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Old 05-28-2019, 04:00 PM   #31
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


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@Mystriss , sounds like your city is a bit dysfunctional, ma'am.

Maybe get active in politics?
Oh, they function just fine... for Anchorage. I don't live in Anchorage though, I live in one of the six cities/towns that was annexed by Anchorage. So I'm in a city that just pays high property taxes so that Anchorage residents can vote no on everything we need - from schools to roads to firemen/police.

We're campaigning to break away with the other five cities right now
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Old 05-28-2019, 05:45 PM   #32
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


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Oh, they function just fine... for Anchorage. I don't live in Anchorage though, I live in one of the six cities/towns that was annexed by Anchorage. So I'm in a city that just pays high property taxes so that Anchorage residents can vote no on everything we need - from schools to roads to firemen/police.

We're campaigning to break away with the other five cities right now
Get involved, sounds like you are!
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Old 05-29-2019, 06:27 AM   #33
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


Can you get the ditches dug deeper and a drainage pond added.?

A swale in the yard and speed bump in the drive will direct water.

Curbs along drives help.

Are you in a known flood zone.?
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:13 AM   #34
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


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Can you get the ditches dug deeper and a drainage pond added.?

A swale in the yard and speed bump in the drive will direct water.

Curbs along drives help.

Are you in a known flood zone.?
High water table as a granite shelf/slab is only 20ish' down, but not a flood zone. I just have the misfortune to have a flatish lot at the bottom of a hill.

The ditches are a good 4' deep already and they handle the load fine, actually my lots existing 'drainage' handles the rain okay too. The problem is the average 100" of snow fills the ditches up, gets hard packed through the winter and the melt off can't drill through it into ditches, coverts, etc. and comes down the driveway.

I'm thinking about doing a swell on the driveway that'll drain 'under' the wild area up front (about 15' back from the road) We've been planning to put in lights and power up along that front line so it wouldn't be too much more work to dig a bit further and put in a pipe/covert with vertical facing inlets that we could keep clear of snow all winter. Problem is I can't find a single landscaping company to come talk over a plan.

Everyone up here is booked solid three times over trying to repair earthquake damage on top of the usually hectic summer season - there's folks up here living in hotels who can't even get on the schedule to fix their houses until next summer - so I might have to table even getting a plan this season. Having the same problem with finding a general contractor to come look over our addition ideas, even the moss removal folks are a month out on appointments, and my hopes for at least redoing the roof and gutters on the shop are completely blown out of the water already. >.<
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Old 05-30-2019, 01:41 PM   #35
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


So, regarding those prefab French drains...

https://www.homedepot.com/p/NDS-4-in...802F/202259347

...I installed some of these at the edge of my property. My neighbor's lot is higher than mine, and water was washing away the new soil I had put down to fill in low spots. So I put these in and channeled the water to a dry well. The system works beautifully. Underscoring what others wrote above, you want to put in the drains UPHILL from where the problem is, and channel the water AWAY from the low spot where it's pooling or threatening the foundation.

Regarding the issue with snowmelt on your driveway: It sounds like maybe you could solve the problem by installing trench drains...

https://www.ndspro.com/products/drai...ch-drains.html

...basically, cut into the asphalt or concrete (or gravel?) and stick one of these in, and direct the water to somewhere where it won't threaten the house. Maybe a long pipe going AROUND the house and ending downhill from it? Anyway, I assume you plow the driveway in winter, so these drains wouldn't be covered in snow, and would therefore catch any snowmelt that sheets down the driveway. What I'm not sure about is whether you'd get freezing inside - but I think you already have an idea of how to deal with that.
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:29 PM   #36
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


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So, regarding those prefab French drains...

https://www.homedepot.com/p/NDS-4-in...802F/202259347

...I installed some of these at the edge of my property. My neighbor's lot is higher than mine, and water was washing away the new soil I had put down to fill in low spots. So I put these in and channeled the water to a dry well. The system works beautifully. Underscoring what others wrote above, you want to put in the drains UPHILL from where the problem is, and channel the water AWAY from the low spot where it's pooling or threatening the foundation.

Regarding the issue with snowmelt on your driveway: It sounds like maybe you could solve the problem by installing trench drains...

https://www.ndspro.com/products/drai...ch-drains.html

...basically, cut into the asphalt or concrete (or gravel?) and stick one of these in, and direct the water to somewhere where it won't threaten the house. Maybe a long pipe going AROUND the house and ending downhill from it? Anyway, I assume you plow the driveway in winter, so these drains wouldn't be covered in snow, and would therefore catch any snowmelt that sheets down the driveway. What I'm not sure about is whether you'd get freezing inside - but I think you already have an idea of how to deal with that.
Trench drain! Yeah that's what I was pondering putting at the top of the driveway. We'd have to put in a heat tape to keep it from freezing up, but as long as we remember to unplug the thing in the summer it's not too expensive to run.

I've been pondering the prefab french drain thing a bit more today. We're about due to redo our entire yard as the tree roots are starting to show on the spruces, was thinking I could maybe do the french drain across the front yard and direct all the water into the side lot which is mostly scrub brush that I don't care about killing heh
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Old 05-31-2019, 10:38 AM   #37
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


As long as the side lot slopes away from the house, it should work. Maybe put in a dry well (conventional or engineered - NDS also has a nice 50 gallon dry well), and/or a "leach field" - basically a few dozen feet of french drain where you want the water to end up. I think the idea is that this helps the soil to absorb it, whereas if you just end the drain somewhere, heavy water flow would result in a swamp or a pond, or even erosion if it's on a hillside. Either way, you can put "pop-up emitters" at the end, which basically just shed the overflow (that the soil can't absorb fast enough) to the surface.

Those engineered french drains are nice, but they're pretty expensive. It might actually be cheaper to do it the conventional way, depending on the cost of gravel and labor. That is, dig a trench, add gravel and a perforated 4" pipe, add more gravel, and top with soil. Around here (NY) labor is crazy expensive, so the engineered version is competitive.
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Old 05-31-2019, 03:06 PM   #38
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


This is kind of what I'm thinking:



This allows me to bypass the high left side of the driveway (hidden behind spruce,) dig shallow near my favorite spruce's roots (center right,) and go deeper as I get closer to the second driveway (on left) which is mostly small birch and scrub brushes I don't care as much about losing.

(Here's the high part that's hidden behind my favorite spruce - second driveway is just past the mailboxes.)
&quot;Ghetto&quot; mini french drain?-20190120_092330.jpeg

The attached garage addition we are thinking about doing in the main driveway goes just a hair past the tail end of that Subaru on the right. The "entry way" addition doesn't even go out as far as the black spruce on the left. The detached shop/garage addition in the second driveway doesn't quite go out to the red truck. So this would keep the water away from all the new foundation work and deal with the majority of the water problem - I might take the bottom swell of the valley further down the driveway past that high clump of trees on the right just to try to give a kind of "platform" to cut down on sliding into the garage heh

I'll have to look at the cost for traditional vs the prefab. We'd be redoing the entire yard and getting gravel/sand/topsoil delivered in bulk for that anyway so it may indeed be cheaper.
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Last edited by Mystriss; 05-31-2019 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 07-04-2019, 07:49 PM   #39
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


I just happened across this video.

It starts at 0.38 into the video.

Maybe it would help you when you need it and then remove it when you don't.

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Old 07-05-2019, 03:33 PM   #40
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


Even though this says no gravel is needed, for your situation and locale I would suggest that you do.

If you don't have one, rent a mini-excavator, it will make digging easier and much more fun.

You will need geo-textile fabric to put under and over the drain tube. Also, a supply of washed stone or granite. And if you want, a cistern to capture the water for gardening.

You may want to consider putting in two drains. one midway and one at the bottom. You can get steel grates to cover the holes.

First, cut the outlines of the drains in your driveway, it looks like asphalt. Wider is better.

Then, digging as deep as you can, dig out for you drain tube.

Line the whole hole with geo textile fabric. Put some washed stone/ granite at the base. A few inches. This will help capture any fines that do come through.

Lay the drain tube in place and then cover it with about 6 inches of the stone/granite. Put down the next layer of geo-textile fabric, (BTW, this should be water permeable, obviously) and put down the stone/granite to bring it to the surface. This whole structure goes the width of the driveway and carries out into the side yard.

There is a section in the current series of the This Old House series that deals with a similar situation. It has some good information.

Good Luck, Ktown
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Old 07-06-2019, 06:18 PM   #41
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Re: "Ghetto" mini french drain?


Put up that sand dune you were mentioning just inside the 4 foot ditch at the road. Make it long and narrow following the ditch. Add a speed bump on your driveway lining up with the sand dune. Actually it should not be pure sand but rather something that won't morph and wash away. No need to touch the culvert under your driveway and in line with the 4 foot ditch.

Where will the (ghetto? curlicue? mini? prefab?) French drain you were thinking of drain/dump its collected water to?

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Move.
Actually good (+3 by now?) advice. You have a lousy lot.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 07-06-2019 at 06:28 PM.
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