Boggy yard. Drainage suggestions?

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  #1  
Old 02-17-14, 06:33 PM
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Boggy yard. Drainage suggestions?

Images: Boggy Yard - Imgur

First home. Been here less than a month. Lots of work to be done!

Thinking a French drain may be the best bet? But I have never done one, so I would need some guidance.

The soil is mostly clay. Not much rock, but some. We dug 11 post holes for a fence (seen in images) that has not yet been installed due to weather.

Suggestions?
 
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Old 02-18-14, 05:08 AM
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Location: NC, USA
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If you are considering installing a French drain I would do it before installing the fence. You don't have much room in which to work and the fence will only get in the way.

You have a difficult situation. Ordinarily you would grade to get the surface water to run off but your property looks very flat and surrounded by neighbors. A French drain can help but even that has it's limits as once the ground is saturated there is nowhere for the water to go. In my area of NC French drains are of very limited use on flat ground but if you can have them drain to daylight they can be very effective.

Adding a fence, especially if it's a solid privacy type will only make your problem worse. It will block the sun and wind which can cut evaporation keeping the ground wet, longer.
 
  #3  
Old 02-18-14, 06:01 PM
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Keeping water away from the foundation is all you should worry about. The downspouts do go into the drainage area you're planning. My bog is Florida sand, so it drains very quickly, but I thought of a French drain too. The issue in clay is you need water to flow somewhere. You can achieve this using flow wells, but you're getting into a bigger project and digging much deeper. Also, in my neighborhood we cannot divert water into sewer or street, and I think even with a flow well, all I'd be doing is flooding the whole front yard and sidewalk if I attempted to do this, which is not to my local code. lol!
 
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Old 02-18-14, 06:57 PM
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So, how do I keep the water away from the foundation? All the low spots are at the foundation, so I am really at a loss of what to do.

The side yard and near the back are higher up, so they might benefit from a French drain, but I don't know about the lower spots.
 
  #5  
Old 02-18-14, 08:20 PM
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I completely forgot about this. The neeighbor's roof drain spout routes directly to our yard.

imgur: the simple image sharer

imgur: the simple image sharer

This is in the back yard, and can be seen slightly in the distance from the photo of the side yard in my original post.

Better photos tomorrow.
 
  #6  
Old 02-20-14, 10:04 AM
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I forgot to set a reminder to get those images. Plus, our iMac is at the Apple store right now. Here is a picture of a sketch I drew:

http://i.imgur.com/DuBDVnQh.jpg

Notice there is a dry creek bed going across the middle of the back yard. Also notice the retaining walls against the garage and house (crawl space entrance). I have since thought of something else.

Our lot is about six inches lower than our neighbor's to the left. We are pretty level with that of our neighbor to the back. And we are on a corner lot so we should be good everywhere else. Looking at the sketch, we have a fence built on the right side going between the garage and the house. To the left and back sides are neighbor chain link fences, with plans of building our own privacy fence.

What about this? Since the crawl space entrance and the garage entrance (that corner surrounded by retaining walls) are possibly the lowest points (with the side yard being around the same level, possibly), could we then build a retaining wall around the north and west sides (neighbors), and bring the level of the yard down to the lowest points, and grade down from there? Possibly towards the street (right/east side) or towards the middle (with dry creek bed, as sketched in the image)?

As for front and side, I'm not entirely sure.
 
  #7  
Old 02-21-14, 10:19 AM
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Location: united states
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uRabbit, You have a significant problem. All this surface moisture has nowhere to go. This constant excess of soil moisture can do bad things to not only your home but to your health also. My question is... is there ANY part of your property that is lower at your perimeter than all the rest? If yes then the rest of the lawn should be re-graded precisely to allow surface water to drain to that point and exit your property. Big job. Additionally because of your marginal drainage situation, French drains might be of benefit. Wish you well... 46 years in the business and still learning..greensboro_man
 
  #8  
Old 02-21-14, 04:28 PM
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Thanks for the reply!

I had a professional over and here is what he suggested:
imgur: the simple image sharer
 
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