Thursday, February 28, 2008

Drainage Wows

My wife and I moved into a rental property that our land lord just bought from a elderly gentleman that recently passed on. The man is what most would call a "weekend warrior do-it-yourself" handy man. Everything he worked on was either done half way right or all wrong.

When we first moved in I noticed, a bunch of sprinkler boxes(you know the big ugly green ones that house water valves) with a bunch of drilled holes on it. I also notice at the end of our yard up against the base of our rotting fence another sprinkler box raised up with chicken wire wrapped around it and holes drilled into the sides near the ground. I did not think much of it and thought it was a neat and cheap idea for a drainage system.

After a couple of months we had a small storm. I noticed that our screened in porch had standing water about 2 feet inside on the porch. I took a look at the drainage and saw the one of the down spouts was angled toward the house. I moved the spout and angled it toward the alley and went on about my business. Over the months we have had several bad storms and the water always came up on the porch but when it rained I was either asleep or at work. So I never how bad the drainage was or where it the problem was.

About 2 weeks ago I happened to be home when we had a light rain. I went outside and checked our drainage. I found that our gutters and drainage was homemade and not done correctly. Every joint and angle was not sealed correctly or the sealant was the wrong type. Some of the downspouts (I never noticed were uphill and would not drain until the gutters were spilling out and tearing up the flower beds. All the joints leake and those green sprinkler boxes did not even work right. The boxes were flooded and about 3 inches of standing water was up against the foundation.

After the flooding I went out a couple days later to check on the drains and to clean them out. I opened them up and they were still full of water. After looking for the drains I only found 1 actual drain in the boxes. It was just about the water level close to top of the box. I cleared it out and some of the water was removed. I checked on the box at the back of yard and found it the same way. It was to small and my shed was flooded.

When the ground was dry enough to do some digging. I removed all the dirt around the drain near the fence and made a small berm to block the water from flowing into the shed. I then cleared away some weeds and junk near the drains by the house. When fished, tested the system by putting the water hose into the gutters and started watching the show. Within about 5 minutes the drains fill up and started to flood my porch.

At that point I realized the old man did not build the system right and the land lord was going to have to re due the drainage system. The hard part is explaining this to the land lord and telling what needs to be done before the foundation is damage.

More to come on this story...

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