Drainage

Submitted By
davidapbarber
Filed Under
Landscaping
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2 expert, -1 community
Q:

I live in Tennessee and we are on a hill. One side of my house gets water in the crawl space. I sealed the walls with Dry Lock. I need to redirect the water coming from the top of the hill hitting the house. Waht soil is best to use and would I benefit from a french drain

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Answers

Dry lock is a good defense against moisture intrusion through the cement block wall, but it does nothing to stop the damaging effects water has on the inside of the wall itself. It simply prevents it from moving into the crawl space itself.

Although your efforts to divert water away from the house is good it is not going to stop the water from getting into the wall as well.

First off you do need to slope the soil away from the foundation. A cap layer of a about six inches of clay based soil placed on or directly below the top soil layer will help prevent the moisture from moving down towards the footing where it is most likely entering into the wall cavity.  You want to be careful when using clay as it does expand when its wet and it can damage foundations if to much is applied. So no more then six inches of the stuff should be used.

Be sure that your gutters are clean and piped away from the house by at least six feet as well.

A French drain on the outside to redirect the surface level water away from the foundation also helps a lot if your exposed to a lot of water run off. If this is indeed the case. You would benefit from a landscape contractor who could assist you in designing the best way in which to remove and redirect the water to.

Ideally the best way to prevent this at all is to install a exterior water proofing system. Leaks in foundation walls are caused by settlement cracks, roots, filled and failed exterior drains, loose cement between the blocks and aging water sealant used on the outside of the wall when the foundation was built. While many folks opt for the lower cost internal water control systems. Which allow the water to enter then is pumped back out via mechanical means is only a stop gap method of water control.

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