Water puddles near house - help! (picture)

Old 04-27-06, 11:33 AM
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Water puddles near house - help! (picture)

Here is the problem:

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The rear of the house is essentially surrounded by flat concrete. These 3 main problems existed from when we moved in:
1. The orange dot denotes the corner where water puddles during a rain.
2. The orange dot also denotes where water comes into the basement.
3. The downspout on the left side never had an elbow at the bottom to take the water away from the house. As a result, a large puddle appears under it (and I'm pretty sure that water seeps in that part of the basement. (BTW: our basement has been waterproofed, and it doesn’t hold back the water anyway)

Note that the brown strip indicates 2-railroad ties. On the other side of the railroad ties (not in picture) is a part of our backyard that's all covered with pebbles.


I do not know what the standard procedure is to drain water away from a house when the foundation itself does not have a few feet of grass to drain the water to.

My quick solution was to block off the left downspout, and put a piece of downspout across the concrete on the right side of the house. It's ugly, but I think for now it works.

Is there a way to snake the downspout around that corner (where the orange dot is?). The parts at the supply shop didn't seem like they would do the job.

What's the right way to fix this problem?


Last edited by digraph; 04-27-06 at 03:46 PM.
Old 04-28-06, 08:28 AM
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No easy solution

Given the fact that you have concrete right up against your house, there is no "easy solution" to your issue.

First, you say that the concrete is flat. It should be sloped away from the house. I would suspect that because you have puddles under the left downspout and water coming into the house by the right downspout that the concrete is actually sloping slightly toward the house slightly due to ground settelement over the years.

Your blocking the left downspout is not a good idea. The gutters (if properly installed to feed two downspouts should be pitched from the center to the left and right downspouts. By blocking the downspout on the left side, the left side of the gutter will hold water which could freeze in the winter if you live in a cold climate.

Your belief that a couple feet of grass around a house is sufficient to drain water away is not realistic. This is an insuffient amount of space to absorb runoff, especially during heavy stormed or prolonged rainy periods where the ground can become saturated.

The majority of basement "waterproofing" is nothing more than "dampproofing" which is a thin layer of asphalt based coating applied to foundation walls. I would suspect that the majority of foundations are not truely "waterproofed" and don't rely on this term to think this will keep water out of the basement.

Now as to possible solutions.

First, take the gutter and reset it to pitch to the right for its entire length. Again, this is dependant on the length of the gutter. I don't have the dimesion of the length of this gutter so I'm assuming its under about 30 ft. Anything over that length will have the gutter hanging too low on the discharge end in order to get the right amount of pitch. This leaves you with one downspout.

Short of jacking out the concrete and putting a drain line underground that slopes away from the house, you are stuck with having a pipe on top of the concrete. Perhaps you can disguise it behind some planter boxes or other landscaping. You will have to make sure this pipe is sloped instead of just laying on the flat concrete as any water entering it will just back up if it is flat. The pipe should run the length of the concrete until you get to some area of soil where the water can drain, but I would suggest it be no less than 10 feet from the house.

The further you can get the water away from the foundation, the better you will be.

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