When we bought this house a couple of years ago we were advised that there was ‘substandard site drainage’. There was a lot of water sitting on top of the ground with nowhere for it to go, so Rob and his mates put some drainage in just before we moved in.
That has really helped, but we still have a problem with water collecting under the kitchen end of the house, especially after a lot of wet weather. We’ve had a plumber and a landscaper look under the house and neither was sure what to do. Last week we had another plumber come out and take a look and he was much more helpful.
The pic below (where we are playing petanque) shows the kitchen window. Below that is where all the water collects under the house. We know the water isn’t coming from the household plumbing, as there’s no movement in the water meter when the taps are off.
There’s a downpipe and stormwater drain to the right of the steps on the right side of the photo, so the plumber suggested putting some food colouring down the drain and following it up with lots of water, to see if the drain that runs under the paved area and out to the driveway (behind the gate in the left of the photo) is cracked and leaking water under the house. If it is, then the coloured water will show up under the house. If no food colouring shows up, then it’s likely to just be surface water collecting under the house (we live at the bottom of a hill so it’s possible that the water runs down the hill and collects under the house).
If it looks like it’s the stormwater drain, we have a couple of options. In order to avoid pulling up all the pavers, the plumber can put CCTV down the drain to see where it’s damaged. If it’s badly damaged, he can suspend the rear stormwater drain and reroute the drainage so that it comes out near the front downpipe.
If it’s surface water, he suggested installing a sump pump under the house, which will pump out the water when it collects under the house, so that it will stay dry and we won’t have problems with rising damp.
So the next step is for Rob to put the dye down the drain and see what it does…