can driveway remodel help with water problem?


  #1  
Old 03-17-10, 05:28 AM
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can driveway remodel help with water problem?

Hi, recently I had a water issue (http://forum.doityourself.com/wells-...g-options.html). You, don't have to read that since its quite long.

To summarize, I have a driveway slightly sloped towards the garage. In front of the garage is a grate. This grate is part of an old drain system that existed when I bought the house. IF you look at the picture, Starting at the backyard and going counter-clockwise you can see the flow of the water.
The system ends in the sewer access hole in my basement. At that point the old owner would open the sewer main line and the water would go away.

Anyhow, I had the idea of putting pipes under the driveway and changing the pitch so that the the old drain system would be redirected towards the street.

I have to redo the driveway anyhow, because the side concrete wall is leaning about 20-30 degrees into the driveway. So it could fall and it leaves little room to open the car doors. Also, width wise, you can only fit 1 car, and I have a lot of room to double the width and allow two cars to fit. The length is enough for 2 cars, but I don't like having to constantly move one car for the other one to get out.

If anyone could explain this better, please do as I am sure I am not using the right terminology.

My questions are:
1) is it common to put pipes under the driveway and have water run off into the street? Is it "legal"?
2) Who do I call to get an estimate? a landscaper?
3) How do I know if the driveway can be pitched in the opposite direction?
4) If I can't change the pitch of the driveway, can I do something else to get the same effect?

Thanks

 
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Old 03-17-10, 09:42 AM
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From that drawing it looks like your entire lot drains toward the street with the exception of the drive way. Without seeing it in person I think the driveway should drain away from the home. My suggestion would be to call a couple of concrete contractors out to discuss the issues and get their opinion and a quote. More than likely they will have to shoot the grades to prove without a doubt it will work. Can you send photos?
 
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Old 03-17-10, 12:46 PM
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Hi Sddiy:

I had a similar problem at a New York house further upstate in the early 1970's. In my area, what the previous owner was doing with the sewer would have been illegal.

Let me try to address your four questions:

1) is it common to put pipes under the driveway and have water run off into the street? Is it "legal"? I don't understand this question. If the driveway slopes down from the street to your garage, how would putting pipes underneath the driveway change anything? As to being legal, I'd say "maybe". I say it that way because you would want to be certain you had approval from the local authority and you could argue that if the driveway were pitched right the water would run into the street anyway. I wouldn't bring up the previous owners' trick unless you have documents that say he had approval to do this.

2) Who do I call to get an estimate? a landscaper? I'd call a couple of reliable driveway installers based on whether your driveway in concrete or blacktop (not someone who just applies top coats).

3) How do I know if the driveway can be pitched in the opposite direction? If the entrance to your garage is lower than the street, I don't see how the pitch could be changed unless you could raise the garage (or the garage floor).

4) If I can't change the pitch of the driveway, can I do something else to get the same effect? It depends on how much water you are talking about and if you have other options to divert the water. In my 1970 case, I was able to install a french drain that took the water to a neighboring stream path.

As Kerry says, we need photos. It would also be good to have an idea about how much your garage floor is below the street.

Your comment about having to redo the driveway because the side conrete wall is leaning is interesting. Do you know what caused this? Is it water pressure?
 
  #4  
Old 03-18-10, 05:40 AM
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thanks for your comments!

I went to get pictures and forgot the digital camera. All I had was my cellphone, let's see if these came out any good. If not, i'll get some more tonight.

The first picture shows how the sidewall is leaning.
Second pic is the grate in front of the garage.

Third is the left sidewall. Here you can see a downspout attached to a black tube that I have no idea where it goes. But my fear is that it goes into the grate.

Fourth, tried to show the slope coming from the street. It's very small but its there.

Fifth, shows the slope of the street.

6th. I tried to show that there is a pyramid looking cement transition between the grate and the garage door. This would stop any water from going into the garage and down to the grate instead.







 
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Old 03-18-10, 07:03 AM
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The pictures help.

From picture #1, I can see that the garage floor appears to be about one level lower than the front entry level. I can also see the lean of the sidewall next to the front walk.

You're probably right that the black tube in picture #3 goes into the grate, but I suggest that you check that assumption by pouring water into the gutter and seeing if the downspout feeds it into the grate's catch basin. You might have to lift the grate to check this. Knowing the answer to this could open up an additional opportunity to remove the drivewway water (if the downspout diverts to someplace else) or additional problem that must be solved if it feeds the grate.

Picture #6 was very interesting. It looks to me as if the concrete 'bump' that keeps water from flowing into the garage is a home made solution installed by the previous owner. I get the same impression looking at the grate.

If these assumptions are correct:

1) The previous owner probably didn't have local approval to divert storm water into the sewer system. Depending on how long you've owned the house, you might have grounds for legal action if the condition wasn't disclosed at the time of sale, but it can be difficult to prove this and to actually collect anything. More important is that you may be open to your local authorities discovering this at some point.

2) The top of the concrete 'bump' may have to be level with the street to function as a water barrier. If this is true, you might be able to lay a new driveway from the height of the "bump" that is even to the street level and have a smaller "bump" about 5ive feet from the garage. You could then direct the downspout flow to the street side of the "bump". I hope this makes sense.

And you have to solve the problem of the leaning wall.
 
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Old 03-18-10, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by BigRedSoxFan
The pictures help.

From picture #1, I can see that the garage floor appears to be about one level lower than the front entry level. I can also see the lean of the sidewall next to the front walk.

You're probably right that the black tube in picture #3 goes into the grate, but I suggest that you check that assumption by pouring water into the gutter and seeing if the downspout feeds it into the grate's catch basin. You might have to lift the grate to check this. Knowing the answer to this could open up an additional opportunity to remove the drivewway water (if the downspout diverts to someplace else) or additional problem that must be solved if it feeds the grate.

Picture #6 was very interesting. It looks to me as if the concrete 'bump' that keeps water from flowing into the garage is a home made solution installed by the previous owner. I get the same impression looking at the grate.

If these assumptions are correct:

1) The previous owner probably didn't have local approval to divert storm water into the sewer system. Depending on how long you've owned the house, you might have grounds for legal action if the condition wasn't disclosed at the time of sale, but it can be difficult to prove this and to actually collect anything. More important is that you may be open to your local authorities discovering this at some point.

2) The top of the concrete 'bump' may have to be level with the street to function as a water barrier. If this is true, you might be able to lay a new driveway from the height of the "bump" that is even to the street level and have a smaller "bump" about 5ive feet from the garage. You could then direct the downspout flow to the street side of the "bump". I hope this makes sense.

And you have to solve the problem of the leaning wall.
Thanks for laying it all out so logically! Definitely going to get on the roof and poor some water to see where it goes!

1) I have a lawyer in the family who also suggested the legal action. But I am old fashioned, I just want to fix what I can and focus on the future. Hopefully, the local authorities won't try to blame me for any illegalities. I am trying to do it right, but I only have so much money!

2) Your right about paving the driveway up to that height makes a lot of sense. But I was reading about the 1% or is it 2% pitch rule. Can you explain it to me? My driveway is over 2 car lengths long, so thats like 15 ft? So the height at the garage would have to be 1% of 15 ft higher? Doing some math here... 15 feet is 180 inches, so 1% of that is 1.8 inches?

I also called the city but after 4 transfers the told me the engineer doesn't come in until later. I am trying to find out 1) if I am allowed to expand driveway and 2) if they have any records, plans or info on how the drainage of the whole house is setup. And if they know the water table info.

Anyhow I am having a landscaper/driveway company come by on saturday. I am just trying to gather as much info now, so that they don't make me fix stuff that isn't broken or offer solutions that won't work. I just bought the house, so I am house broke and I am apprehensive about the costs.
 
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Old 03-18-10, 09:56 AM
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I think you need to get the landscaper to shoot grades from the garage floor to the street. That will tell you if you can divert the water to the street or not. One question I have is does the water from the street currently run down the d-way? If so you could substancially reduce the amount of water your grate is handling by adding a subtle "hump" accross the begining of the drive to keep the water from turning down your drive.
 
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Old 03-18-10, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by sddiy
Thanks for laying it all out so logically! Definitely going to get on the roof and poor some water to see where it goes!

1) I have a lawyer in the family who also suggested the legal action. But I am old fashioned, I just want to fix what I can and focus on the future. Hopefully, the local authorities won't try to blame me for any illegalities. I am trying to do it right, but I only have so much money!

2) Your right about paving the driveway up to that height makes a lot of sense. But I was reading about the 1% or is it 2% pitch rule. Can you explain it to me? My driveway is over 2 car lengths long, so thats like 15 ft? So the height at the garage would have to be 1% of 15 ft higher? Doing some math here... 15 feet is 180 inches, so 1% of that is 1.8 inches?
Your plan sounds good. Comments are:

1)You can't predict what the local authority will do. After the recent heavy rains in our area there is a lot of pressure to eliminate sewage mixing with storm run off.

2) I don't know about a pitch rule, but more is better than less. Just remember that the bump height can't be too high to interfere with driving the car into the garage. That's why I suggested a possible bump location out from the garage to make a more gradual slope into the garage.

3) If what we've been discussing won't work, there is a possibility of locating a sump pump where the grate is (or even just inside the garage) and having the discharge go to the front of the driveway which you would have sloped to direct the runoff to the street.
 
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Old 03-19-10, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by kerry
I think you need to get the landscaper to shoot grades from the garage floor to the street. That will tell you if you can divert the water to the street or not. One question I have is does the water from the street currently run down the d-way? If so you could substancially reduce the amount of water your grate is handling by adding a subtle "hump" accross the begining of the drive to keep the water from turning down your drive.
Interesting idea to add another hump before the grate. But I think that would form a big puddle in the driveway. I'll keep it in mind, but if I can change the pitch of the driveway, I'll go that route. So that any water that falls on the driveway goes to the street.

Secondly I want to add drainage pipes from the grate to the street somehow. The idea is that if any water does get into the grate, it will run down under? the street. I am not sure if its possible.

I only had 10 minutes at the house and forgot the camera again, so I only took a few phone shots.

First is a picture of the curb. As you can see it has a built in hump to stop street water from coming in. And I just realized the driveway asphalt is also a little bit under this hump so it might be stopping water from getting out!


Next is a bad picture of one of the backyard downspouts. I have to figure out where this goes. Got to call city again to see if they know.


Finally, a picture of the backyard showing the slope that goes from south south west to north north east.
 
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Old 03-30-10, 11:42 AM
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Had a lot going on lately and havent been able to update.

I called the city and they told me to get an architect or engineer to draw the driveway and drainage system. They said I would probably need a drywell system for 6 inches of rain over 24 hours. And he also mentioned something about overfill into the city system. I am not sure what he meant. Can someone explain this and drywell systems?

I asked him for a recommendation on an architect/engineer and he said that would be a conflict of interest. So I need to find one myself. The problem is that I don't even know what to look for.

How do I find an architect/engineer for a driveway remodeling with drainage system?

I met with a landscaper and he told me to get an architect and then he could do the work. Otherwise he can't give me an estimate or do any work. I thought his company would have an architect, but I guess not. So do I try another landscape company or just look for a driveway architect? This guy said the repairs/work are all probably in the 25-30k price range!!! I hope he is wrong because I can't afford that :/
 
 

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