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Water drainage in new construction yard

KevanO's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 1

11-03-17, 03:23 PM   #1 (permalink)  
Water drainage in new construction yard

Hi everyone,

First-time homeowner here. I will try to make this direct and somewhat brief.
House is new construction (est. 8 months ago, we moved in 2 months ago), and it appears the landscape design was fairly lazy.

They tried to seed grass but the yard is mostly clay here in Tennessee, so there is an unsightly water drainage issue.

I'm looking to replace a small mulch bed on the front of the house with a patio of stone pavers, but I have a narrow, slopped strip of grass that butts into this mulch bed from the side of the house. This narrow strip has mud/clay/weeds and is in between the slab foundation of the house and the sidewalk, and fills with standing water any time it rains - because of slope, it now acts like a mini castle moat on the side.
Wanting to find solution before I move forward with patio.

It rained this morning, and now (mid afternoon) there is still 2" of standing mudwater.
Because the pooling water is against the house, would digging up the dirt/weeds/clay and replacing this area with something to aid with drainage cause issue with the foundation? Considering just replacing entire strip with gravel.

Attached pictures from today. You can see the front of the house (with a pup on the porch), showing the mulch bed, and of my mini-moat.

Many thanks in advance from this new homeowner!

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Pilot Dane's Avatar
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11-03-17, 04:18 PM   #2 (permalink)  
I doubt replacing the dirt between the walk and house will affect the drainage. Your base soil is what it is and it's locked in between the concrete of the house and drive. About all you can do for drainage is add dirt to raise the elevation and get more water to run off or hard surface it so all the water runs off.

PJmax's Avatar
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11-03-17, 04:36 PM   #3 (permalink)  
Replacing the dirt would help in the short term but once that filled with water you'd be right back to where you are now. I agree with Dane. You need to fill it in high enough so that's it's pitched away from the house and the water runs over the sidewalk. Certainly not the most elegant solution but without removing the sidewalk.... it's about the only choice.

~ Pete ~

Marq1's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 1,717

11-03-17, 05:19 PM   #4 (permalink)  
You have a perfect location for a small french drain to get that standing water out of the bed between the foundation and sidewalk assuming there is some pitch to take the pipe. Doesnt have to be deep, maybe a foot, run under the sidewalk toward the lower end.

Sunburn's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 22

11-11-17, 08:12 PM   #5 (permalink)  
+1 with Marq1.

I'd also pitch the soil to a middle point that is above the drain (think of a V, you'd funnel the water into the drain), with level mulch on top. You can put white marble on top if you'd rather something more decorative. The next question is where you can drain the water, it doesn't look like theres much slope so you might need a dry well (essentially a garbage can with holes and stones that's dug into the ground), with the drain pipe emptying into it.

There are guides online about french drains. Essentially you need:

1. Landscape fabric
2. 30-40 feet of perforated drain (however long the flooding problem is)
3. Non perforated pipe to guide the water somewhere else
4. Gravel

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