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Old 12-20-2011, 12:24 PM   #16
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Does this ditch thing have a purpose?


Curious. I have a few questions.

The ditch is inside? Does the ditch run along the side or back of the building.

Are there any other buildings near or connected to the garage that could could make drainage a more significant issue?

You say you have trouble fitting your cars in. Is it possible this wasn't originally a garage, but built for some other use?

Where are you? Not only climate wise, rainfall etc, but does your area have a history of some agricultural process? that would make some one want something like this?

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Old 12-20-2011, 12:45 PM   #17
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Does this ditch thing have a purpose?


Having the lower level trench to catch falling debris sounds logical, the smaller trench within for drainage makes sense. If not, & the garage was always a garage, I'm thinking that there could have been some piece of equipment along that wall that had a deeper base to it & had to be set lower than the finished floor in order to use it.

Another unsolved mystery.
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:18 PM   #18
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Does this ditch thing have a purpose?


Koi pond?
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:07 PM   #19
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Does this ditch thing have a purpose?


I took more detailed photos (the ones with captions): https://picasaweb.google.com/1137698...eat=directlink


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Originally Posted by dannyoung85 View Post
Is there a drain anywhere in the trench?
Cleaned out the right side and found no drainage. Just a slab of concrete throughout.

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Originally Posted by BigGuy01 View Post
What's the dark patch in the photo? Is that water inside the ditch or am I looking at it wrong?

Only functional reason I can see that being in there, is control of water. If there is sand at the bottom, that sand may be over a layer of gravel, and act as a natural drainage for water to go into the ground, instead of in a pipe. That said, the dark shade that's in one of your photos of one of the ends of the ditch, looks like there is something covering a vent.
Its a water stain I guess, but no drainage, sand or gravel, just concrete. The other side was cleaned up and nothing but concrete there too.

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Originally Posted by Blondesense View Post
Curious. I have a few questions.

The ditch is inside? Does the ditch run along the side or back of the building.

Are there any other buildings near or connected to the garage that could could make drainage a more significant issue?

You say you have trouble fitting your cars in. Is it possible this wasn't originally a garage, but built for some other use?

Where are you? Not only climate wise, rainfall etc, but does your area have a history of some agricultural process? that would make some one want something like this?
The ditch is inside and it runs along the back of the building. This garage DOES literally touch (basically attached) the neighbor's smaller one car garage (we share the driveway, I guess that's why they're so close). I believe this building was built as a garage because the dimension of the opening fits a standard two car garage door almost perfectly (16' x 7').

I'm in the northwest, Seattle specifically. I'm not very knowledgeable on the region's climate and agricultural properties, but I know it rains relatively frequently, but its mainly mist. No real rainfall (despite the misconception).
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:26 PM   #20
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Does this ditch thing have a purpose?


I'm starting to lean towards the drainage theory with a twist that the previous owners Mickey Mouse'd this garage build/re-build (just like they did with most of the house). When I checked the leveling of the garage the main floor bows a bit so the front of the garage slopes slightly down towards the driveway and the rear of the floor slopes slightly down toward the ditch. The entire ditch itself slopes slightly down towards the right side, which would explain why the right side is much dirtier and moist than the left side (from pooling water and debris).

The only problem I see is there's no drainage. Unless all the dirt I just removed (originally spread throughout the entire ditch) was serving as the drainage solution?

Is this just more sloppiness on the previous owner's part? If drainage is the likely function/purpose, how do I finish the job properly?
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:18 PM   #21
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Does this ditch thing have a purpose?


Was this always a garage? It looks very much like the raised floor in our computer room. Could there have been a false floor over the trench and then cabling run underneath at some point?

If it wasn't 13" high I would say someone poured new floor around some cabinets that were removed later.
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:42 PM   #22
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Does this ditch thing have a purpose?


On your property schematics, or "plot Plan" what does it say the function for the ditch is?

On the blueprints for your home/property, if the garage was built at the same time as the home, it will just flat out say what it's for.

Or you can look over the exact spot of the ditch, and see if there is anything running under it, or was something in it.
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:23 PM   #23
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Does this ditch thing have a purpose?


I would just personally fill it in and not worry about it!
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:15 PM   #24
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Does this ditch thing have a purpose?


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That certainly sounds like a logical guess but it's way too big for what would only be considered for drainage, especially in a garage.
Well, other than dismissing my guess, do you have something constructive to ad to the conversation?

Not seeing the bottom of the left side, where the water was pooled, where you could see a dark spot, this still was a plausible guess, even with taking the size into consideration. I have been in many garages and warehouses that have drainage areas this large. When washing the floor a good amount of water is used, and when machinery and expensive tooling is stored and used, you want the water to move off fast and have an adequate space to drain into.
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:21 PM   #25
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Does this ditch thing have a purpose?


Is the low point of this ditch higher then the low point on your property? What I mean is if it was for drainage the low point of the ditch would have a catch drain and an elbow that would put the flow about 10" below top of ditch (just a guess) so with 1/4" per foot fall would the line be able to drain?
Maybe it use to have a grate over this area? That would give the snow that was brought into the garage an area to runoff in.
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:07 AM   #26
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Does this ditch thing have a purpose?


I'm guessin' it was to hide the bootleg gin!

The previous owner probably had it filled with sand to be level with the rest of the garage floor; capped it with some plywood skim-coated with concrete to blend in; and put some light-weight boxes and other junk on top to disguise the area. He could then hide bottles of the good stuff in the sand.

Wait a minute....that gives me an idea...
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:29 PM   #27
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Does this ditch thing have a purpose?


Quote:
Originally Posted by BigGuy01 View Post
On your property schematics, or "plot Plan" what does it say the function for the ditch is?

On the blueprints for your home/property, if the garage was built at the same time as the home, it will just flat out say what it's for.

Or you can look over the exact spot of the ditch, and see if there is anything running under it, or was something in it.
I'm not sure there ever was a property schematics or plot plan for this house - its almost 100 years old, doubt they did that back then. There was an old drawing found online for the property but it was just a scale drawing of the house itself, nothing else. The current garage was added on or rebuild two or three decades ago.


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Originally Posted by Msradell View Post
I would just personally fill it in and not worry about it!
LOL! I wish I could, but I'm the type of person who just has to know why its like this and fix it if its wrong.


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Originally Posted by havalife View Post
Is the low point of this ditch higher then the low point on your property? What I mean is if it was for drainage the low point of the ditch would have a catch drain and an elbow that would put the flow about 10" below top of ditch (just a guess) so with 1/4" per foot fall would the line be able to drain?
Maybe it use to have a grate over this area? That would give the snow that was brought into the garage an area to runoff in.
Maybe a grate is suppose to be there and they just ran into a problem they should of planned and quit or got lazy and didn't finish it properly.
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:34 PM   #28
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Does this ditch thing have a purpose?


In the meantime, should I put the dirt I removed (i.e. the possible drainage solution) back in the ditch/trench? I can't see why else the dirt was there (unless its been oozing out from the ditch/trench's side wall over the decades like it appears to be)
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:26 PM   #29
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Does this ditch thing have a purpose?


From looking at the pics and the fact you said it's 100 years old, the thought that came to mind was that the slab in the ditch is part of the original garage floor. The "higher" floor looks to have been poured above the level of the foundation stem wall and covers the cmu. But why they would have left this part lower is still quite a mystery...

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