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Prevent Yard Erosion with a Curtain Drain

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Laura is up next with a lot of erosion going on at her money pit. Tell us what’s going on.

    LAURA: Our yard slopes downward from the front to the back, probably close to – well, it’s a pretty good angle. I don’t know if (inaudible at 0:03:37) it’s 45 degrees. But when we have a hard rain, the rain comes off of the roadway and just a river flows down the back to the back corner of the house.

    TOM: OK.

    LAURA: And we’re seeing trees – like the roots. Real bad erosion. And I was wondering, what’s the best type of, I guess – I don’t know – like a retaining-type wall? Or is a flower bed – like a large flower bed – something to stop the flow? Or just a natural – like if we put bushes down – what’s the best would you suggest to (inaudible at 0:04:13) that erosion (audio gap) to stop.

    TOM: Well, the best thing to do is to interrupt that flow by catching the runoff and running it around the house. And an easy way to do that is with something called a “curtain drain.”

    Now, a curtain drain is dug into that sloped area at some point and I can’t tell you where; it depends on how the soil is sloped and shaped that makes the most sense. But basically, think of it this way: it’s a trench that you would dig in front of the house where all the water is collecting.

    And that trench, in it you would lay a perforated pipe. And the idea is that the trench has about 4 inches of stone, then it’s got a pipe. Stone continues to move up around the pipe and then a little bit more stone on top. And you put a piece of filter cloth and then you landscape over it or put dirt and grass over it, so you don’t see it when it’s done. But conceptually, the water shoots down the hill, falls into that invisible trench now, fills up the pipe and then runs out the other end of the pipe – the low end of the pipe – somewhere to daylight.

    So, to do this, you need to be able to get the pipe in place and then have the end of it run out somewhere where you want to dump that water. Does that sound like it’s possible with your yard, the way it’s configured?

    LAURA: Yeah. No, that’s very doable. I didn’t know they make stuff like that. So, no, that’s very doable.

    TOM: Well, it’s kind of like – you know, it’s not like you can go to the curtain-drain aisle at the local home center. You have to kind of build it yourself but it’s a very common technique called a “curtain drain” or a “footer drain.” So take a look at that and you can find instructions on MoneyPit.com.

    LAURA: Oh, wonderful. Thank you so much.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Laura. Thanks again for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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