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This spring I hope to accomplish several things around the house. Currently my worst problem is water runoff running from one side of my property to the other. I am at the bottom of a hill they built a subdivision on within the past 10 years. I don't think they properly planned the neighbor hood because the more homes they build it seems the worse my driveway and yard wash away. I can see like a layer of water just running through the grass. Before I bought the home the previous contractor did put in a French drain on the upper side of the property but it's not enough. I have enough runoff that water is forming a stream up against the brick foundation (I know this is bad).

I also use side of the house near the French drain to park my trailer (I don't run over the drain just incase). I thought about using a product called true grid pavers. I think a solid surface would just add to my water problems. Has anyone used these or any experience.

My other plan is to dig about a 6"x6" trench around the house and use a sand barrier to fill the trench and add soil to keep the water away from the foundation (I hear there is a sand the termites can't dig through but have not found it yet).

I have a few other plans like putting in a rubber boarder and possibly some decorative rock around the house but not a priority. My other problem is when one of the previous owners filled in the swimming pool with trees that are starting to rot. Now sinkholes developing in the yard, this is on the lower side of the yard. Figure this is enough work to keep me busy for a few months if not years.
 

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Are you able to take some pictures of the lay of the land that may help you with getting some replies.

Doug
 
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So far this is the best I could do for an overall explanation of whats going on. I used yellow lines to notate approximate property lines, light blue line that runs behind the house for the french drain, dark blue square for where the pool was and the red text at the top to say where the water runs off from. I will describe this as if you rotate the picture about 30 degrees to the left so the driveway is running directly up and down the right side of the picture. The yard at the top of the picture is the high side, it is fairly level if you walked the top yellow line. From the yellow line at the top to the edge of the driveway where the vehicles are parked its about a 10 foot difference, mostly before the french drain, maybe 1.5 ft after. The dark marks you see in the concrete above my property is where water runs across the neighbors driveway from up the hill, a lot comes from that but it also runs down behind my house and forms a river about where the french drain is. From my driveway to the lower property line its also maybe a 10 ft drop, not a lot for the distance. The concrete part of my driveway slopes slightly towards the house, the lower half of the drive is gravel. The trailer gets parked on the upper side of the house where the two trucks are in the picture, right next to part of the french drain (the trailer is 36ft long so it takes up all this space).

Other things in the picture, I had a wood boarder around the house and laid down "anti-weed" cloth (can't think of the real name of it at the moment) and then put as much cedar much in as possible but a lot of it was cypress since it was all I could find in the area. The termites took care of the wood and then attempted to munch on my house (needless to say they got handled for now but unless I change the habitat they will return). Since I have so much water figured a rubber boarder and decorative gravel is a better solution.

Hope this helped.
House pic for help.jpg
 

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What you need is a good old fashioned ditch. French drains are nice and all by they rely on the water soaking down into the ground and entering the pipe to work. In your case, it sounds like you have so much surface water that it's running right over the french drain.

So you need to contour your lot so that the soil slopes away from the house and create some sort of surface drain to channel water around the house. Hard to say how that would play out without seeing images of the yard from ground level. It may mean cutting into the slope to put a retaining wall at the edge of your lot and sloping the land from the house to near the base of the wall (you wouldn't want it at the actual base of the wall because standing water there could actually cause any wall to collapse.).

I suppose if you did that, you could use some of that soil to fill in the sinkholes where the old pool was. Not much else you can do about the rotting stumps but back fill.
 
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I agree with the ditch idea JimR stated, to at least direct the water to the area where you want it to go. But if you build a ditch, make sure you check with the local authority as where you direct the flow of water could bring you legal troubles from either that property owner or even the local authority. I would also consult a professional excavator who regularly does residential work and they can tell you exactly how it should be done and point out potential pitfalls.

Another reason I would consult your township, city or whomever engineering department is when they come to your site and see what the new neighborhood is doing to your property, they just may compel the neighborhood shedding water to your property to deal with the issue they are causing. I certainly would want the local inspector to see what is happening BEFORE you undertake any contour changes so they can see what you are dealing with. Developments can't just divert water to someone else's property without possible consequences. I have built several neighborhoods over the years and the impact of the new development on surrounding properties is something which is full of litigation issues.

When I built my house, all of my landscaping beds are rock and stone. I did this 15 years or more ago and I have never had to deal with them again. I spray them twice a year with weed killer and that is it. They are easier to clean up leaves from and they provide much better drainage immediately adjacent to the house. The termites are just one of the issues, not to mention it is a composting material right next to the house. I don't even like the smell of the bark.

The "bark ritual", as I refer to what all my neighbors do, seems like a complete waste of time and money to me. Yes, the stone was more expensive initially, but my neighbors have all spent the last 15 plus years having bark delivered (several hundred dollars each year) and spending a weekend or more spreading it. Dollar for dollar, I know I am thousands of dollars ahead with the larger initial investment in the stone verses the ongoing bark saga.

We have one neighbor who is one of the worst I have ever seen at completing anything. Every spring, when he gets his bark delivered, I have started a betting pool with the other neighbors on just how long it will take for the bark pile in the middle of his driveway to disappear. I won this year with the 24th of October as my date. The bark was delivered the 12th of May.........He actually trimmed half of a tree one time and it took him until the next year to trim the other half of the same tree. I am grateful he lives where I don't have to look at his house unless I choose to drive to that end of the association.

He is the type that will be in the middle of doing something and he will simply drop the tools where he stands and leave to go play golf. One time, his hedge trimming gear laid in the yard for two weeks where he suddenly stopped in the middle of doing something. He once asked to borrow a tool of mine and I refused because I never treat the stuff I own the way he does. The guys a jerk and frankly I could care less if he doesn't like me......:laugh::nunu::unknown:
 

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I am a veteran of working for the man and dealing with your type of issues. Looks like whomever approved the development that caused your problem is liable for any issues you may have . You are in an excellent position to be the squeaky wheel that gets greased here. A few well placed phone calls to the governing bodies in charge and the developer and homeowners tossed in with an appearance at the councilors or supervisors meeting and you might get some relief. Take lots of pictures and have documentation of before and after development conditions. It may take hiring a lawyer and bringing a civil suit to get the results you want here. How bad do you want to win and how far are you willing to push the envelope?:dunno:
 
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