Patio Grading Solutions

by Camille

I've always had flooding problems in my basement. Had a wood deck removed and foundation dug and repairs made. Waited 9 months before pavers were installed to make sure no more flooding over the winter before building a new deck with pavers. It is 15 x 35 and 16" high, There are sitting walls surrounding it with 2 steps on 3 different parts of the deck.

Unfortunately, last Monday my basement flooded and water was also coming in from the glass sliding doors. I put a level out and the deck is absolutely even.

The contractor is willing to come back and fix the problem. He thinks if he puts a french drain along the house it will solve the problem. The pavers are above the siding level with the sliding doors.

Can you please help me by letting me know what exacty he has to do.
Will the french drain work, or does he have to rip up the deck and grade it, if so can you direct me to exactly how he should do it.

I am at the verge of a nervous breakdown because I was told by another contractor to rip the whole thing out and he will buid it right.

ANSWER

When you say the pavers are above the siding, do you mean they are up to it with no foundation showing? I will assume this is the case.

I don't have the information I would need to make an EXACT recommendation as that would entail photos, measurements, and elevations of not only the patio but the glass doors (which I am assuming are about level with the patio), etc.

However, I can provide an educated opinion. Either of the proposed solutions would work, that being either re-doing the patio/re/grading or installing a french drain. But I would hate to see you rip out what sounds like a very large patio with constructed seat walls. If this were my project, I would suggest the french drains.

The water is getting into your basement because it has nowhere else to go. It is not being diverted anywhere else, and this is what you must do...lead the water someplace else. A french drain is a pipe with holes in it (perforated pipe) and is laid along your house, buried to a certain depth. This allows for water to enter the pipe, keeping it away from the house. However, the pipe must be pitched correctly. I like to use 1/4" per foot, but some contractors will use less. At any rate the pipe is sloped, leading the water elsewhere. Typically it connects to another pipe which is underground. This is a solid pipe and it too is sloped. Where you lead it to depends on what is going on with your property.

The perforated pipe is laid on stone. The height of the pipe itself can be deep or it can be close to the surface. I have one at my house which is fairly close to the surface. It then is covered with stone. Often the pipe is covered with filter fabric to help prevent dirt getting in.So the layer looks like many inches of stone, pipe, more stone on top.

Perforated pipe will be a much cleaner solution, so I would go with that. I can't imagine why it would not work. If you have a situation where there is something going on that I am not aware of, you can always go for option #2.

I hope this was helpful.

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