Saturday, September 15, 2012

A drainage solution for concrete

     Our house came with a concrete porch that was poured in sections right up against the original 160 year old rock wall foundation on the south side up against our bedroom.  There is a low spot up against the wall where, in some one's infinite wisdom, there is a 2x? piece of lumber between the house and the slab.  Water puddling on this spot has infiltrated and caused settling issues.

     Mud jacking isn't going to work, as I am worried that the pressure would heave the rock wall foundation next to it.  Replacing the concrete isn't really an option for us right now, so I came up with an alternate solution. 
Using a laser level, I determined that the house side was 3/4" lower than the edge of the concrete.  So I snapped a chalk line to the lowest point, and cut a kerf into the slab.  I used a concrete blade on my circular saw, making a series of full passes towards the house until I achieved a 1" cut on the edge.  Since the blade wears away as I am cutting, the cut tapers up automatically to nothing at the low point that I am trying to drain.

     So far it is working pretty well.  Instead of pooling up near the house, water is drained into the garden bed next to the porch.  I may run into issues with the kerf clogging with debris, or cracking in the winter.  It will be interesting to see how it performs over the long haul.  But for now, at least I have slowed down the erosion and bought us some time without spending a lot of money.


  1. Hmm… That was pretty clever. The problem wasn’t utterly solved though. Yes, you were able to divert the water into some more convenient place outside the house, but it doesn’t stop the water from overflowing onto the concrete’s surface. I guess you still have to replace the concrete, one way or another. But your band aid treatment was really smart for me. :)

    -->Darryl Iorio

    1. When dealing with an ancient farmhouse, the word triage comes to mind often. It's definately not a perfect solution, but it should buy us some time.

  2. It’s not exactly the best method and it’s certainly not permanent; nevertheless, what you did worked! There’s no need to ask for some help of others and spend money. If you can fix it yourself, why not do so? ;)

    Althea Tumlin

  3. Drain cleaning & unblocking is unfortunately inevitable and by including this task into your house cleaning on a regular basis is the first step to working to prevent blocked drains from happening.
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