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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am so glad we did not pay more than our discounted offer on this 1960's era rambler. For a DIY'er, I am always just one day away from the next horrifying/baffling 'revelation'. ("WTF??!!")

Case in point : this house was beset with unattended water ingress problems when we arrived. The patio is of concrete foundation with crumbling slate overlay. It's in bad shape and was a botched project, whenever it was done. It's uneven and does a great job of directing water TO the foundation. I am planning to demo out at least 3 or 4 feet from the foundation wall, run a french drain parallel to the wall, and connect with another drain I have already put in downslope. (we can decide in the future what to do with the rest of this crap patio surface, as it's fairly large).

The first part of the demo was to reveal what was inside the various concrete-curbed and gravel-covered zones near the wall (see 'General view'). There are 3 of these rectangular areas, loaded with gravel (that's a warning right there - gravel next to a wall that is supposed to be dry?).

See 'Gravel removed' - it reveals these cutouts in the ground - square and circular. The square one was loaded with more gravel, and has a water supply line running thru it to a pond. The circular cut out just transitions to straight dirt underneath it.

Can anyone take a guess as to what these are? I have concocted a notion that a malicious builder put them in to guarantee call-back work for themselves or someone else. I have other pictures showing how water STREAMS into these from the patio during a downpour. This has probably been going on uninterrupted for decades - the corresponding section of foundation wall is buckling in towards the basement. Our new cork tile floors are wet. I'm confident that my drain will do what is needed here (coupled with proper grading), but it would be of value to determine the origin of these before I fill them in with compacted and graded soil.

As if this wasn't enough - the water line passing thru this box, below grade, to an adjacent pond, is now broken - either during my excavation, or made worse by it (I was using a trowel to ease away the overburden, being as careful as possible). The pond immediately began draining back into this box structure, until I capped the fill pipe in the pond.

I am also including a pic that shows plastic hose previously set into the concrete, and then cut off. Huh? (no idea). Bloody hell - so many ways for this house to ruin itself. Off now to rent a concrete saw. Let the horror show continue for those with courage to withstand it!

Happy 'discoveries', everyone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Neal. What else can you do?

But to your point - and assuming that the foundation wall is the original one - wouldn't you ALWAYS keep water projects stood well off from any outside wall?
 

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The standing water in those cutouts appears to represent the water table.

In addition to diverting (or alternatively collecting and carrying away) the patio surface water away from the main house foundation (project #1), you need a main house perimeter French drain with sump pump below the basement floor (project #2). The latter is commonly found in houses even those without patios.

You do not want anywhere within the house footprint at any depth, with or without a bed of gravel and/or plastic hose, as a final disposition location for the water.
 

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Conservitum Americum
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Could it possibly be a sump built for drainage? It might have been purpose built with a submersible pump inside it. It might have been filled in a bit with overburden and rock.

From your description it collects drained water from the pond and the house and might be a collector well like an old cistern.
 
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