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Drainage - or lack thereof - on concrete and stones

Hi all,

First post but I am in need of some guidance if possible.

I have been in my current house now for about 6 years and have never had issues with standing water after rain, however for the past 6-8 months, the section to the side of the house now has a long puddle appear when we have a large quantity of rain - see image below.

The red line marks an approximate divide where, although not visible in the photo because of the water, there is a change in the ground type from the concrete you can see at the back of the image to stones as are visible at the front.

I have absolutely no idea what is causing this build up now nor what I can do to stop it.  We did have a drain leak from next door (to the right of the picture) around Christmas and a load of sewage came through under the fence post you can see in the bottom-right corner, however this was all sorted and has not happened since.

The water will all disappear - I assume drain away - within a couple of days, but, as advised, it never used to do it.

I have checked for leaks from the guttering above - nothing - and also for any small trickles coming through from next door all the way along the edge there but there is nothing that I can see coming through.

I was thinking of removing all the stones, digging down a little into the soil below (say 4-5 inches) and then putting some black matting down and covering this area in stones to help with the drainage, but I'm not sure if that is the ideal solution.

Can anyone give a suggestion as to anything else I could do to try and alleviate the problem?  As advised, it's only the last 6-8 months that it has been doing this.

Thanks in advance.


Tim Watts



  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,478
    I suspect it's next doors drainage issue again. What is directly behind the fence their side, any large trees or shrubs for instance? It's funny that the water only appears when it's been raining hard and I'm wondering whether the ground is so saturated with an ongoing drainage leak their side that it can't cope with more rainwater. When you say it was all sorted, what exactly did they do? I'm no expert though, does anybody else have any other ideas?
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 5,150
    I think this is more of a building/drainage type problem rather than a gardening type one. 
    I can't see that there would be any benefit from putting down "black matting" covered with stones.

    I would look into issues surrounding the leaky drain next-door if you'd previously had no problems for six years.
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,053
    Phone the Water board and get them to come out and test the water. They will be able to tell you whether it is run off or domestic issue. This service is free in Scotland. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • tmwsccshtmwsccsh Posts: 7

    Behind the fence is actually a slight stoney section, then a lift up to a path that runs round the side of their house too - can't be more than about 6 inches at most on the stoney part and then the path is a standard sort-of width.  No trees or shrubs or anything like that in the area.

    When the issue was resolved last year it was found to be a blockage in the drain (we had sewage flooding into the garden - nice!) and the guys that sorted it did an excellent job clearing our side and the other and there has been no recurrence of this since that time.  We had a mini Niagara Falls of the stuff coming under the fence in that bottom right-corner in the photo so I know it's not a repeat of that, even on a smaller scale, as there is nothing coming through there this time.

    Interestingly, with the continued light rain overnight and now it has cleared a little - the level of water is nowhere near as bad as yesterday, but you still need a small boat to get from the back of the house to the front :-) .

    It is finally slowing off now so I shall take a look in a few hours to see how it may have changed and if there is a natural point at which it seems to "settle" then go from there...

    I like the idea of getting the water tested to ascertain the source, hogweed.  I may well pursue that avenue so thanks for the pointer.


    Tim Watts

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,478
    Hi Tim,  Having thought some more (always a bad idea!) I'm wondering why the path down the side of your house should be concrete one half and the other half gravel as it would normally be all the same. Makes me wonder what is under the gravel?
  • tmwsccshtmwsccsh Posts: 7
    I've never thought about that before - who knows what is under there???

    I've been thinking about it more as well and looking regularly, sweeping water up to get a quick look before it settles back again and I'm actually wondering if this is a simple compacted soil issue.  When the drain people cleaned out the ughy stuff that came through, they used pressure washers to get rid of the last bits once the suction was all done.  Looking at how the ground now lies, there are bumps and recesses all over it, and the soil is very tightly together.

    I am thinking that going back to my original idea of digging some out (maybe 4-5 inches) and seeing what is below could be the answer.  But, frustratingly, after all of last nights rain, I have more water there now than in the photo at the top (frustrating as it had cleared down a lot yesterday) I need to wait for it all to go before I can start on that.

    At least we have lighter evenings now so I can do an hour or so after work...


  • tmwsccshtmwsccsh Posts: 7

    So I had a good look today, cleared all the mud etc. from the path and the stones and dug out a large quantity of soil.  Has to be said, it was urgh.  I think that when the drain overflowed next door around Christmas when the guys cleaned up, as good as job as they did, they just mullered the side there.

    So, cleaned it all up and put a thin layer of topsoil down...

    ... then some matting, finally some grey stones (cheapest I could find!)...

    My partner commented that she had forgotten the concrete path came down that far as the mud had been there so long...

    Now all we need is some rain...


  • tmwsccshtmwsccsh Posts: 7
    Oh, forgot to say, as to what was under the gravel - nothing really.

    There's some old concrete bits down there coming from fence posts and possibly the foundations of the conservatory to the left, however generally, it was just mud and stones.


  • tmwsccshtmwsccsh Posts: 7
    Sunday update - so, after a night of rain and 2 hours of rain now (which is still on-going)...

    Looking good!


  • Pauline 7Pauline 7 West Yorkshire Posts: 2,142
    Seems to have solved the problem 
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