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Install a Curtain Drain to End Basement Flooding

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Pennsylvania, you’re on the line. Sherry, how can we help?

    SHERRY: I have a house that’s 100 years old and we – my children live in it during college. And we are finding that we have water that’s coming in to the basement area. And we’ve tried to re-grade away from the house. We redid our drains that are all – so the pipes are going away from the house.

    TOM: OK.

    SHERRY: And we’re still getting water that’s showing up in the basement.

    TOM: Did the re-grading and the gutter work reduce the amount of water?

    SHERRY: That it did do. Yes. And it seems like we have some high ground; even though I don’t call it really high. But there is somewhat of a hill from the back of the house. And in the backyard, when it rains hard, that’ll kind of be very wet.

    TOM: Alright. Well, what you might need to do here is if you have a lot of water that’s running off into this area, simply re-grading the first four feet is not going to be enough to get the water far enough away. What you might have to do is something called a curtain drain. And it’s not that difficult to do but, essentially, what it is, is a trench that would be going across the bottom of the hill. And you would dig a trench maybe 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep or so; you put a couple of inches of gravel and then some PVC pipe that’s perforated. And you would want to pitch that towards the low end so it could drain somewhere. And then, cover the rest of the pipe with more gravel; put a little bit of filter cloth over that; and then soil and you could plant grass. So once it’s installed, it’s invisible.

    What this type of thing will do is it’ll take the water that runs down the hill, it’ll fall into the curtain drain and it’ll come up into the pipe and then it’ll run out the other end. I think this is a matter of managing the amount of water that’s getting anywhere near that basement wall. And Sherry, if you can keep some of that hill water from running off and getting that close, I think that’s going to be the last thing you’ll need to do to straighten out that leak.

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