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Help with flower bed drainage

Posted by Chris0831 none (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 18, 13 at 10:44

Greetings all….

I am not sure if I am even in the right forum, but I’ll take a shot at it. I need some help with drainage around my house in the flower beds. First a little background. The house is about 60 years old…a single story ranch with a basement. The soil over all has good drainage and the flower beds that go around the two sides of the house where I am having the worst problems is about 7 feet deep. The house has no gutters on it because I live in a heavily forested area and would spend all my time cleaning them out.

Ok…now for the problem and some of you already know what I am going to say….during a heavy rain I will get seepage into the basement. It can be quite pronounced depending on how much rain is involved. Now. around the outer edge of that flower bed is a swale that runs parallel with the house. My father originally dug it in. The bottom of the swale is lined with bricks and it’s at a slope of 1” every 20’. Once the water gets to it, it travels quite nicely around to the back of the house and down the hill. The flower beds basically form one side of the swale. Here in lies the problem. The drainage of the soil is such that the water from the roof during a heavy rain percolates down through the strata before it has a chance to get carried away…hence the basement flooding.

What I would like to do is cover the bed with plastic and put a layer of river rocks over it about 4” deep. My problem is that I have mature azaleas and camellias all though this bed, just about at the drip line. I guess the bottom line is how big a hole do I need to leave in the plastic at each plant in order for it to get enough water.
All and any thoughts will be entertained. IF pics would help, I’ll add some tonight. Thanks everyone!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Pics will help. Show some views that are perpendicular to the slope so that we can see it. I suspect that your proposal of plastic and gravel--while it might work--is not going to be the best solution.


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Here.s a photo of the area. I can t figure out how to post multiple photos in one post, so it'll have to be a few separate post...sorry


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Picture no. 2


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Picture no. 3


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Here.s a photo of the area. I can t figure out how to post multiple photos in one post, so it'll have to be a few separate post...sorry


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Picture No.4


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Based on the first photo, it doesn't look like there's much slope away from the house toward the swale. If it's true, as you say, that the swale is pitched at 1" fall per 20' of run, this (while it may drain) is insufficient and too slow. I would bet that in a heavy rain, water pools in the swale a good bit. I've already said that I don't like your lining-the-earth-with-plastic approach and I'll stick with that. It won't help plants grow and will pain to work with in the future. Also, it's likely not to solve your problem. I think you'd be better off having someone properly re-grade around the house so there is an improved swale (wide, subtle) and greater pitch to drain away from the foundation. In addition, the house foundation may have never been properly waterproofed. A professional in that field may also be needed to upgrade the waterproofing.


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Yardvarrk...thak you for taking the time and effort to respond, it is appreciated.

The photos are actually deceiving, there is plenty of slope from the house to the bottom of the swale with the exception of some areas on the end of the house...I will build them up with fill sand. Maybe the grade of the swale is greater then I think because water flows nicely down it.....there are some areas where it slows. but no puddling. The house has a french drain at the foundation (7 feet below the surface) and that handles the ground water level that comes up quite high in the spring, but it cannot, or was never desigined to handle the incresed load from a heavy rain particularly with no gutters and all that runoff being dumped two feet away from the house. As far as water proofing.........its like all houses built then, just a coating of tar over the cinder blocks that are below grade.

I agree that the proper wat to do it would be to dig down to the foundation and insulate/waterproof the walls using modern meterials and tecniques, but not only can I not affort that, it would mean destroying large camilias and azalias that have been there for 50 + years. I would reather not do that.

So the bottom line is that I am trying to move the runoff from the roof to this swale so that the water can be moved away from the house without starving the existing shrubs for water.......


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

"The house has a french drain at the foundation (7 feet below the surface) and that handles the ground water level that comes up quite high in the spring..." Please describe IN DETAIL this system ... size, layout, materials, how it got there, how water enters it and where the outfall is. How do you know of its existence? Also, are there cracks in the foundation wall that are visible in the basement? Is it poured, reinforced concrete ... or block?


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

My father built the house 60+ years ago. I was raised in the house and after he died I took over the house. I do not know the exact specifics of the system, but given the materials and techniques used at the time I suspect that it is terrcotta pipe laid in stone on top of the foundation. In the spring time the ground water level is well above the basement floor elevation and that water enters the drains and they are all connected somehow under the basement floor and empty into the a sump at one end of the basement. The level is matianed by a sump pump or by gravity drains to the river (unless the tide is up, in which case the sump pump takes over). The basement is always dry UNLESS there is a HEAVY rain.

At one corner of the house and under my bedroom window at that corner there are some cracks in the outside brick wall that would ordanarly indicate settling, but when I go into the basement and look at the exposed block (which is what is load bearing), there are no signs whatever of any kind of setteling. I suspect the outside brick is what is settleing, but unless that has a seperate foundation from the block, that doesnt make alot of sense....seems that the block would show signs as well. It looks like ordanary cinderblock to me...very pourous and as far as I know, it is not reinforced.......but I could be wrong.......


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

It is not normal for houses to be built INTO water tables. But it is completely normal for footings/foundations to have drains around them that collect excess water (which comes with storms and percolation and pipe it away from the structure. It is my speculation that this is what the drain you speak of is for. If the actual water table were high enough to enter this pipe, it would submerge the pipe and there would not be drainage, as there would be no "downhill" place for it to flow. It would just be a submerged, water-filled pipe. A pipe draining a foundation/footing has an open place at the far end of the pipe where the water comes out. It is important to find this place and inspect the pipe. (These days a camera can be sent up into the pipe for inspection ... a colonoscopy for your house.) Buried pipes are always subject to clogging over time from silt and roots. When searching for the location, use a probe (sharpened steel rod that can be poked into the ground to feel for buried objects) and logic ... what direction (downhill) would a foundation drain pipe be likely to run ... and to where. Sometimes it's difficult to find, but not always. Knowing the buried pipes elevation (7' below grade) and knowing the topography at grade should help you deduce approximately how far away the pipe end must be. The topography will be sloping down hill and the pipe must also slope downhill (but at a much less rate) so you can approximate the elevation at which they might converge. I have seen the outfall of drains be just below the surface, covered by sod so they are completely invisible. Once found, it might be that the end of the pipe is clogged and can easily be cleaned. If it's an invasion of roots, professional help will be necessary. If it's really bad, the pipe may need some repair. It's most likely that the sump is designed to handle water that would overwhelm the gravity drain pipe and that where it dispels water is above grade near the house. Make sure where the sump water comes out is far enough from the house that none of it will wash back toward the house.


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

The drain that runs around the foundation empties into the sump. I can see it...it's a 4 inch terricotta pipe that comes into the sump about 4 inches lower then the basement floor. During spring and any time the water table is up there is constant discharge from this pipe and it causes the pump to kick on periodicly unless I have the gravity drains open in which case the water is taken away before the sump pump is triggered. The sump pump trigers BEFORE the level of the water gets to the basement floor so the "downhill" place for it to go is into the sump and when it rises to a level just below the basement floor the pump takes it out...if the gravity drains are open it never gets that high.

The elevation of the basement floor is below the water table only seasonally. I am 99.9% certian that there is no exit for the footing drains other then into the sump. Unless we have a torrential rain, the system works fine, but during a heavy rain, the additional run off from the roof overwhelms the system which is why I am trying to devert THAT water away from the house. : )


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

OK, a system designed by someone who had unending faith in modern mechanics. I suppose it's common where land is flat. (When the power to the sump goes out in a heavy storm or the sump fails, then what ...?) I understand it but for the "gravity drains." How is that routed? Where does it terminate? And why wouldn't it/those be always open and available so the sump was just a backup? Have you ever observed the volume of water coming into the sump basin during the heaviest of spring rains?

By the way, you've done a good job of explaining things.

(I still think that the spring time water is ground seepage water--as would be normal in many areas of the country (including yours) as opposed to "water table" water. Sure, the water table is higher in Spring, but not 4" below the basement floor. If that were the case, people would not be building basements there.)


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

The gravity drains consist of two 2" PVC pipes that as I said, are postioned low enough so that when they are open they keep the sump pump from running. They teminate approximatly 200' away from the house dumping into a river. The reason that they are not always open is that the river is tidal and on an extream high tide such as we see with a Nor' easter or a hurricane, the water level can be WELL above the inlet elevation in the basement so they back feed into the basement. If the tide doesnt come up too high the sump pump will keep up, but it gets to a point that the pump cannot keep up with the volume of water coining in and then the basement will flood. I Currently have what I call sock valves over the end of the pipes where they exit through the bulkhead...basicly a very simple one way valve that will let the water pass out (away from the house), but not in (back into the basement) During a long term power outage I have the house on a generator.

During the spring...even if it hasent rained in two or more weeks, I have seen what would amount to say a three quater inch stream of water flowing out of the bottom of that terracotta pipe in the basement...of course if the gravity drains are open as they usually are, the pump never comes on, but I can walk out to the bulkhead and see it coming out of the pipes there.

It is very rare to see a basement in this area, probably for the reason that the water table CAN be high here at times. In fact, when my father went to build the house, he was told he could not have a basement for that exact reason...he said he put it in just to prove them wrong......


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Chris, I think you need to reconsider gutters and add gutter shields to help cut way down on debris. Problem probably solved, especially if you add extensions to the downspouts to carry the water to an area where it can drain well.


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

With all that said, if water is seeping in two weeks after a rain, I believe that even if you plasticized and graveled the shrub bed area, you will still get water from the periodically high water table or ground water seepage. If you do all that work and there is little or no change, you will cause difficulty in making any changes in the future to the foundation planting area. People make this alteration thinking that it will remain permanently, but things change and later, if not for you, it will be a problem for someone. It seems to me that it would be better to make sure (as much as possible) that you have a way of removing water that enters the sump basin, such as a larger basin and a larger pump. While the 2, 2" PVC gravity drain pipes work, they seem undersized IMO. There's probably not much you want to do about them at this point. Since you're covered with the generator, enlarging the sump and pump seem feasible. Or maybe adding a second sump so that there was duplicity in the system (in case of pump failure) might be the better way to go. Wish I had a great above-ground solution for you as I know that's what you want, but honestly, I don't think it will solve your problem, but instead just cause other problems.


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Rosiew.....I have thought about gutters, but as I said earlier, I live in what for all practical purposes, a forest. I have tons of pine straw everywhere!!! Do they really make gutters now that will keep all that crap out of them and yet take large volumes of run off without over flowing?

Yardvarrk....Thank you for taking all the time you've taken to give your insite, it is greatly appreciated. I am not sure I agree with your take on everything though. I usually have one of the PVC pipes capped off in the sump.....the only time I can remember uncapping both of them is when the basement actually did flood (bout an inch of water). As far as a back up pump, I have a brand new one that is plumbed exactly the same way. All I have to do to replace it is break one union lose, unplug the old one, set the new on in place, fasten the union back and plug it in...takes about 10 minutes.

As I said, the ground water/water table is not the issue, that is handled fine. It's the extra runoff from a storm that is causing the problem. However, you've certainly give me some things to think about. I will re evaluate my plan and possibly consider gutters. Thank you again for your thoughts, you have been truly helpful!! : )

Chris


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Good luck! I hope you get it resolved without too much grief.


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

  • Posted by catkim San Diego 10/24 (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 20, 13 at 1:27

I have a house where I get 140 inches of rain a year. It is in a forest where the trees drop a lot of debris, lots of small round leaves. The gutters have the shields Rosie mentions, and I've cleaned out the gutters once in 3 years, though I ought to do it more often. No overflowing gutters. Actually the rain is captured via the gutters for my water supply. It's not that tough to clean gutters on a one-story house.


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

catkim, can you supply the name of the gutter shields you have.

chris, apparently the ones catkim has are working. I would read reviews - know they aren't all created equal.

Another thing you could do easily is get on a step ladder and use an electric blower to blow off pine straw. I can assure you that the good ones work. catkim can supply more details!

Rosie


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Hi Folks.....

After sleeping on your comments, I have scheduled a contractor to come out tomorrow and at least give me an estimate on putting up guttering. If he can do it for a reasonable price and gurentee they won't clog, then I will probably go that route. Other wise I will be grading covering and stoning the flowebeds....which I still think will work, BUT it WILL be a LOT of work......if the gutters offer a resonable alternative, then, "damn the torpeedos, full speed ahead"!!!

Again, thanks for everyone's comments, all were very helpful!

Chris


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

When I lived in Georgia, my gutters were victimized by falling pine needles. I had the screen type shields on them, which worked to keep out deciduous leaves. but the pine straw stuck in them and needed to be picked out by hand, which was a pain. There were some gutter shields that looked like they would work, but they were expensive so I did not get. Today, there is competition so the price has probably improved. You might want to check out this style: Keep leaves and debris out of your gutter


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Understood....I know how they work....they are preticated on surface tension and for a "lite" rain that is probably fine....what I'm talking about is a gully washer...it would seem to me (an uneducated mind though it is) that in a heavy rain, the water will wash off the roof with enough volicity that the surface tension principle wont work and the water will just shoot past the rolled upper edge.

The guy is comming out tomorrow and he comes highly recommended by several different people, so...I guess we'll see : )


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

  • Posted by catkim San Diego 10/24 (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 20, 13 at 14:12

I'm sorry, I don't know the name of the gutter shields, they came with the house. They are a perforated type, so some debris will get in, but not enough to easily clog the gutters. There have been days when I've had 8 inches of rain, no overflow.

Calling an expert for an opinon and estimate is a good move. Best of luck to you and let us know how it works out.

This post was edited by catkim on Thu, Jun 20, 13 at 14:16


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

This type of gutter guard is reccomended for pine needles.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gutter guard

This post was edited by bigbigblake on Thu, Jun 20, 13 at 19:48


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Verdict is in. Had the contractor out here and he would do the job for about 2.4K for 246 lenier feet of gutter. BUT......and I didn't think of this before and I should have....I have a copper drip edge and the manufacture will not warintee the gutters due to the electrolysis (dissimilar metals) that will occur. Add to that that my fascia board is covered in stainless steel so it makes installation harder as their "self piercing" screws will not self pierce.

Soooooo........wish me luck grading laying down plastic and stoning. : ). It was worth a shot.


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Chris,

Googled cost of new gutters. See link below. Went to another - there are a lot to choose - used my zip and your 246', came up with $867 for the better gutters. I think that contractor sounds like a scamster.

Rosie, hoping you can get them.

Here is a link that might be useful: gutter pricing


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

I've done a little research and that is about in line with what the rest of the guys in this area charge for commercial style gutters with a cover that is suppose to keep pine needles out and minimize over wash. However, it doesn't matter because I can't put them up anyway as the aluminium and copper don't get along. Thanks for your help! : )

Chris


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Call me stubborn, but I really want you to find a solution, Chris. One question: why commercial style gutters? Also hoping you can solve the incompatibility issue. Don't understand the whys of it. Arrgghhh.

Found this link. As I optimistically read it, sounds like a solution may be at hand.

Best, Rosie

Here is a link that might be useful: copper-aluminum - how to avoid problems


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Rosie..

Thank you for the effort you're putting forth on my behalf, you're very kind. I read the article and found it very interesting. However, here's the thing, even if you somehow separate the copper and the aluminum, the screws that are used to secure the gutters will pierce both metals and make the connection electrically. The metals don't even really have to touch...the same thing will happen if they are in close proximity, it'll just take a little longer. The other solution is to remove all the copper drip edge and replace it with something else. I suppose this is an alternative, but I am not willing to have that done. Copper will last forever and whatever I replace it will will eventually fail. The rock was delivered today and I am going to move forward with my original plan. If it is carefully designed, I believe it will work just fine. IF you're interested, I will be happy to keep you updated on my progress and ultimate success or failure. If not, no harm, no foul. Regardless, thank you again for your continued interest, it's because of people like you that many of us enjoy the success that we do. : ). Thanks Rosie.

Chris


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

I'd absolutely like to hear of your progress, Chris. I lived with a persistent water in the basement problems for many years.

Best wishes, Rosie

p.s. hadn't noticed y'all lived on a lake. Now officially jealous.
Ha!


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

OK...against everyone's advice, I put plastic down and covered it with rock since I could not really do gutters. First I cleaned all the crap out of the beds and then I used sand to fill low spots and I graded it so that there would be good flow down to the bottom of the sale. I have only done a realitvly small section until I see if its going to work...I need a torrential downpour!!


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

The previous pic showed the area before I did anything, the one below shows some of the low areas up close to the house after I removed all the debris and crap out....


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Another one showing low area and incorrect grade...although I am not sure you can tell in the photos....


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Brought up to grade using sand.....


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Brought up to grade using sand.....


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Plastic laid down....hole around each bush was enlarged to approximately the drip line and landscaping fabric was used directly around the bushes....


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

And again....


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

And the final product....


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

And again.....


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Last one..... : )


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

And the final product....


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

My condolences to you, brother.

:-)


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

That bad, eh? We shall see my friend...wouldn't be the first time I screwed up, nor will it be the last : )


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

That bad, eh? We shall see my friend...wouldn't be the first time I screwed up, nor will it be the last : )


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RE: Yard's comment

Well, if that doesn't beat all. Snarkiness has no place here. Wish you'd just go away.


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Did you cover the brick weeping holes or do you not have those in this type of home? Here in Texas, that would be a serious mistake.


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

If you're speaking to me, Rosie, I guess you don't get that the little smiley face means I'm speaking tongue-in-cheek ... not seriously. I don't think the same can be said of your rude comment.


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Chris -

You will watch those plants slowly die with the plastic.


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Yard....I understood the context of your comment, no worries....

Rosie....Thank you for looking out for me.....us newbies need all the help we can get...espically me!

pk ponder...no weep holes in this type of construction...good point though...

All....I do realize that it is entirely possible I will watch these plants die a slow and painful death due to the plastic. It's a matter of priorties though. I have a substantial amount of water seeping into the basement after a heavy rain. It's not good for the block long term as I am sure you all know. So....I neeeded to get the water away from the house. Be cause I have a copper drip edge, gutters are not an option. What I have done will get the water away from the house and thus fix the seepage problem. I did what I could to ensure the plants survuival and am even thinking of install a soaker type irrigation system to suppliment the water intake. The only OTHER option would have been to bring a backhoe in, dig down to the foundation 7 feet below and install or repair the french drain system around the footings in which case I KNOW I would have lost the plants. My solution may not work and if I lose the plants, I lose them....better then having the walls continue to detetorate due to constant moisture. We shall see. : )


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Chris, it looks like you have window wells. Do the eaves overhang far enough to protect them from rain? I may have missed this in your narrative -- are you sure they aren't one source of your water penetration? Even if they have drains in the bottom, they could be a problem ... especially if the drains clog up, as we found out.


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

If you look at the pics you'll see a piece of wood on the outside of each window well that is tilted. That is directly under the drip edge of the roof and deflects the water coming off the roof. There are drains in the bottom if the wells and as you said, they are totally plugged with 60 years of debris. The "deflectors" keep most of the water out although you still get a lot of splatter......I doubt that in that grand scheme of things that is significant though.


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Chris, have you investigated having the drains cleared out? We had that done with live oak roots invaded our main drain outlet.

Rosie


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

No Rosie, I haven't. These are old terracotta drains as best I can tell. I did think about it, but I am not even sure where they go to. I would suspect they tie into the french drain system at the foundation and I am sure that the capacity of that system is diminished. As I recall when I was a child, the basement had water problems back then too so it may be they were never actually tied in, or that the foundation drains never could handle the extra load. There is at least 6 to 8inches of debris in the bottom of the wells (decaying leaves etc.) And I would forever be climbing down in there cleaning them out.

On a positive note, we had a real gully washer yesterday and the area that I have worked on appeared to be draining as I intended......the only question is whether I left enough openings so that the azaleas don't die off.....


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

IMO, a couple of things should be done, Chris. Get a shop vac going to remove debris. Then keep it done. Then get those lines cleared. Also, drip irrigation would benefit the azaleas. It would be a hell of a shame to lose those established plants.

Glad to hear drainage appeared to work. Here, you could have put it to the test much sooner. We've had way too much rain.


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Thanks for the suggestion Rosie. I have looked at the opening to those "well drains", and it's hard backed debris and I am sure that it would take some type of power snake to cut that stuff out of there as I would suspect it is packed all the way to the main drains would would be another 3 or 4 feet down.

I suspect I will put in some kind of drip irrigation to supplement the water supply to those plants. I would hate to lose them as well. The have bueatiful coral colored blooms when in bloom. I'll keep you updated. : )


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Chris, power snake is what I had in mind. Maybe you could find someone who'd do it for a great price if he could do it at his convenience, meaning when he didn't have any jobs.


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

I have given it some thought Rosie.....my concern is that those drains appear to be vertical going straight down to the foundation drains (o course I don't know what they do below grade unless I dig them up) and running a power snake down them might get through, but the debris has no where to go but down due to gravity, further stressing an already questionable drain system. I don't know that I want to do that unless I am committed to replacing the whole works and at this point it's not an option. If my current system keeps the basement dry and doesn't kill the plants, then it's a mute point. Again thank you for all your interest and really appreciate all the suggestions. Keep 'em coming, lord knows I can use all the help I can get! : ).


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

I have given it some thought Rosie.....my concern is that those drains appear to be vertical going straight down to the foundation drains (o course I don't know what they do below grade unless I dig them up) and running a power snake down them might get through, but the debris has no where to go but down due to gravity, further stressing an already questionable drain system. I don't know that I want to do that unless I am committed to replacing the whole works and at this point it's not an option. If my current system keeps the basement dry and doesn't kill the plants, then it's a mute point. Again thank you for all your interest and really appreciate all the suggestions. Keep 'em coming, lord knows I can use all the help I can get! : ).


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Quick thought - when we had drains cleared, the guy's auger brought them up and out - guess via a reversing mechanism. In essence, he cut them, then evacuated from the hole. Probably ran it thru twice, can't recall.


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Chris, you might also look into window well covers. Those boards only work with straight-down rain. Mix a little wind with the rain and the wells be take on water, unless you cover them.

Also, if you ever do get the drains cleared out, the covers help keep leaves and debris from clogging them again.

We had problems with window wells leaking in a previous home and the covers helped it immensely.


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Rosie...

The auger type snakes work that way. Even so, I am sure that some will be lost down into the main system. Currently that system works well enough to control the ground water when it comes up and I would rather not jerpordize that.

Mimi....

I had actually thought about well covers. My imeadiate concern of course would be the loss of light into the basement. I would assume they can be made out of plexglass, but I suspect they would be quite expensive to have them custom made and if I made them out of wood (which I did consider) I would lose what little light I have down there (yes I have lights). However, it is worth thinking about. : )


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Rosie...

The auger type snakes work that way. Even so, I am sure that some will be lost down into the main system. Currently that system works well enough to control the ground water when it comes up and I would rather not jerpordize that.

Mimi....

I had actually thought about well covers. My imeadiate concern of course would be the loss of light into the basement. I would assume they can be made out of plexglass, but I suspect they would be quite expensive to have them custom made and if I made them out of wood (which I did consider) I would lose what little light I have down there (yes I have lights). However, it is worth thinking about. : )


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Chris, you can either buy prefab plexiglass window well covers or make your own, with a wood frame and a sheet of plexiglass. I built my own, because our window wells were larger than any prefab I could find. Just make sure they slope away from the wall.


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Understood. As I said, I did think about that initially, but elected not to do it for several reasons. The percentage of the time that the wind would blow hard enough to divert the run off into the well for a significant length of time seem relatively small to me. That may be flawed logic and if I find that to be the case, I can always add them later. : )


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

A more labor-intensive solution to altering a site with poor drainage is to excavate the soil and install underground drainage tiles or plastic pipes. Also you can plant lots of moisture-loving plants and turn the damp area into a bog garden.


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

For those of you that remember this thread and/or are still interested, I finished the redesign of the flower beds. Had a couple of torrential down pours the other day and the basement is totally dry. I went out and looked during the heavest part of the rain and the water was rushing down the through the swale. So far so good. The shrubery seems to be flourshing with much new growth, but I do realize it is still early in the game and any effects from water starvation make may take a while to show up. We'll see. I will post later on with an update.

Thanks to all who provided input. it was truly apprecaited!!

Chris


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Greetings All.....

Some of you may remember this thread that I started in June of 2013. Briefly, I had some water problems in the basement and in order to get proper drainage around the house I put down black plastic covered by stone sloped to a swale that goes around the house where the rain water flows away from the house. I cut hole in the plastic and put down landscaping cloth where they went around some mature azalea. My concern was that I was going to kill those plants by starving them for water. There was a general consensus on this forum that I would kill them as well. I couldn't put up gutters for a number of reasons and this was really the only way I could handle the problem at reasonable cost. I am happy to report that the basement is dry and the plants are not dead....in fact, they are thriving. They are not quite finished blooming, but the attached pictures show they are in fact, NOT deceased. : ) WoooHoooo!!

This post was edited by Chris0831 on Mon, Apr 21, 14 at 19:43


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Glad to know you solved the basement water prob Chris. Great news. Azaleas look nice. Wish you'd consider letting themgrow a bit to achieve a more natural look.

Happy for your success.
Rosie


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RE: Help with flower bed drainage

Well Hey there Rosie.....

The are already almost touching each other as it is , and if I allow them to go any higher it will obstruct the view from the two bedrooms. I do have some that are planted inside the driveway round about that I have not touched.....some of those are 10 feet tall. Lost a few of them a few years back in a Nor Easter, but they are slowly coming back. Take care Rosie! : )


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