Drainage Problem Inside A Sidewalk

Filed Under: Drainage and Erosion · Keywords: Drainage, Sidewalk, Water Build Up · 2358 Views

The area between the sidewalk to my front door and the house always stays very wet. It's so wet I can't get any plants to grow there. How can I fix this problem?

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2 Answers

Answer #1 · Chason Arthur's Answer · It's hard to say without examining the situation, but, in general, there might be a few ways that you can go about fixing this problem.

First, determine whether or not you can raise the whole area up by bringing in top soil. Homes with a crawl space will usually have air vents that might make this difficult to do. If vents are there, you might have to build some small walls aorund the vents in order to mound soil against. Never mound up soil against a wooden wall.

Also, check to see if gutter spouts are draining into the area. If so, you might need to use flexible corrugated drainage pipe to drain these to another area in the landscape if possible. If you need to run the drainage pipe under the sidewalk this isn't too difficult. Just dig a hole on each side of the sidewalk and then use a garden hose with a power nozzle attached to blast a tunnel through the dirt under the walk. If you use a perforated corrugated pipe (one that has holes in it), make sure the pipe is "sleeved." The sleeve will filter out large particles that may enter clog pipes over time.

If you cannot build the area up with top soil, and gutter spouts are not a problem, then the only other thing I can think of to do is a "Frech drain" system. These systems use precisely located catch basins and drainage pipes to remove the water from the area.

If you're unsure as to how to go about fixing your drainage problem, it might be a good idea to consult with a local landscaper or drainage solution expert. A little good advice can go a long way.)

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Answer #2 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Brian,
My first home had a planter between the entry walk and the home (garage) as yours does. The planter was in the shade all day long and the soil stayed wet always even with a small amount of water at times from the sprinklers. It was a soggy mess more so in the winter from the rains. I decided to extend my rain gutter down spouts out to the driveway as Chason explained. While digging down into the planter I realized how heavy a clay soil I had. I also found that the layer of this clay was only about 8" deep and below that there was a rocky, more sand like soil that wasn't very wet. This top heavy layer of clay was holding most of the water. Over a period of a few weeks I removed most of this soil and brought in a good top soil from my local nursery. This solved my problem and was able to grow a variety of shade plants without any problem. You may find that you also have a heavy clay soil holding excessive water and hopefully like my planter it is only a few inches deep with better sub soil below. Many contractors bring in fill dirt when leveling lots and sometimes in my case the type of soil brought in is not a concern of theirs. Whether fill dirt or natural soil layer you may find a better sub soil to drain into. If your soil is naturally clay and deep, building up the planter as Chason said should work well for you.)

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