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steveel 09-10-2010 02:08 PM

Adding exterior drain with concrete steps in way
sorry double post, see the other one; moderator please delete

steveel 09-10-2010 02:24 PM

Adding exterior drain with concrete steps in way
3 Attachment(s)
Help! I'm fixing grading problems at a "new" house. The emergency pipe is bringing water past the house and dumping it on the sidewalk on the uphill side. We want to extend that drain by bringing the water downhill past the house and dumping it on the downhill side. The stairs are in the way. We will be building a raised bed flower garden on both sides of the stairs later on. When done, the drain should be buried in that raised bed, with a terminal opening in the bed's side downhill from the stairs.
Attachment 24687

I would like to simply lay PVC straight under the steps. The bottom of the finished surface on the steps is 5" higher than the top of the sidewalk where the drain should be. BUT below that finished surface on the steps is a thick base of rough concrete, so simply punching a hole with a bar and shovel won't work, and I really don't want to try to take the steps apart to chop up the concrete from above since that way seems like more work than any other option.
Attachment 24688

That leaves either paying someone to punch under the steps from the side, or else bringing the water around in front of the steps. My wife says if I bring the pipe in front the steps, I can't change the the location of that bottom riser. So that means that narrow, 3" thick cement landing at the base of the stairs would have to come out (what I will call a "sacrificial slab"). That way a pipe or trough could be laid down, and then something would have to be put on top to restore the landing's current elevation and slope.
Attachment 24689

But once that slab is out, then what? How do I get the water past the front of the steps, and yet put something back to restore the sloping grade of that "sacrificial slab" shown in pic 3? A pipe's uppermost surface would be close to the surface of a new concrete pour, because that pipe couldn't be dug down too deep without going below the elevation of the drain's terminal end. With the top of the pipe basically at the top of the slab, would the slab survive zero-degree winter without cracking up? Another option is the u-shaped channel with a grate or plate on top. What material would you use.... remember we'll be walking on it with winter-salt-slushy shoes, and then stepping right into the living room when we come thru the door. Would iron be too staining? What else is there for this application?

What'd the cheapest-but-durable solution, that will still make my wife happy (no messing with the tread/riser arrangment of the stairs).


Scuba_Dave 09-10-2010 03:37 PM

Where are you located ?
Is that a driveway on the left ?
That could pose a problem in the winter with icing if you are in a cold climate

steveel 09-10-2010 03:44 PM

I'm in PA, and you're right... any water that drains out when ground is below freezing will ice up. However, if we don't do this, then the ice will form in a sheet from uphill down past the steps (bad bad bad). We want the problem spot to be where the fewest people walk (and we already have an ice problem due to a downspout). Downhill neighbor is on board with the plan.

Thanks for sounding the caution.


DexterII 09-10-2010 04:08 PM

I believe that I would have a chat with the local authorities. It's great that the downhill neighbor is "on board", but between diverting the water onto their property, and the proximity of a public sidewalk, think that prudence needs to be the first order.

steveel 09-10-2010 04:23 PM

Good point, D. Thanks


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