Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY.

Bob's Bloggers

A community of bloggers who live and die to DIY

landscaping

Rainy Season Drainage System Check-Up

By Picardy Project on Dec 03, 2012

The rainy season has officially started. The nice thing about the rain is that we're able to see how well all of our drainage in the front yard is holding up.

If you remember, we installed some serious French drains in our front yard and hooked up our downspouts to the drains as well.

We had had standing water against our house, and our downspouts were either dumping water right onto the porch or letting it sit right in the corner of the house. Here's a little jog to refresh your memory

f93c955e8ef6b3f1aae892cb066afe8e6b4e77f3

There was a lot of rain Friday through Sunday. I took the opportunity to pop out to the front yard on Friday afternoon between rain showers to check on how things were holding up. I was hoping for no standing water against the house, and hooray, there was not one teeny tiny itsy bitsy bit.

285b4f7376bb4ed7576676b2f984ab468f0ff7da
52183f18f4962a640e64d8ff6ccada043f463fc4

And the good news kept coming: the French drain successfully drains out underneath the walkway. Chris and I were aware that maybe from time to time, with a ton of water, it might be a little swampy (and that was part of the appeal of the rock walkway), but so far no water at all here either.

0053dce257a62f79110af1e7f1379e2c0b509582

And another piece of good news: Because the yard is a teeny bit higher than the sidewalk, we were afraid that with lots of rain the mulch might flow down onto the sidewalk—but no mulch on the sidewalk at all. Hooray!

There is a small piece of bad news, but it's not a huge deal: The sidewalk strip has some puddles

f49fa70f239c5f3d4705c1f50b336bac918523dc

It's not that big of a deal, and there is no damage, it's just slightly annoying.

d380268177c82ae77d74ba527bdff553bcef605b

After lots of rain on Saturday and Sunday, our sidewalk strip looks a little worse for the wear this morning.

0b78ea6ba1050f7e7185ac913b41e78c901f9bb6
1fb46e12590cfbec628d35694a5231f78c62c3b9


But again, not a huge deal.

One bad thing about our backyard, however, is that there is a decent amount of standing water on the patio, womp womp :(

We knew this already around this time last year, but last year wasn't terribly, horribly wet, so it wasn't that big of a deal. One year later and the standing water is getting more annoying.

I try not to mention it, but I know Chris can't even look at it without getting annoyed :(

1825303e7302047bdd6fc32d9479b557ea9a3479

And just like last year, I tried to convince myself that it's not that bad, considering we'd NEVER installed a patio before, and over 900+ sq. ft. we've got one low spot, that's really actually very successful. The downer is that it's right  in front of the garage and the water seeps in.

903eeec6f6f896af623eb0bf2c52a9dc8ac188aa

And then it weaves its way under our work bench...

ee624f1a01ee85485a3f0e15f3ff3d840efad2b6

... and under our tools (that are thankfully all protected by cases)

da6e89c7a99b2c881f5e038dedf3ed1bdce85061

I know at some point we will redo this little strip of patio and try to make it more even with the rest of it, because Chris groans and rolls his eyes and growls whenever he goes out there and sweeps away the water (we have two heavy-duty brooms, and it takes about five minutes to sweep it away off the patio).

I have to admit, it is kind of annoying, especially since we spent so many painstaking hours trying to make everything perfectly level.

A more troublesome area of standing water are the puddles under the house

7c2622c4080135ce049fa1063556d1863afff30a


After really bad consistent rain there are a couple of inches of standing water, which is really not a good thing. We tackled the standing water towards the front underneath the house, and that seems to have mostly subsided, which is really great, but clearly we need to tackle this area.

Alas, that will have to wait till next Spring/Summer, when the weather will be clear with no rain in sight. Maybe then we'll finally get to the earthquake retrofit that's been on our list for several years as well. It would really suck to renovate only to have the house topple over in an earthquake...

Visit Picardy Project »

blog comments powered by Disqus