DRAIN Late one night during a flash flood, the rear basement wall of our house sprung a leak. A steady stream had spouted straight out the face of a cinderblock where it pooled onto the concrete floor, and that pool was growing fast. A crash of thunder woke me up, so I managed to catch the leak before disaster struck, but it took all night to bail out the water. The below-grade basement wall backed against the downhill slope of the yard, at the bottom of which was a small paver patio with poor drainage that collected the runoff. Compounding the prob- lem were clogged gutters that caused roof water to cascade off the edge, adding gallons to the pond forming at the back of house. The accumulated water that seeped into the ground caused so much hydrostatic pressure it forced a leak through a weak spot in the foundation wall. So, at three in the morning during a thunderstorm, I'm the madman in the backyard ripping pavers out of the patio and shoveling out a makeshift trench to drain water to the side of the house. Next, I'm on a ladder in the rain tearing handfuls of leaves out of the gutter to redirect the waterfall. Meanwhile, my wife Shanna is downstairs bat- tling the water using towels, buckets, mops, push-brooms and a wet/dry vac. The next morning, I patched the hole with hydraulic cement but knew a permanent drainage solution had to be installed from the outside the house.
The problem area was covered by concrete pavers and pea gravel.