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Old 05-21-2019, 09:12 AM   #1
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"Ghetto" mini french drain?


I've got a major grading problem with my land; basically at the bottom of a hill so all the melt from the main road rivers down my driveway and lakes near my front porch, it ultimately drains to under my front porch and I'm worried about the foundation there which I have zero belief is water proofed in any shape or way. We have to build sand dunes all the time to prevent the melt water from flooding the garage >.<

&quot;Ghetto&quot; mini french drain?-dscn9665.jpg

There's not really anything I can do about the lot grade/driveway so I'm thinking to create a quick and dirty french drain along the front of the house to evacuate the water.

Am I on the right track for the procedure here?

Ditch under the porch and along the entire front of the house lining the entire front area and channeling into the pipe ditch with some kind of membrane/plastic sheet. I was thinking of putting the pipe itself like a foot deep with everything sloping toward it. Any recommendations on a membrane/sheet material that can handle some rocks, frost heave, and earthquake movement?

Then fill ditch with with an inch or so of gravel and lay a 3" PVC/ABS a bunch of drilled holes on the top, sloping that down toward the corner of the house. Bigger sized gravel/rocks over top of the drain pipe - there's river rock under the porch already, we were planning to basically extend that and have a "rock garden" across the front of the house.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:24 AM   #2
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


Before you try any of the stuff your asking about, have you investigated the possibility of diverting the water at the top of the driveway? That's where the problem starts from if I understand this. And if it's runoff from the main road & neighbors, you may have an argument here to get relief or help from the city-town-county or whoever maintains the roads at your location.


I'm not sure about your posted solution. I would look to talk to two or three
foundation experts & commercial landscape contractors & get their opinions.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:48 AM   #3
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


I've never used the product linked below, but I've been fascinated by its design ever since I first saw it. Could be a potential for your situation?

https://www.homedepot.com/p/NDS-4-in...802F/202259347
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:51 AM   #4
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


Not sure what your frost depth is, there is Alaska and then there is Alaska, think southern coastal area. But in general any buried pipes will freeze and eventually break or at least freeze solid, not great for drainage. Here in Maine I always recommend surface drainage with a good slope. If it has to drain underground it has to go deep or have rigid foam installed above it.

What are your soil conditions, good drainage or solid as a rock?

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Old 05-21-2019, 09:51 AM   #5
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


Yeah, we're rural and muni doesn't do jack for us since they annexed - other than double our property taxes every few years, of course. We can't even get a fire truck out here - we paid for it and staff the department via donations. Those urban jerks vote down everything we need/want so we have to pay out of pocket for even basic stuff like street lights and guardrails [/end rant]


Anyway, yeah we had seriously considered putting a drain grate at the top of the driveway here:
&quot;Ghetto&quot; mini french drain?-20190512_182737.jpg

but I guess there's some majorish issues with the idea; having to take a bump every time we come into the driveway is basically guaranteed to cause visitors to wipe out. There's a natural gas line on the right side of the driveway so we'd have to hand dig a bunch of the driveway. There's already a covert at the top of the driveway that we're (us nor a contractor) not allowed to mess with /at all/, on top of that it might be pointless after all that work due to the freeze problem with the drain grate/ditch idea - basically it, like the existing covert and ditch already do, will likely fill with snow and ice and the water will go right over the top of it. >.< The driveway folks we'd talked to about that and putting in a heated driveway said that we'd be better off doing some kind of drainage at the bottom of the driveway (mostly because of the natural gas line and the amount of money and/or work we'd have to pay to dig around it - plus the "it might freeze over" part. We can't have a heated driveway either >.<)


I might be able to get some contractor folks to come have a look but I'm not hopeful it'll happen this year - everyone up here is booked solid because we had a 7.0 quake. I tried to get the moss removal folks to pound like four nails into some siding that had come loose during it last week - his crew up there isn't legally allowed to do it apparently, but he said he could get someone out here to do it "in the fall" lol
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:53 AM   #6
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


Pete, just advertising on that link

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Old 05-21-2019, 09:57 AM   #7
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


Quote:
Originally Posted by F250 View Post
I've never used the product linked below, but I've been fascinated by its design ever since I first saw it. Could be a potential for your situation?

https://www.homedepot.com/p/NDS-4-in...802F/202259347
ooo I dig it, I'll see if they have any up here/if I can order it \o/
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:00 AM   #8
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


I see a pre-fabricated French Drain.
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:06 AM   #9
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
Not sure what your frost depth is, there is Alaska and then there is Alaska, think southern coastal area. But in general any buried pipes will freeze and eventually break or at least freeze solid, not great for drainage. Here in Maine I always recommend surface drainage with a good slope. If it has to drain underground it has to go deep or have rigid foam installed above it.

What are your soil conditions, good drainage or solid as a rock?

Bud
Well we've got rocks but it's drain-able soil down to about 8 foot before we hit bedrock. I believe the frost line is 6 foot (or at least that's what they recommend for buried supply lines,) but for like the drain on our sump pump it's only 2 foot. If my as-built is correct, our well line to the house is at 5 feet and it's never froze up.

I did forget to mention that I was already planning to put heat tape in the french drain pipe anyway, we did that (and buried deeper) our sump drain pipe because it froze and burst right after we moved in (which we promptly the next summer crushed with dumptruck loads of gravel and top soil and then buried even deeper and inside a metal covert lol)
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:15 AM   #10
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


I got the drain this time. There must be a cookie on my computer that says "sucker" so they fed me the Memorial Day sales. If they only knew.

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Old 05-21-2019, 10:18 AM   #11
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


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I got the drain this time. There must be a cookie on my computer that says "sucker" so they fed me the Memorial Day sales. If they only knew.

Bud
I know this feel, we got "sucker"ed into 2 hours of looking at landscaping bricks just the other day.
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:20 AM   #12
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


Here's a link to the manufacturer site.

https://www.ndspro.com/ezdrain-4-pac...th-4-pipe.html

I tried to dig up some reviews, and only found some landscaping companies who tout it quite highly due to reduced installation costs because of the lack of need for gravel. I don't know how well the drainage fabric and poly drainage lumps will avoid (over time) being packed with silt and organic soil residue just like a regular french drain, but perhaps its mesh is fine enough to avoid that service-limiting phenomena.
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:29 AM   #13
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


Quote:
Originally Posted by F250 View Post
Here's a link to the manufacturer site.

https://www.ndspro.com/ezdrain-4-pac...th-4-pipe.html

I tried to dig up some reviews, and only found some landscaping companies who tout it quite highly due to reduced installation costs because of the lack of need for gravel. I don't know how well the drainage fabric and poly drainage lumps will avoid (over time) being packed with silt and organic soil residue just like a regular french drain, but perhaps its mesh is fine enough to avoid that service-limiting phenomena.
Awesome, I'll ask them about putting in a heat tape too. Their site says they sell it locally at a few places so I'll see about giving those folks a call for how it works as well. I don't think our dirt is that fine so I imagine it's not too much of an issue, the dirt seems to clump in palm sized chunks whenever we dig it (high water table thing maybe.) Either way, we could fill the entire thing in with gravel if we needed to - we'd just have to wait to get a foundation person out here to make sure that'd be structurally sound heh
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:58 AM   #14
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


The ultimate solution---MOVE. That's what I did. Lived 69 years in New York. Finally wised up & got the hell out of there. There are two America's. The socialist state's & the capitalist states. Figure out which serves your needs & then jump.
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:08 PM   #15
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


@Mystriss , keep us apprized. Hope you can solve your problem. I've got a friend with a similar issue, in heavy clay soil.

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