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the correct choice for drainage

Posted by baconbits IL (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 16, 10 at 10:41

I have about a four foot wide passage between my house and a privacy fence along the north side of our property. It is basically all mud because it doesn't receive any sunlight. We would like to put a gate up at the front of the house and store our trash cans along this side of the house because we do not have a shed or a large garage. The dirt is angled away from the house as it should be. We thought we might fill this area with crushed gravel to help level it and make it usable. I want to know if I should use heavy plastic under the gravel or a heavy landscaping fabric. We have a sump-pump that runs all the time. I'm not sure if the heavy plastic will help water run away from the house or keep it trapped next to the house. I also don't know if I need to put something between the fence and the gravel. I'm afraid if I put retaining wall blocks along it, they might prevent the water from shedding away from the house. I think I need something to contain the gravel, though I don't know what it should be. I thought I could run some drainage pipes under the gravel but over the plastic. I'm thinking that I can level the rock because the water will run through it, hit the plastic and then travel down hill, am I right? I really am not sure about the best way to approach this situation. I want to do it right the first time and I don't want to cause water problems in our basement. I really need the advise of some experts. Thanks

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: the correct choice for drainage

The less you do to alter water flow, the fewer drainage or water pooling issues you will have down the road. Landscape fabric is water permeable - plastic is not. Using the fabric under the gravel will help to retard weed development and keep the gravel from migrating down into the soil. The gravel can be contained by using landscape edging, which is available in various depths.

If the existing grade slopes sufficiently now so that water drains adequately and you don't have basement water issues, using the gravel for the purpose you propose should not have any additional negative effects.

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