Grading + Drainage + Sidewalk

Old 12-18-14, 06:34 PM
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Grading + Drainage + Sidewalk

I am planning on adding fill around the basement / foundation walls of my home to grade away from the house and improve drainage. On one side, there is a concrete sidewalk (see attached photos). The sidewalk is pretty busted up in places. There is about an inch or more of space between the sidewalk and the basement wall where the concrete has pulled away and plants grow. My intention is to just cover up / bury the sidewalk since I don't intend to use it.

My question is: are there any potential issues with drainage if I just cover the concrete with fill and slope away from the house? Would it be better to break up the sidewalk and/or remove it? Just want to make sure I do it right. It would be much easier to just bury the sidewalk and not have to deal with it.

Thanks for any help!

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Old 12-18-14, 09:46 PM
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What you're proposing could be done, but I'm not sure it's a good idea. The soil you place on top of the sidewalk is not likely to drain very well, but instead could become a muddy mess during your wet season(s) and Spring snow melt periods. I lived in your state for more than 30 years, and haven't forgotten how wet the weather can be. Also, should you decide to plant some shrubs or even grass there, the presence of a concrete walk under just 3" or 4" of soil will make it difficult for root establishment to take place.

A more practical option would be to remove and replace the sidewalk, at a higher grade on well-compacted gravel. If you go with new concrete, don't make the mistake of pouring new concrete on top of old, as reflective cracking will turn your new walkway into an eyesore after just a few years.
Old 12-19-14, 08:46 AM
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My preference would be to remove the old sidewalk first. It is hard to tell from the pictures if you have eve troughs? What is the soil like away from the side of the wall? Do you have drainage away from the house?

If you have eve troughs, remove the side walk and raise the grade to 6" below the sill so that you have "/foot fall away from the house. Compact the area so you can put landscape fabric over the area. I would install top soil for plants and and leave alone.

If you don't have eve troughs, I would excavate 12" and compact the area where the side walk was and install a drainage material along the drip line to just below the sill. I would daylight the drainage material or install a perforated drain pipe so the water will drain away from the foundation.

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