The last few days we have had a lot of rain, most of which pooled up to my house foundation. I've managed to divert most of it temporarily to a location further from my house, but it's still an issue. This section of the house is in an L shape with a sidewalk that connects each corner. I have a hill in front of my house and although I don't get a lot of water from it, I do get a lot from my gutter system. I need a way to remove the water from this area without destroying my sidewalk. The ground slopes into my house, need a way to either have it slope away or a drain system installed. Please help!

[1]: https://i.sstatic.net/Te4Sn.jpgenter image description here

  • When did you purchase this home? Do you still have the papers? Do you have a basement? Send pictures, drainage is a huge deal and if there was no discovery during the sale about drainage problems...hummm? Send pictures. Do you have an 'as-built' of your home and property? It should be with your mortgage documents. I know drainage very well. Hopefully on your as built there are a few 'elevations' with which I could easily understand the drainage issues. Should also show where your septic and sewer lines are buried, any dry wells, electrical runs...check your papers and let us know.
    – stormy
    Jul 15, 2017 at 1:32
  • You are correct, not a drop of water should ever flow toward that foundation. There should be a perimeter drainage system at the footing of your home. Your foundation should also have asphalt coating between soil and the concrete. These are critical items a home has to have BEFORE it is sold. Such as the stairways with proper riser/tread proportions and a handrail, no decks over 24" (differs from county to county) without handrails, walls with studs over 16" oc. etc. They also check for proper percentages of impermeable surfaces...see if you can find your 'as-built' with your paperwork.
    – stormy
    Jul 15, 2017 at 1:46
  • We purchased our home Sept 2016, there is no basement, it is on a slab. I did not see anything in our paperwork for an 'as-built' list. I went over our inspection report and the gutter/drain system was not covered, but there was a roof inspection so I'm not sure if it was just missed or not something they look at. Let me know if this picture helps. I can send more if needed. The blue tarp is a result of our drainage issue. There has been a lot of water pooling and resulted in wood rot all down that corner of the house. Our inspector (& us) also did not notice we are missing gutters @ the top. Jul 15, 2017 at 12:52

1 Answer 1


Water close to the house is a serious issue and you should examine the inside of the house where the water is pooling to see if there is any dampness. In my area there are contractors busy all the time with houses that have water issues. The complete professional solution is to trench around the house, apply a plastic membrane to the foundation and back fill.

That is quite costly and for your situation a spade and $25 worth of plastic can resolve or postpone the problem.

  • Buy a length of 4" drain pipe, perforated with sleeve at a local hardware store.

  • Dig a trench 6" deep next to the house sloped downhill

  • end the trench just before your sidewalk

  • get a large rigid plastic bucket about 12" tall or more and 12" in diameter and cut the bottom out

  • dig a hole about 12" to 18" deep and the diameter of the bucket

  • insert the bucket in the hole so that the top of the bucket is 6" below ground level

  • fill to to the top with rocks that will not pack down (round is best but not too important what shape they are. This is a french drain connecting to a dry well.

  • lay the drain pipe in the trench and angle it into the bucket

  • cover the top of the bucket with landscape fabric or geotextile (something that will not rot and will not allow soil in)

  • if you have more landscape fabric put a layer over the drain pipe

  • back fill with soil

    Job done!

I have added some poorly done annotations to the picture you supplied. The idea is to get the water away from the house. It does not matter what the high point is as you are adding a low point with the dry well or drain. Add the dry well as far away as possible from the house and provide a slope for the drain pipe away from the house. You will need a level or laser level but if you can see a slope in the ditch you dig that is good enough.

enter image description here

  • If I'm reading this right, add the French drain along the house? Because the sidewalk is the highest point in that area. And then do the Dry Well at what point? Next to the sidewalk, away from the house? I've researched both these options, it's just a matter of where to place them in this small area. Jul 15, 2017 at 13:01
  • @KaitlynBiggs See the picture I added
    – kevinskio
    Jul 15, 2017 at 16:26

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