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Old 11-09-2010, 03:26 AM
 
913 posts, read 3,927,172 times
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Would you have a layer of gravel/stone around the slab foundation acting as:
- self-maintained no-weed/ no-grass zone around the house (edging can also be added)?
- no insects zone (ants will not nest there, as stones will heat in summer)?
- protection against soil erosion by the roofing drip edge (dripping water)?
- French drain (in addition to a weeping tile/perforated pipe/some drainage) as protection against flooding/cracking the foundation?

What would HOA say about this? A stone can be grey or black to blend with the environment.




few more details
French drain
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:11 AM
 
Location: West Houston
1,075 posts, read 2,656,216 times
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Only if I had water drainage issues around the house.

Difficult to maintain (weeds, grass clippings, dirt get into stones, pain in the kiester, worse than weed-eating around the foundation).

I have always heard (no foundation expert here, just homeowner) that the dirt should go right up to the foundation and that, if you can see a crack between the dirt and the foundation, you need to water so the foundation will not crack.

Now, on the north side of my house, the concrete driveway is directly up against the foundation, and there don't appear to be any cracks in either---so who knows?

I'm considering French Drains for my back yard; big puddles form along the back fence (at least the yard is sloped correctly) when we get those week-long or drenching rains.
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Spring, TX
460 posts, read 2,247,863 times
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First, you need to make sure that the dirt under the rock/gravel is NOT above the footing. Otherwise you invite insects, esp termites, to move directly into the frame without leaving an evidence trail on the outside of the house

Then, if you have a drainage problem, e.g. no gutters, you dig down and "trench" a band around the footing. The bottom of the shallow trench should slope, with the high point being in the middle of the wall. Have it drain to the ends of the wall. If needed, put your gravel or river rock or whatever inside the trench, but never above the footing. Of course, you'll need to make sure the water has a clear path away from the house when it reaches the end of the trench. This may involve a french drain to move it to the street or any place lower where extra water won't be a problem.

Never, never, never "build up" if the heights of the beds or the yard have risen too high. Dig them out or level it off or otherwise reduce the material around the house.

The previous poster was right that a good visual indication that the soil under the foundation is getting too dry is when it begin pulling away from the footing. This rarely happens in a bed because presumably you're doing some watering to keep plants alive. It's usually a problem in a side yard without beds. I recently sold a house that had a 20' stretch of side yard without any beds and I used a soaker hose to keep it moist since I didn't water the yard in that house.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:06 AM
 
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If a home has 1" x 3/4" red stone in the flower beds, will this cause the water to run off into the grass outside the flower beds? Would this create a water run off problem for the local municipality/township? Would the stones in the flower beds be considered an impervious area even if the water ran off to the grass outside of the flower beds along the perimeter of the foundation?
Thanks
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Old 12-16-2015, 04:30 PM
 
1 posts, read 67,534 times
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Default Gravel on top of footer

If you're never supposed to put dirt/gravel above footer then what are you supposed to put on top of it?



Quote:
Originally Posted by tdhg566 View Post
First, you need to make sure that the dirt under the rock/gravel is NOT above the footing. Otherwise you invite insects, esp termites, to move directly into the frame without leaving an evidence trail on the outside of the house

Then, if you have a drainage problem, e.g. no gutters, you dig down and "trench" a band around the footing. The bottom of the shallow trench should slope, with the high point being in the middle of the wall. Have it drain to the ends of the wall. If needed, put your gravel or river rock or whatever inside the trench, but never above the footing. Of course, you'll need to make sure the water has a clear path away from the house when it reaches the end of the trench. This may involve a french drain to move it to the street or any place lower where extra water won't be a problem.

Never, never, never "build up" if the heights of the beds or the yard have risen too high. Dig them out or level it off or otherwise reduce the material around the house.

The previous poster was right that a good visual indication that the soil under the foundation is getting too dry is when it begin pulling away from the footing. This rarely happens in a bed because presumably you're doing some watering to keep plants alive. It's usually a problem in a side yard without beds. I recently sold a house that had a 20' stretch of side yard without any beds and I used a soaker hose to keep it moist since I didn't water the yard in that house.
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Old 12-16-2015, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,721 posts, read 14,674,937 times
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Let's start with the top pic. Whoever is the moron that did that should live in a tent forever. Brick does not stop rain. Water migrates right thru brick. It appears on the back side of brick as tears forming on the brick. The droplet then runs down the brick to the brick lug which is commonly 1 1/2" below the interior floor level. It runs to weepholes which allows it to drain out. The rock in front of the weepholes means they can't work as designed and eventually won't drain at all. This is kinda like the pest control companies that want to shove something like steel wool into the weepholes to stop buds but in reality they are putting an air filter in the weephole and it will plug up with fine dirt. Now you have water coming in house and no clue where it comes from. This rock in this pic is an idiot at work.
Search Houston Black Clay soils or Texas Black Prairie Lands. In soil we have what is call Plasticity Index. It a number rating used to determine the plastic properties of soil. A rock is 1 and unstable clay can be 100. Most of the Houston Black Clay runs from the high 60's to 100. Look at it like it was a sponge. When it gets wet it swells. When it dries it shrinks. The soil is doing the same thing. In extremes you can have 16" of vertical displacement. That means the house is literally going up and down 16" from the wettest time of the year to the driest. That's why it's recommended to water your foundation during the summer or dry time of the year. We can't control how wet it gets but we can control how dry to stop the house from being like an elevator. Unless you have actual water draining from under the slab, you do not need a french drain.....unless you just like foundation issues. A french drain handles subterranean water only, not rain water.
In regards to the rock around the foundation- not a smart idea especially if it's in the sun. It's called percolation when the sun hits something like rock and literally cooks the water out of the ground. Want foundation issues? Put rock around the slab. In most cases you can't throw enough water at the soil to compensate for the percolation.
For the same reasons as above, be careful about flower gardens. You can have wet soil at a flower garden but if you're not watering evenly where grass meets the slab, that area will be dry and now you have uneven support of the foundation and it will eventually fail.
FWIW IRC Codes calls for the floor of the slab to be 8" above the exterior grade or grass. The top pic obviously fails code.
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Old 12-19-2015, 03:31 PM
 
180 posts, read 310,866 times
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As others have already mentioned, you really need to have clear slab showing all the way around the house all the time. If you don't have enough slope away from the foundation for this, then you need to do some serious reworking of your yard. I would aim for 6 inches of slope in the first 6 feet from the house. You can't fix a basic drainage problem by trying to build a french drain against the house with gravel. You are asking for an expensive problem.
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