lawn level rising? What could cause this?

metaforicalJuly 9, 2012

Hello all,

I've just purchased a home in an arid part of Los Angeles. It's about 37 years old and the back yard will need some serious landscaping.

I've been measuring and find it odd that the retaining wall 'feet' of concrete at the back of the lot seem to be heaving up out of the soil. The smaller retaining wall between it and the lawn also seems high.

The lawn itself is at least 6 inches higher than the concrete slab patio and I find it strange that anyone would purposely build the house so that the yard slopes TOWARDS it.

On the other side of the high retaining wall is a cul de sac street, all of which is at a higher level than my home and garden.

There is pitting in the concrete of the patio, as if from water standing there quite a bit.

Here's my concern: Is it possible that ground water is 'flooding' into my yard below ground, increasing the volume of subsoil? Can the lawn rise UP?

AND, how do I remedy such a thing. I'm planning to re level the lawn to slope away from the house, and I'll get a mason in to check on the wall and make sure it's stable, but should I call the city and check the drainage in the area? Has anyone every seen anything quite like this?

I don't see where water drains from and to on this property or any of the others on the street.

Thanks for any ideas.

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lgteacher(SCal)

When you bought the property, did the previous owners disclose flooding? California law requires full disclosure. Even on slopes, your neighbors' yards should drain to the street, as should yours. Your yard might slope slightly to the sides so the water goes around your house. At any rate, you might want to call the city, because grading is regulated. Other advice - look closely at such things before you purchase another house.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 6:44PM
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PaSegal

Hi,
We bought our house 12 years ago. Keep in mind, soil will do several different things if it is not taken care of. Grass, trees and almost anything that grows will affect the soil and it's general slope over time.

The back of the property meets the alleyway. Our lot was equal to the level oh the alley. I had to replace the patio and raise the slope so water would run into the alley instead of pooling in the back yard at the wooden fence.

Then, we had to change the slope of the rest of the back yard and iths sides of the house to make the water flow along the property lines on each side.

We put in pipes to carry the water to the front of the property on both sides. The front of the house out to the street has a 28 inch drop on one side and a 40 inch drop on the other side to the street. I took advantage of this by creating different level garden areas.

We now have controlled run off during any type of rain. And, very little runoff when watering. It takes some care each year. The soil changes as I add compost or other enhancements or plants.

Sorry for being so long. It took 4 years to correct 90 years of mistakes made by previous owners.

Respectfully,
Pa

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 1:13AM
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