolve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2011, 12:42 PM   #9
Energy Saver
 
HomeInsulation's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: NJ
Posts: 61
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Will gravel around house help drainage?


The best way to stop water from accumulating in your basement or crawlspaces is to direct it away from your house with grading and drainage.

Connecting 4" PVC drainage pipe to the downspouts helps you control the majority of the water that comes off your roof and down through your gutters. You can dig trenches to run the PVC drainage pipe under ground.

Directing the water into french drains, dry wells, or to the public sewer system will keep the water from getting into your basement. Grading the soil around your foundation will also help.

It's not as hard or expensive as you might think. The PVC pipe is only $7.55 for a 10 ft. long pipe at the HD or Lowes.
HomeInsulation is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2011, 02:23 PM   #10
Too Short? Cut it Again!
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 9,635
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Will gravel around house help drainage?


You cannot drain downspouts directly to say a street sewer system in most places I have lived and worked recently. The load on the sewer system is just too extreme.

As for whether the OP needs gravel? I suspect not. Water is heavy and finds the lowest point. It sounds like he graded the site properly.

And you can plant near the house. Just be respectful of the plant material and plant it not for what it looks today but what it is going to grow into. And think about your maintenance over the years. You really should not have to wack have a hedge or shrub off just to get behind it to paint the house or replace a window?

user1007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Connecting main house to guest house... hlavine Building & Construction 31 03-28-2012 09:04 AM
The Bioswale, french drain, deck, drainage dilemma (long) seabright_sc Building & Construction 2 01-05-2008 03:37 PM
drainage requirements alongside stucco house kashimama Landscaping & Lawn Care 3 01-04-2008 08:20 PM
Complete AC installation in Old Capitol Hill Row House jacko10 HVAC 0 09-18-2007 05:42 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.