Drainage/flooding problem French Drain Regrade Land

4 Replies

Hello Fellow Investors,

I recently bought a buy and hold rental in East Atlanta past the perimeter 285. After closing I realized that the backyard had a drainage problem which was affecting the foundation of the house. Thank god, the unit doesn't have a basement. The house was built on the bottom of hill and had flooding problems from pipes that burst on top of the hill in the past and water came into the house. In addition to this, heavy rain causes the backyard to retain standing water. It does not help that a concrete slab is sloped toward the house. I have attached (before the rain) photos below to give you an idea of the lay out.

My question is if anyone could recommend a contractor in the East Atlanta metro area that would install french drains and regrade land at a discount or evaluate and provide a cheaper solution. I had two estimates for french drain installation and grading both were $5,000+.

@Kevin Green you might want to know that french drains are usually for slow seeping soil water accumulation, and not for fast large amounts of water (which will go right over it). For that you need a swale that you might be able to mask with a small retainer wall and/or a dry river bed landscape. Also french drains need to be open at a least one of the ends, otherwise is not going to perform properly.

Thank you for the insight Costin. I was just quoted roughly $2,500 to demolition and repave the concrete patio slab and thus I am still exploring alternative less expensive options and a swale or may be the way to go. Thanks again!

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@Kevin Green, I took a closer look at your pictures - keep in mind, I'm just looking at some pictures, not present at location and far from an expert - but here are some other observations:

I think you have a problem with that retainer wall also - is already buckling, probably from not having a proper drainage behind it (yes, hydro-static pressure will move big stones walls) and sooner or later is going to crumble. If you have slop behind it, that's from where most of the water is coming into your backyard - that wall should "capture" it and redirect it on the sides, and eventually, further out along the sides of your house following the natural ground slope (see pictures below).

The backyard seems flat - one way or another you'll have to find a way to slope it and move water along.

Just my 2¢.

@Costin I., yes there certainly is an issue with that retaining wall, good observation. A few years ago apparently a city pipe burst at the top of the slope and water came pouring into the back yard. This is probably why the wall is in such bad shape. The whole thing will need to be redone. (Not sure how much that is going to cost). I can't say for certain that another flooding issue won't happen again either. I wonder if I could create a swale at the bottom of the retaining wall to catch excess water and take it to the front of the house? In any case, if I can find a cheap solution to remedy for the retaining wall and water around foundation of the house that would be great. I've added more photos below depicting water retention after light rain. It's not too bad but it has been worse in the past.

Before rain fall