Water standing near house

Hey all, I was hoping you guys had some advice. My husband and I are in our first home and we've noticed that the grading in the front yard, well, blows. The front yard is a bit of a hill which declines down to the house, and water pools pools right next to the foundation in a 12-foot long trench that keeps getting formed due to rain and erosion. The water usually soaks into the dirt within 12 hours. No plants or grass will grow there for obvious reasons.
We don't have a basement or a crawlspace, but I still am not comfortable with water pooling there. We need the yard completely regraded but we can't afford it for a year or so, so we're looking for some temporary solution.
Last week we moved some dirt from a landscaping mound to where the water pooled, but it didn't help. If we add more dirt it'll end up covering the bottom of the siding and that seems like a bad idea, so more dirt is out of the question.
Is it better to let the water sit in the liner or should we just let it get absorbed into the ground? Any thoughts on what we could do until we can get professionals to grade the lawn?
Stacia
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Do you have a low spot that the water can drain to? A cheap, simple solution would be to dig a trench or ditch from the flooded area to the lower area to disperse the water. A more detailed solution could be added later.
If you don't have a lower area to drain the water to, you may have to be more creative to deal with the problem. You do not say where you are, the soil type or whether you have winters to contend with, which would help to provide a solution. You need to keep the water away from the house and do not raise the soil level above the bottom of the siding.

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I'm in Kansas so yes, we do have winters to contend with. I couldn't tell you the soil type, but I think we still have the topsoil if that matters. Someone else mentioned the house sounded like it was in the side of a hill. It's not, but it is *on* a hill. The top of the hill is the front yard, which slopes so that the yard near the curb is about 12 inches higher than the yard just in front of the northeast corner of the house where the pooling happens. The back yard continues for about 15 feet behind the home and then ends where the hill drops at quite a steep slope. The previous owners actually put in a pile of dirt to make a landscaping mound in the NE corner of the front yard, which makes the grade problem worse -- the guy who owned the house was getting a Ph.D. in landscape architecture and should have known better.
Stacia
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writes:

ft then a small upward hill. We always had a standing water problem. We dug a trench with our Troybilt tiller along the bottom of the hill all along the back of our yard and ran it to our side yard which drains down toward the road in front. We put gravel down (the hardest part) then laid a plastic perf drain pipe on the gravel. I believe we also laid down a drainage cloth that keeps the perf pipe from filling with dirt. At the end of the trench/pipe, we dug a larger hole and put a large plastic garbage can in it after drilling drainage holes in the can bottom and about a foot up the sides. We put gravel in and under the can and covered the whole trench/can with topsoil and grass seed leaving a small "indentation" in the center top of the trenched area. We did this about 7 years ago and haven't had a standing water problem since. We expected this to be a temporary solution but it's still working. Don't know how long it will last. The tiller and a landscape rake are critical tools for this labor intensive project, but we did it ourselves in a few days with relatively inexpensive materials.
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That sounds like a really good idea, thanks. It's close to what we were thinking about doing with gravel anyway, so maybe we'll try it, or a modification of the idea.
Stacia
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On Sep 19, 8:16 pm, snipped-for-privacy@xmission.com (Stacia) wrote:

As EXT says, moving the water away from the house is the best solution. Overall drainage and climate have a lot to do with your possible solutions as noted. Ground should be 6" to 8" below the bottom edge of siding. Some re shaping of the yard to allow drainage is your best bet. Letting water stand is not a good idea. If you can't re contour the ground, consider plants that will thrive in the wet environment or a dry well. T
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Stacia wrote:

dig a trench to take the water away from the pool. It'll look like arse but it is better than the alternative. I agree with your concerns about dirt contacting siding; that's a bad idea because that could conceivably provide a path for termites etc.
nate
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Put a few river rocks on each side and it won't look so bad! ;-)
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8^)~ Sue (remove the x to email)
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On Thu, 20 Sep 2007 00:16:03 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@xmission.com (Stacia) wrote:

Create a dip about 6 feet from the foundation, such that the ground slopes away from the foundation--very important. If water percolates into the ground in 12 hours you're okay for now. You don't need any stagnant water. Ideally, you may need to install some inexpensive drain pipes or dry creek to get the water flowing around your house and down the hill. A few rain downpours will tell you if your plan is right.
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snipped-for-privacy@xmission.com (Stacia) wrote in

Is this a recent purchase?. When you purchased the home did you get a disclosures statement from the seller? In some/all states it is mandatory. See if the disclosure and an item about "standing water". If the seller disclosed it then the problem is all yours. If they didn't you may have recourse. It can become subjective as to what "standing" water is and the wording in the disclosure. 12 hrs of standing water does indeed blow.
Sample from NC. Item #3: http://www.ncrec.state.nc.us/forms/rec422.pdf
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We bought the house a year and a half ago. The previous owners didn't disclose a thing, but the inspector mentioned a "drainage" problem on the NE corner where the water pools. The problem was briefly noted but the extent of the problem wasn't clearly stated, and we didn't realize it until this spring when the rains came. We've already had problems with the previous owners hiding mold damage in the bathroom and the idiot inspector "missing" it. We spoke to a lawyer and there wasn't anything we could do, since we didn't have proof that they hid it on purpose. I'm not even going to get into fighting about the yard.
Stacia
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on 9/20/2007 4:39 AM Stacia said the following:

Build a Koi pond. :-)

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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Stacia wrote:

Sand bagging?
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On Thu, 20 Sep 2007 00:16:03 +0000, Stacia wrote:

Try rerouting water away from house by regrading.
By the way, think about putting in a rain garden. These are can be very attractive and beneficial for areas with excess water.
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On Sep 19, 8:16 pm, snipped-for-privacy@xmission.com (Stacia) wrote:

We have a 4' x 4' below-grade "patio" right outside our basement door. Patio pavers on sand. During torrential downpours it would hold water and if the water got high enough it would come under the basement door. I got a plastic 55 gallon drum from a local brewery, cut some holes in the bottom and top and buried it under the patio blocks. It would now take 55 gallons of water to collect in the drum before the water would begin to fill the patio area. It's never happened in over 20 years.
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doesn't look like anyone has asked about the source of the water. Of course it could be mostly normal rain accumulation, but if you have gutters that are clogged, or a downspout that drains in this low area, correct that 1st. Clean the gutters, add an extension to the spout to direct the water away from the area. Getting rid of it once it accumulates is one issue - preventing it to start with equally important, and often easier.

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