Monday, September 3, 2012

French Drain

So on Saturday we worked on the french drain over at 40 M.  W thought the pipes that we purchased would serve the purpose of moving the gutter water too but we decided not to risk it and installed the solid pipe right next to the french drain in order to move the water to the lowest part of the yard.  It was a ton of work!

These pictures show the front of the house before we had our water problem.  In the middle picture you can see how small the burm is on the driveway.  This is where the water flowed over and infiltrated the downstairs.

Our next step was to dig out the entire front of the house.  We hired an excavating company to come and do the job after we moved most of the stone.  (We meaning R)

As you can see it was a ton of work.  R inspected the foundation and repaired any visible cracks with hydrolic cement.  After this we cleaned the cement with stiff brushes to prepare for a company to come and seal the foundation.  We thought this would solve the water issue.  Too bad we didn't install the drainage at this point in the process!  

Once the orange insulation was installed over the black coating we backfilled the hole, thinking we were all set.  Wrong!  Shortly after this process was finished we had a huge rainstorm and ended up with more water in our basement that started us down the french drain path.  

The above pictures show the area before we thought we had a leak in the water intake pipe.  We had worked on grading the pitch in order to use drainage pipe to move the gutter water away from the foundation.  The pitch was perfect but then we went inside and found it damp by the water shutoff.  This sent us into panic and thoughts of a leak caused by the backhoe.  Yet again we went over and dug a hole (by we here I again mean R digging and me cheering him on).  This was the deepest skinniest holes I have ever seen!  We found the intake pipe and I met with the plumber.  Luckily we didn't have a leak.  So this lead me to the next step in the process.  

The white pipe is the Easy Flow french drain pipe.  It is a 4"perforated pipe covered in a sleeve that is full of polystyrene pieces that all serve to improve the drainage and move the water to some degree.  We thought this would be the end of our project but then decided that we wanted to move the gutter water away completely not just through the french drain pipe.  So more trench work commenced. In the last picture above you can see where we dug next to the covered white pipe to bury and pitch our solid drainage pipe.  The next set of pictures shows the trench that I spent most of my time on over the past week.  It is the path that the water will take to the lowest point in our side yard.  Much of the material that I dug through was rocky; if not completely consisting of gravel that ran down from the rain.

We tested the slope and it works!  Yay.  We then proceeded to un-dig everything that we dug!  At least the freshly dug dirt was a little easier to shovel back over the pipe.  We have a lot of beautification to do now that we have disturbed everything.  At least the water will be away from the foundation and hopefully out of our downstairs bedrooms.  Finally R covered up the front with dirt from the local dirt guys and then a thick layer of stone.  

We did more finish work on the project today but I didn't bring my camera.  I can't wait to start planting flowers and grasses and such to make it look pretty.  I'll post more pics soon.  

I have to say it was good that we worked on this project together.  Our tenants have been great.  Next up.... removing the damaged wall board, replacing the wallboard and then painting and bringing in flooring.  



Liz said...

Holy dear god Barbara I sure hope over the next couple of days you don't get anymore water in the house. For all that work I sure hope it solves your problem!

Barbara said...

I'm praying that the rain coming down now is being sent in the right direction.

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