Previous owner did with house downspouts(??!!??)
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    DaubsNU1's Avatar
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    Previous owner did with house downspouts(??!!??)

    We took possession in July 2018...had all the normal inspections for our area, and even got the seller to pay for a structural engineer, since disclosure statement said had to tear up, re-fill, and replace garage floor and first 20 feet of driveway. The garage had sunk / settled.

    Engineer said house had some "settling" issues, but was stable now. Recommended some back fill around foundation.

    Small unincorporated town of about 150, where everyone knows everyone. My current neighbor is good friends with one of the previous owners of my house (not immediate past owner). We got to talking over a few beers and I asked about the downspouts.

    There are eight downspouts on the house, and all but two of them terminate in to the ground in to 6 inch corrugated drainage pipe.

    I've been looking for the exits to the drain pipes in the yard, but never found any.

    Previous owner: "Oh no, those don't drain out or exit in the yard. I just got a post hole digger, drove down 4-5 feet next to the house, filled with river rock, and ended it right there..."

    I about fell of my chair!

    So this spring I will be digging up my yard, installing drainage pipe that exists well away from the house.

    The most fun one will be right next to driveway...I will have to go under the sidewalk. Ugh.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaubsNU1 View Post
    We took possession in July 2018...had all the normal inspections for our area, and even got the seller to pay for a structural engineer, since disclosure statement said had to tear up, re-fill, and replace garage floor and first 20 feet of driveway. The garage had sunk / settled.

    Engineer said house had some "settling" issues, but was stable now. Recommended some back fill around foundation.

    Small unincorporated town of about 150, where everyone knows everyone. My current neighbor is good friends with one of the previous owners of my house (not immediate past owner). We got to talking over a few beers and I asked about the downspouts.

    There are eight downspouts on the house, and all but two of them terminate in to the ground in to 6 inch corrugated drainage pipe.

    I've been looking for the exits to the drain pipes in the yard, but never found any.

    Previous owner: "Oh no, those don't drain out or exit in the yard. I just got a post hole digger, drove down 4-5 feet next to the house, filled with river rock, and ended it right there..."

    I about fell of my chair!


    So this spring I will be digging up my yard, installing drainage pipe that exists well away from the house.

    The most fun one will be right next to driveway...I will have to go under the sidewalk. Ugh.
    What a great idea................................
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    People do such stupid stuff!! Do you think that has anything to do with the "settling"??


    Beautiful house, by the way!!
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    As an engineer myself, I'd be curious if your structural engineer's report mentioned the soil type under your slab or foundation. When I lived in Colorado the first time, draining water near the house was not recommended due to the bentonite clay in the soil, which would swell and heave the slab and basement walls, creating havoc. The clays in the gulf coast area in Texas where I lived after selling the Colorado home dried and cracked in the baking summer sun. If the foundation wasn't watered a couple of times per summer, the slab would slump and potentially cause structural damage.

    Knowing your basic soil composition before hole digging would be an important first step for me,

    Brian

    Quote Originally Posted by DaubsNU1 View Post
    We took possession in July 2018...had all the normal inspections for our area, and even got the seller to pay for a structural engineer, since disclosure statement said had to tear up, re-fill, and replace garage floor and first 20 feet of driveway. The garage had sunk / settled.

    Engineer said house had some "settling" issues, but was stable now. Recommended some back fill around foundation.

    Small unincorporated town of about 150, where everyone knows everyone. My current neighbor is good friends with one of the previous owners of my house (not immediate past owner). We got to talking over a few beers and I asked about the downspouts.

    There are eight downspouts on the house, and all but two of them terminate in to the ground in to 6 inch corrugated drainage pipe.

    I've been looking for the exits to the drain pipes in the yard, but never found any.

    Previous owner: "Oh no, those don't drain out or exit in the yard. I just got a post hole digger, drove down 4-5 feet next to the house, filled with river rock, and ended it right there..."

    I about fell of my chair!

    So this spring I will be digging up my yard, installing drainage pipe that exists well away from the house.

    The most fun one will be right next to driveway...I will have to go under the sidewalk. Ugh.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I had to get rid of the water from a 25X40 shed roof,,

    I dug a trench to a spot between two 20"+ trees, and put in a 6 foot x 30 inch section of septic drainage field cover.





    I did "T" a pipe up to grade with a water emitter, but, water has never accumulated in the pipe at all,,



    The water has been going into the ground for almost 4 years,, and it seems to be perfect.
    2018 was the wettest year on record for our area,, over 23 inches above average rain,,, and the gutter pipe is perfect.

    I guess I would not do this, if there was a basement near,, but,, no basement,,
    the big trees LOVE the extra water!!
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    I have never heard of such a thing. Well I take that back. I have heard of dry wells, but not small ones at each downspout right next to the house. I believe the builder misunderstood the concept of dry wells for downspouts. The dry wells I have seen are large holes dug away from the house. The hole is filled with large gravel & the downspouts are tiled the to the dry well. I have seen dry wells as large as many feet across & deep down to the size of barrels.

    If you have trees near your house, where small sticks can fall into the down spouts, do not use corrugated tile. The small sticks will get caught in the corrugated tile, then leaves get caught on he sticks & plug the tile. Use smooth wall pipe instead.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PikeCoGreenTractorMan View Post
    As an engineer myself, I'd be curious if your structural engineer's report mentioned the soil type under your slab or foundation. When I lived in Colorado the first time, draining water near the house was not recommended due to the bentonite clay in the soil, which would swell and heave the slab and basement walls, creating havoc. The clays in the gulf coast area in Texas where I lived after selling the Colorado home dried and cracked in the baking summer sun. If the foundation wasn't watered a couple of times per summer, the slab would slump and potentially cause structural damage.

    Knowing your basic soil composition before hole digging would be an important first step for me,

    Brian

    No mention of soil type. He didn't realize most downspouts terminated in the ground. The bold section below reference the two downspouts that do not terminate in the ground.

    Here is wording from the engineers' report:

    "There are several repaired vertical cracks in the south foundation wall. There are also repaired mortar joints at the front of the garage. The crack and joint seal repairs are in good condition. There is one stair-step crack at the southeast corner of the foundation where the sealant has cracked on the exterior of the house. The concrete block at the southeast corner has not shifted significantly. The walls are vertically plumb and in good condition. There is a repaired vertical crack in the north wall near the back edge of the front porch concrete stoop.

    The soil next to the north and south foundation walls has settled and the grades are low next to the house.

    OPINION:

    The seller disclosure was provided to me prior to inspection of the site. The current owner stated that the garage floor had been replaced, the foundation had been sealed and repaired due to settlement and drain tile had been added to drain standing water from the southwest corner of the property. This work was completed in 2015.

    The cracks observed are the result of differential settlement. Differential settlement is when a structure’s foundation does not settle evenly. Minor settlement occurs in all structures set on footings and normally reaches a point of equilibrium. In the case of this house, it is my opinion that the lack of drainage of the areas at the front of the house resulted in water soaking into the soil and draining underground around the structure towards the creek down gradient. This will have increased settlement towards the rear of the house which resulted in the foundation wall cracks observed in the north and should foundation walls. The installation of drain tile directed the water away from the structure and appears to have resolved the cause of the differential settlement. The foundation in its current state is in good function condition and the repairs made are functioning properly. The structural stability of the house is good, the house is structurally sound, and no major repairs are required.

    RECOMMENDATIONS:

    • Add soil next to the north and south foundation walls to raise grades and keep water away from the foundation walls.
    • Replace the cracked seal at the southeast corner of the house to prevent moisture from entering the foundation wall.
    • Repair of the interior foundation cracks is not necessary.
    Monitor the downspout drainage pipes that discharge to the creek east of the house to ensure that they are clear of debris and free flowing. Their failure to discharge collected roof drainage will result in water discharging next to the foundation which can lead to future problems.
    • Maintain gutters free of debris.
    • Monitor the identified cracks for movement over time as is required for all structures."
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    Ouch

    Quote Originally Posted by DaubsNU1 View Post
    No mention of soil type. He didn't realize most downspouts terminated in the ground. The bold section below reference the two downspouts that do not terminate in the ground.

    Here is wording from the engineers' report:

    "There are several repaired vertical cracks in the south foundation wall. There are also repaired mortar joints at the front of the garage. The crack and joint seal repairs are in good condition. There is one stair-step crack at the southeast corner of the foundation where the sealant has cracked on the exterior of the house. The concrete block at the southeast corner has not shifted significantly. The walls are vertically plumb and in good condition. There is a repaired vertical crack in the north wall near the back edge of the front porch concrete stoop.

    The soil next to the north and south foundation walls has settled and the grades are low next to the house.

    OPINION:

    The seller disclosure was provided to me prior to inspection of the site. The current owner stated that the garage floor had been replaced, the foundation had been sealed and repaired due to settlement and drain tile had been added to drain standing water from the southwest corner of the property. This work was completed in 2015.

    The cracks observed are the result of differential settlement. Differential settlement is when a structure’s foundation does not settle evenly. Minor settlement occurs in all structures set on footings and normally reaches a point of equilibrium. In the case of this house, it is my opinion that the lack of drainage of the areas at the front of the house resulted in water soaking into the soil and draining underground around the structure towards the creek down gradient. This will have increased settlement towards the rear of the house which resulted in the foundation wall cracks observed in the north and should foundation walls. The installation of drain tile directed the water away from the structure and appears to have resolved the cause of the differential settlement. The foundation in its current state is in good function condition and the repairs made are functioning properly. The structural stability of the house is good, the house is structurally sound, and no major repairs are required.

    RECOMMENDATIONS:

    • Add soil next to the north and south foundation walls to raise grades and keep water away from the foundation walls.
    • Replace the cracked seal at the southeast corner of the house to prevent moisture from entering the foundation wall.
    • Repair of the interior foundation cracks is not necessary.
    Monitor the downspout drainage pipes that discharge to the creek east of the house to ensure that they are clear of debris and free flowing. Their failure to discharge collected roof drainage will result in water discharging next to the foundation which can lead to future problems.
    • Maintain gutters free of debris.
    • Monitor the identified cracks for movement over time as is required for all structures."
    I think your structural engineer may have known his stuff but was a tad lazy in not finding out where the water discharge was. If you have significant cost, he may have some professional liability. At the very least, he should be ashamed of not being thorough in his investigation.

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    etcallhome's Avatar
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    Dry well ,,YES but against your foundation NO

    Dig a ditch one or two lengths of drain pipe from the corner of your house and then do the dry well.

    My thought is , if your putting in a dry well against the foundation, what have you changed .... Water is still coming down the downspout and laying up against the foundation with or without the dry well. Yes with dry well it may move away form house a little but not enough if a major downpour or very large amounts of rain over a few days of week.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisR View Post
    I have never heard of such a thing. Well I take that back. I have heard of dry wells, but not small ones at each downspout right next to the house. I believe the builder misunderstood the concept of dry wells for downspouts. The dry wells I have seen are large holes dug away from the house. The hole is filled with large gravel & the downspouts are tiled the to the dry well. I have seen dry wells as large as many feet across & deep down to the size of barrels.
    I agree. He had the right idea but implemented it 100% backwards.

    I'm going to put in 3 dry wells next spring. I'm digging down 8'-9', laying a bed of gravel and then stacking cement block into a tower that will be ~5' tall. I'll backfill around that with 4" stone, cover with geo-fabric and then cover with 2' of topsoil to get it back to grade. The downspouts will drain into center of the tower which will be an open holding space for the water to collect as it waits to drain into the ground. All of that will be some 20' from the foundation.

    Whoever his prior owner was just wasting his time. He dug the holes and then filled them right back up with rock. After one or two storms the soil probably backfilled right up against those stones and then you're right back to having no place for the rush of water from the downspouts to go.
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