How Do I Prevent Water From Collecting Against Side Of House
Our house has a concrete patio in the back that is very slightly angled in so that rainfall can cause water to collect where the patio meets the back wall of the house. What are my short-term and long-term options for addressing this?
The only thing I could think of would be to elevate/resurface the patio near the house to redirect the water away from it. I’m a beginner DIY’er and am not sure how exhaustive of a procedure that would be.
In the meantime, I’d like to make sure that the exterior of the house doesn’t become water damaged. Is there a sealant I can use to protect where the patio meets the house? Caulking perhaps?
In the short term, you could waterproof the foundation with some sealant paint like Drylok.
Longer term, you need to fix the problem by directing water away from the house. Is there cracking where the patio meets the house? That would indicate subsidence at that side of the patio, at which point I would definitely call in the professionals.
If the cost of raising the patio is too great you could get an angle grinder or perhaps a better choice would be renting a concrete wet saw and cut out a strip about 6 inches wide from the edge that meets the house wall. As @woodchips points out in his comment, make sure you wear gloves, safety goggle and a mask for this. It’ll get hot, but it’s very dusty work and the saw will throw up chips of concrete.
Water laying against your house will cause any number of problems. You DO want to deal with this.
How To Divert Water From The Home
As a homeowner, not much is scarier than hearing you have a water issue. The first thing that comes to mind is the foundation. When you discover a water drainage issue, dont go to the dark side just yet.
The good news is there are a number of ways you can lower the impact water can have on your home by redirecting its path. Heres how.
What Are The Signs Of A Water Drainage Problem
A lake-sized puddle may be a little dramatic. The indicators of drainage issues in your yard may be a little more subtle than that. Here are a few telltale signs that indicate you need to divert water in your yard:
- Overflowing gutters
- Efflorescence or flaking walls in your basement
- Basement leaks
Don’t let water surprise you.
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Yard Grading 101: How To Grade A Yard For Proper Drainage
Draining issues can be a home owners worst nightmare. Yard grading is definitely something you can take on as a DIY project. With a little sweat equity and these helpful tips, youll have this yard grading project knocked out in a weekend.
If you have concerned about the slope of your yard this is the post for you. Learn yard grading techniques now to prevent major water problems later.
The Effect On The Crawl Space Under The House
Your home may not have a basement or a room at a lower level, but you may have a crawl space under your house for access to plumbing and electrical and gas services to your house.
Crawl spaces are generally at a higher risk of damage from water directed towards the house because the water has the opportunity to flow more freely under the house, taking with it mud and debris that can begin to clog up this space.
The damp conditions that the water introduces under the crawl space can result in unpleasant odors rising up into your home, as well as the development of rot or mold and other potential health concerns.
Water running under the crawl space can also damage footings that support the main structure of your house and compromise the structural integrity of your home.
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How To Slope A Patio For Drainage
A laser level or contractors level can be helpful to determine and set slope, but a string line and line level are still the go-to. Remember to contact local utilities to ensure there are no lines where you plan to place the patio.
To set a string line, hammer a stake into the ground at each corner of the patio site and mark the desired elevation on the stake closest to the structure. Mark a point 6 up from the desired elevation on that stake and run a string around all 4 of the stakes to form the perimeter.
Pull and tie the string taught to each stake and use a line-level to adjust each side by moving the string up or down at the stake so it is level with the 6 mark on the starting stake.
The distance from the building to the outer string, multiplied by 0.25 determines the 2% slope in that direction. The outer edge of the patio will drop that distance, plus the 6 below the string line.
- For example, a 15 distance would be 15 x 0.25 = 3.75 or 3-3/4. Add that to the 6 the string line is above the starting level, and the outer patio edge will be 9-3/4 below the string line. The thickness of the drainage base will be added to that for excavation and ground preparation.
How To Set Grade For Hardscape
Chances are your landscape is not level. Its also likely that you didnt think anything of it until you began a hardscape project.; However, theres nothing worse than finishing your project to find out water runoff drains toward your house instead of away from it. In this article, well share a few simple steps to
Chances are your landscape is not level. Its also likely that you didnt think anything of it until you began a hardscape project.;
However, theres nothing worse than finishing your project to find out water runoff drains toward your house instead of away from it. In this article, well share a few simple steps to help you set a grade for your hardscape project.
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Roof Overhangs And Downspouts
If rainwater is flowing directly onto your patio from a roof overhang or downspout, the water will pool in that area quickly. Installing a gutter system and redirecting downspouts away from the patio will usually correct the problem.
The pitch of a patio can be corrected using an overlay, as was done on this project. Unique Concrete in West Milford, NJ.
How Much Should A Patio Slope Away From House
Are you building a patio and dont want water to pool on it or back up against your house? Worried it will seep down against the foundation and into the house? The correct patio slope will help keep water from sitting on it or backing against your house.
Patios within 10 feet of a foundation must have a 1/4 per foot or 2% fall away from the building. The 2% fall or slope is required for hardscape surfaces such as pavers, wood, concrete, gravel, or other materials. The slope will move water off the surface and away from the foundation.
In this article, well take a look at how sloping a patio helps with drainage, how much the fall should be, and code requirements. Well explain how to calculate the slope, and how to fix the grade of an existing patio. By the end of the article, youll have a better understanding of how much slope is needed, and how to fix an existing surface.
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Alternative Solution: French Drains
If you cant see a way to regrade the slope of your yard based on this information, youre probably wondering how on earth you can fix this problem. My suggestion is to;install a french drain in order to fix the water issues.
A french drain is basically a pipe with holes in the top that you bury underground so that when the water seeps down it will drain into the pipe and be redirected away from your house. The drain pipe will have a slope to it in order to redirect the water to a different area .
So, if you think this could be the solution for you, check out my article, How to install a french drain in your yard, which gives step-by-step instructions that you can follow to install a french drain.
Correct Slope For A Patio
There is actually a standard formula for the correct slope of a patio, which is one-fourth inch drop for every foot of length.
You can have a steeper slope, but if you have anything less, you will take a chance that the water will run back toward your home.
When you want to measure the patiolength, start at the side that touches your house. Measure in feetaway from your house to the furthest point of the patio. Take thismeasurement and multiply it by ¼ to determine how many inches thedifference in elevation should be between each end of the patio.
For example, if the patio is 20 feet in length, the slope should be five inches. This means that the side furthest from your house will be five inches lower than your house.
This is a two percent drop, and it is the ideal slope for a patio to effectively drain away from your home.
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Fixing A Patio With An Improper Slope
A patio that collects water or allows water to flow back and sit against the foundation needs to be re-sloped. Fixing a patio with an improper slope doesnt necessarily require the removal of the patio, re-sloping of the base, and rebuilding of the patio, although it might. The size of the patio and how much the fall needs to be adjusted impact repair options.
How To Make A Slope For Water Runoff Using Pavers
Water runoff damages building foundations, walkways and landscaping, washing away topsoil, exposing plant roots and creating cracks in the concrete. From poorly designed yards to overflowing gutters, you may find yourself fighting against water flow at your home on several fronts. One fairly basic way to alleviate some of these issues is by installing pavers. When placing them in the ground to form a patio, the slope of the surface is adjusted to direct water away from the house.
Outline the area where you have issues with water runoff. Tap stakes in the ground at the corners of the area and run string between the stakes. This is the area where you will install pavers to create a patio.
Dig out the soil inside the outline down to a depth equal to 6 inches plus the thickness of the pavers.
Add 2 inches of crushed gravel to the bottom of the dug space and smooth it out by dragging a 2-by-4 across the surface. Pack it down with a tamping tool or a compactor. If you use a compactor, walk the machine back and forth across the space in rows.
Add an additional 2 inches of gravel to the side of the patio area that needs to be higher to create a slope. Adjust the amount of gravel to you add to the space as you work your way across the surface, spreading it thinner as you reach the lower end of the patio area. Run the board across the area again to smooth.
Fill in or remove gravel from areas to adjust the slope.
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What Does Level Really Mean
There are three different elements to getting the patio levels right. The first is to make sure the area is flat; that is to say that there are no raised edges between stones to trip people up. The second is to make sure it is level, as in all the flags are lined up with each other in the horizontal plane.
And the third, although it seems contradictory, is to make sure the patio surface is;not;level. For;Drainage Reasons;you need to have a gradient, known in the trade as a fall, from one end of the patio to another. Usually, this slope will go away from the house, so that water isnt encouraged to pool next to it and cause damp problems. But in order to be able to make a fall that is not level, you need to know where the level is.
How To Measure Slope For A Patio
Unlike stairs which are measured from their lowest point to highest, the slope of patios is measured from the highest point, commonly nearest a building, to its lowest. So, instead of using the rise over the run, we use the fall over the run. The size of the patio determines which is the easiest way to measure the slope.
Measure the distance out from the building to where the patio ends. Convert that distance from feet to inches and divide by 48. For example, a 16 run is 192-inches which has a 4 fall . The resulting value is the overall required fall of the surface from one side to the other to achieve a fall to run ratio of 4:198 which reduces to 1:48, or a 2% slope .
Using a 4-foot builders level and tape measure to identify the slope is helpful and accurate in short distances. A short 6 level or a 2-foot level is often used when laying pavers and bricks which fall 1/4 per foot, and a long, flat board with a 4 or 8-foot level is useful for checking larger concrete surfaces. However, patios may need to slope in more than one direction, which means a string line and string-level is helpful.
How To Measure The Slope For A Paver Patio
To measure the slope of your paver patio, you need a stake, a hammer, a string, and a line level. First, insert one stake at the top of the patio and another at the bottom where water will drain from the patio. Pound each stake with a hammer so that they are good and stable. Tie a string tightly around each stake and then slip a line level on the string. Adjust the string by moving it up and down as needed so it can be level between the stakes. Once everything is in place, determine the required amount of slope based on the size of your paver patio.
Keep in mind that the slope should be at least 1 inch for every 8 feet of the paver patio. For instance, a 16-foot patio will require 2 inches of the slope while a 12-foot patio will require 1 1/2 inches of the slope. You need to measure the calculated slope from the string tied at the drainage end of the patio. Use a pencil to mark this location and then move down the string to the mark you have made on the stake.
Negative Effects Of Water Drainage Issues
Water may seem harmless enough, but it can cause a number of problems for homeowners ones that can be a minor inconvenience or cause thousands of dollars of damage. Here are a few reasons youll want to know how to divert water away from your home, so you can fix the issue before it becomes a major problem.
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Channel Drains And Sloping Patios With Obstacles
There are some instances where obstacles will get in the way of a traditional slope.
The best slope is always perpendicular to your home but what if a neighbors home, or some other structure like a shed or detached garage is in the path of where you will be draining the water?
In some circumstances you may need a channel drain in the middle where the patio slopes in like a V from both sides and the water is carried away to another location.
This is a common solution for pool deck drainage where you want the water that accumulates on the patio to drain away from both the house AND the pool.
A good landscaper or drainage expert will tell you the perfect way to slope any patio.
You might wind up sloping at an obscure angle to get the best drainage and avoid any obstacles that are perpendicular to your home.
Starting The Level From The House
Assuming the patio site has already been excavated and the edges marked out with pegs, pick a level on the wall of the house that is below your;Damp-Proof Course, but not so low as to make too big a step coming out of the house. If your ground is on a steep slope, particularly if it slopes toward the house, then you will have to get creative at this point and perhaps decking would be a better choice than a patio . .
Using reasonably straight edges, such as new timber battens, and the longest spirit level you can lay your hands on, mark that line on the brickwork of the house all the way along with chalk or another semi-permanent marker.
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Install A French Drain
A French drain collects water below the surface and transports it away from the home. Putting one in your yard involves digging a trench about 2 feet deep then lining it with water-permeable landscape fabric. Once the fabric is laid, add a few inches of gravel and lay down a drainpipe that is punctured with several holes.
Once the pipe is laid, youll add more gravel on top, then add sod over it. While it sounds easy enough, it can be pretty labor intensive and will require you to rip up part of your lawn. You may want to consider hiring a professional.