Basement water at house pools

by Laurie Brown
(Oakesdale, WA)

Here is a question about house water that pools at a corner and drainage problems.

My home is older, 1937, and in one corner of the house water pools enough to float a shoe! I have rain gutters and a rain gutter on this corner also. Apparently the corner (flower bed) is lower than the surrounding lawn. I also have a heat pump on a cement slab in this corner. What is the best way to drain this corner. Dig it out and install drainage pipe or build up the soil in the corner so the water flows into the yard. My house in on flat property and water gets into my basement because of this problem. Thanks.


Hi Laurie,

If you have a heat pump in the corner, that limits the options for where your house water pools. Here they are:

You could put in a french drain in the areas along the perimeter of your house. This is a perforated pipe which allows water to enter. The pipe must be sloped and then the water is led elsewhere on your property. In this drainage solution, you would not need to do any (or very little) re-grading.

The second choice would be to put in a lawn drawn. This is a drain that is for example a square shape. Water enters through the grate and like the perforated pipe, the water is led elsewhere through additional piping. In this situation, water would have to be pitched towards the drain so that it is all directed there.

The third solution and not the best due to the labor involved, would be to raise the concrete slab that your heat pump is on. All the grade in this area would be raised, pitched away from your house and led to a swale. I think in your situation there are too many issues with this. See Lawn Drainage

I would try to use the perforated pipe. I did this at my own house and it works great. I had it placed along my foundation in an area that was completely flat. It gets laid lengthwise and gets covered with gravel or decorative stone so that you don't see it. Just be sure it is pitched at about 1/4" per foot. Lead it into a solid pipe which also must be pitched for the water to travel away. This does, however, require that it can have an exit point at a lower elevation on your property. If you have sewers and there is one hear your house (at the street), some townships allow you to connect right into the sewer.

If you have further questions let me know! Good luck.

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