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Installing Paver Drainage

Alexandra Rains
February 20, 2019
last modified: February 20, 2019

We had our backyard remodeled this year and the contractor installed ZERO drainage for our pavers/sod area. They just finished the project and it's the rainiest season California has had in years and now our backyard pavers are left with 1 inch of standing water after a good downpour that takes all day to seep in.

Is there any way we could DIY fix this? Would it be as simple as pulling up the pavers in a row and running a french drain down to the side of the house? The contractor is unwilling to help us because "usually it doesn't rain this much."...


Comments (6)

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    Need more info before we can help. A photo of the flooded area would help but most important is how the pavers were laid.....ground prep and what kind of base was used.

  • Alexandra Rains

    here's an image, 3 inches of base is what we were told.

  • PRO

    Yikes! That's awful! I will make the point that pavers need to be graded to drain just like one would do with solid concrete. I don't know what your recourse is with the contractor, but they should have planned proper grading & drainage into the project. The real fix is to relay the pavers taking that into account. You might re-read your contract and consult a lawyer if you think you have a case. (That' kind of BS about the "it doesn't usually rain this much," as those unusual rains are always something must be planned for. We know they eventually come.)

    A "save" fix would be finding the lowest point of the pavers and installing a catch basin to collect the water. The catch basin would be connected to an underground pipe that carries water to some lower point where it could be safely let out. We can't see your yard so can't guess where that point might be.

    I always prefer surface drainage if at all possible as it is less trouble -- no pipes or drains to clog or be cleaned out -- over the long haul.

    Alexandra Rains thanked Yardvaark
  • saccharum

    This is what happens when a proper topographical site survey and grading plan are not done.

    Did the contractor measure the existing grades in your yard and determine the existing drainage patterns?

    The new paved area should then have been graded to work with the existing grades as much as possible, drain away from the house and any other structures, and not create any ponding areas. As Yardvaark points out, ideally this should be done by surface drainage, which is a whole lot less expensive than drains and pipes.

    Alexandra Rains thanked saccharum
  • Alexandra Rains

    It doesn't seem they did any proper grading. They just flattened the dirt and laid the pavers. It looks like my husband will have to pull up pavers on his own and try some surface drainage. We are very frustrated with the contractor and disappointed.

  • PRO

    Maybe see a lawyer first.

    Alexandra Rains thanked Yardvaark

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