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        sunken patio disaster Sign In/Join 
        posted
        We have an area outside our kitchen door and livingroom door that is basically a sunken patio. We have lived in our home for seven years and we didn't anticipate this being such a burden and problem when we moved in. Our issue is drainage for the area. When it rains the drain that is in the center of the cement gets clogged with leaves/debris and therefore won't let the water drain through. We are afraid to go anywhere for any length of time because the area fills up with water. Our last straw was when we had a terrible storm at night while I was asleep and I woke up to noise--being things on the patio floating around and hitting the house. I walked out into our livingroom to find the livingroom and kitchen floor flooded because the water stopped draining and had gone in the doors. To make it even worse, it went through the floor (brand new laminated floor not even a month old) and down into the basement - with 2 feet of water there. We would love to spend weekends away but fear that the drain will clog when it rains and we won't be home to clear the drain off. So we are prisoners of this sunken patio. We just don't know how to correct this or what to do. I should mention the retaining wall itself is starting to cave in, but being unsure of how to fix the problem we haven't fixed the wall. You can see by the attached photo that one side of the retaining wall is about four feet high, the other side about three. Plus the doorways to our kitchen and livingroom are maybe six inches high - posing the problem. The drain is in the center of the patio - it has the reflector sticking out of it. Any ideas on how to change this/what to do, fix the drainage would be appreciated. Summer is here and I would like to do a weekend getaway if I didn't have to worry about this. PLEASE HELP!! It is so frustrating!!

         
        Posts: 5 | Location: United States | Registered: Jul 13, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted Hide Post
        Sorry, couldn't see the photo. Just a huge white space with a red x.
         
        Posts: 1964 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        A sunken patio should not be next to the house. My advice is tear down the patio retaining wall and floor, then fill in the empty pit. If you must have a sunken patio then build another one at least 20 feet from the house; and make sure it is built DOWNHILL from the house.
         
        Posts: 20 | Location: Clarksville, TN | Registered: Dec 03, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        that drowning pool has to go. take it up, save the blocks, and fill it in. I'd put a deep French drain near the doors with a rock pond, or cut the drain pipe and drain the area into that. cover with a porous block material, and lead that into a sunken patio if you need one.

        what is your yard landscaped like? worst of all worlds would be it all sags towards that sunken patio, which would explain it in the first place. you may have to re-contour a bunch of the yard to divert water away from the house in the first place. that would be verging on criminal negligence on the part of the builder, and is worth two stern wagging Fingers Of Shame.


        sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
         
        Posts: 5849 | Location: North Burbs, MN | Registered: Mar 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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        I agree it has to go but not sure how to do it when our ground is higher than our house. Sometimes we think our only solution is to make it an additional room/add-on. However doing that will make our roof practically on the ground


        Penny C Long


         
        Posts: 5 | Location: United States | Registered: Jul 13, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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        another view of patio


        Penny C Long


         
        Posts: 5 | Location: United States | Registered: Jul 13, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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        That is our garage - about 4 feet about the patio. Yes, all the water comes right down onto the cement, running right through the retaining wall. The person who did this wall and patio was obviously an idiot - and we aren't too much better for not foreseeing this to be a future problem


        Penny C Long
         
        Posts: 5 | Location: United States | Registered: Jul 13, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of Jaybee
        posted Hide Post
        I agree that it's a poorly thought out patio and will be a continual source of problems. Also agree that the 'best' solution would be to dig it all up and regrade to eliminate it's water holding abilities.

        However, if the main problem is the drain clogging up then why not spend some less money and add another drain. Can't tell from the pics just how the land lies but if there is any way to eventually run to ground at or below the level of of the pad a secondary drain would at least solve your flooring problem.

        I'm thinking a large (like 8") drain located at the bottom of one of the retaining walls - whichever one gives you the shortest run to downhill. You'd need a backhoe to trench down to the level of the pad behind the retaining wall. Bust through the wall at or just below the pad level. Put in an 8" plastic pipe drain with a grid on it. That should be large enough to keep from getting clogged and keep water from flooding into the house. Depending on the length of run and what deals you can get on backhoe work, cost should run between $500 and $1,000.


        Jaybee
         
        Posts: 10477 | Location: Knoxville, Tennessee | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        they sell a gridded drain section that is often seen at the entrance to garages, with a grate over the drain collector. that then is run to whatever drainage system works for you.

        what I'd do is gutter the garage, and run drainpipes to the street, or as close as the roving inspectors with their little pad and pen will allow. that dumps that water into the storm drain. one source gone.

        reslope the patio into the retaining wall, maybe double slope (2 inches down for every running foot.) put the catch-drain material there into a French drain or a sump with pump and blow that water away as well. you also might need to put another section by the house and cut back the drain to dump that water into it.

        by the way, where does that patio drain go? generally law prohibits dumping that into the sanitary system.


        sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
         
        Posts: 5849 | Location: North Burbs, MN | Registered: Mar 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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        Thanks everyone, I am going to bring up some of these ideas to my husband. I so appreciate everyone's ideas.


        Penny C Long
         
        Posts: 5 | Location: United States | Registered: Jul 13, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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        Two inches of drop for every foot of run on a hard surface is quite a bit more slope than you would need. A quarter to half an inch per foot is plenty. At two inches your drinks would slide off the table and/or you could only fill them half full.

        If it slopes away from the house, I like the idea of putting in a long drain sections to collect the water and run it out to daylight away from the house. I'm not sure a sump pump will work if you are in an area with freezing weather. If you put a sump in deep enough and long periods of freezing weather are rare it will work. I'd also do gutters on all the roofs to direct as much water as far away as possible.

        If you wanted to add on to the house I'd do a reverse gable over the addition rather than trying to extend the existing roof line.

        Sloped lots always create challenges, especially when they slope towards the house.


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 888 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        I don't know where you get your information but 2 inches of slope for the first 10 to 12 feet (this amount varies from place to place) away from the house is standard practice in the building industry and is required by code in most parts of the country. After that, the ground should slope a MINIMUM of 1 inch per foot away from the house.
        The 1/4" to 1/2" slope you mentioned is the minimum slope required for decks. Decks do not need much of a slope because there is no grass or other vegetation to resist water runoff.
         
        Posts: 20 | Location: Clarksville, TN | Registered: Dec 03, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted Hide Post
        He probably got his information from all the experience he's had.
         
        Posts: 1964 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Doctor Who,
        A patio doesn't offer much resistance to the water flow either. As long as the water has a place to go the pitch on the patio doesn't need to be as extreme as swschrad recommended in his post.

        A yard would need more slope but not the patio in question.

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: Sparky617,


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 888 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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