Drainage Issue between house and detached garage

by Kelly
(Massey ON Canada)

drainage issue at house

drainage issue at house

Hello, we moved into a 25 year old home in last fall and in the Spring experienced some horrible flooding between our house and the garage. Every time it rains surface water pools there and the wood siding is getting damaged because of it. There is an interlocking brick path there right now which is very uneven in places (very sandy soil, lots of ants, high water table)which we plan to address or possibly remove given any advice we receive . The grading around the garage in that area also appears to flow water toward it instead of away. Any suggestions appreciated.


When water collects like that, it is due to the fact that it has nowhere to go. That area is at a low spot...a lower elevation than the surrounding property.

This can be solved, but it depends on the specific elevations of your land. Can you lower the land adjacent to this area and lead the water away by re-grading? Sometimes this is possible and at other times it is not. One way regrading can be done is by simply sloping the area. However, at other times, the land on both sides is higher and it is impossible to do. In this case, a swale might be able to be created. A swale is like a ditch that leads the water away. It has high areas
to the sides and the ditch itself is lower than surrounding places. The ditch slopes so that the water can travel along it.

If regrading is not an option, the next choice would be to use a drain and pipes. In your situation, it appears that you could possibly use a trench drain along the garage. You could also pitch the area to outside of the garage (not too close) and have all the water go into the drain. Either way, the drain is connected to underground piping which takes the water to a lower, acceptable area.

So as you can see there is always a fix for water problems. By taking your elevations and knowing which areas are higher and lower, you would have the correct information to solve the problem. Landscapers, qualified landscape designers or landscape architects, and surveyors can get various spot elevations and this is what I would recommend. Once you get the elevations, a landscape contractor could work with you to provide a solution.

I know you probably wanted an immediate solution and I'm sorry this was so long winded! However, if you are going to address drainage problems, you should do it correctly so that it is not a waste of time and money.

Here are some pages that might be helpful as they will provide further information.

Landscape Grading

Lawn Drainage

Trench Drains

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