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Old 03-01-2010, 12:06 AM   #1
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first time homeowner with water problem


Hello everyone,

I recently bought a 20 years old house and I don't know anything about home improvement or repair. I really need your help and guidance.

The house has a very large back deck and the grass around and under it is soggy. There are still grass around the deck but the area is very soggy. Not only that, the area roughly 20 feet away from the house toward the hill area is also soggy, enough to uproot the grass if I walk on it. This house is 20 years old so I know the problem isn't that bad as it is still standing and there is no water at all in the basement.

The house is built into the hill with the the angle sloping toward the front. The sloping angle start about 20 feet from the rear deck and all the way toward the end of the driveway, for the total distance of roughly 50 yards. The edge of one side of the driveway also get soggy very easily. The soil here is just way to soft.

There is no water in the basement and there is a sump pump. I don't know if it works or not but it's not pumping even though there is water inside the sump pit. There is no smell and the basement is bone dry and is all the way under with no walk-out or walk-up access. We had 3 feet of snow over the last 45 days and they have melt, which left the area around and under the rear deck very soggy. However, there is no water flowing into the sump pit. There is no standing water in the yard, it is just soggy around and under the rear deck. This area has already been soggy when we had all the crazy rain in the fall and there is not enough sun light in the direction to evaporate it all, then the snow came.

I will take pictures and post here later. My questions are:

1) What should I do?

2) Can the drain pipe leading the in-ground water into the sump pit be clog, causing the soil to be wet while there isn't much water in the sump pit? The sump pit is inside the basement and about 20 feet away from the soggy area around the deck. This is on the other side of the house and this area isn't soggy because the sloping angle isn't as bad. The other side of the back yard is soggy all the way out to 20 feet from the rear deck.

3) Should I install another sump-pit/sump-pump outside in the backyard either near or under the deck itself to drain the water?

The basement is full finished so I can't tell if the walls are wet. I just know there is odor and the carpet is bone dry.

Thank you very much for your help.

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Old 03-01-2010, 07:41 AM   #2
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first time homeowner with water problem


I suggest you look into some landscape drainage.

You may need to install perforated drain piping under the wet places in the yard and pipe the water down hill--away from the house.

Heavy rain and snow is going to give you a wet soggy lawn -even with good drainage----
Have you been in the house long enough to know if you have a real problem ?

It may be that you folks have had a soggy wet winter--this may not be a reoccurring situation.

If landscaping is not one of your skills,there are many professional landscapers
who can design and install a drainage system for your yard.--Mike--

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Old 03-01-2010, 09:21 AM   #3
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Thank you Mike for your suggestion.

I have only been in the house since November 2009. I started looking at this house since late Semptemer and didn't see the problem. My friend, who is a professional builder, did a complete walk-around to inspect the home and also didn't see the problem. The grass was green everywhere. We only started noticing the soggy lawn in December when we got a lot of rain and then was hit with the record snow.

My neighbor did say that several people in the area have similar problem and he has sump pump. I also have sump pump but I don't see it pumping and there isn't much water in the sump pit. The pit is a little less than half full even though the lawn is soggy.

I am going to ask my friend how much it would cost to install a draining landscape. I believe the perforated drain pipes are installed to lead water into the sump pit. There are two pipes and I can see the perforation. I don't know if they were properly installed or not but there is no water coming in the pit when i think there should be due to the condition of the lawn. The exhaust pipe doesn't have the extended pipe to lead water anywhere and would end up right at the outside of the house. I know I need to buy a extended tube to lead the water else where.

Should I start digging outside the house to see what's going on?
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:18 PM   #4
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First thing to do is to get the sump pump discharge to drain away from the house.

For this job you do not want perforated pipe. I like to use 4" PVC pipe . The pipe from the house(usually
1 1/2 inch) must be a 'free fall' into the big new pipe that you bury under the grass.

I like to use Pvc for two reasons: The smooth pipe does not clog with mud as easily as the corrugated
--Pvc is tough stuff and I can drive over it with my truck and it will not crush.

A free fall drain is like a faucet dumping into a sink--(little pipe pouring into a bigger pipe) If the under ground pipe freezes or gets clogged the water will over flow,harmlessly,onto the lawn.

If the sump discharge is 'hard piped' into the under ground pipe--and it freezes --usually the pipe inside the house blows apart. Ugly mess--

It sounds like you have a good situation with your foundation drainage ,you said it's been a wet winter and no sump pump action.---That's great.Lucky you!!!

It sounds like all you need to do is some landscape drainage,maybe a swail(A shallow ditch) and you will be able to enjoy your new yard--even after a good rain.

---Mike---

By the way----You DO NOT pipe you yard water into your house--Ever -never--You said that you have a nice slopping yard--Figure a way to get natural drainage ,using good on fashioned gravity -to send your yard water away--Have fun,Enjoy your new place.---Mike---

Last edited by oh'mike; 03-01-2010 at 06:23 PM. Reason: Re read original post--
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:30 AM   #5
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first time homeowner with water problem


To check your sump pump open the sump and lift the float up to see if the pump works if it does not work first check power supply
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