Dry stone walling

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Dry stone walling

Post by rachel68 on Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:40 pm

I'm trying to resolve removing spring water which trickles in places from the cut away bank just a few metres from our house. Mosquitoes love the stangnant puddles and I think it isn't doing our house any good in terms of potential damp issues and seeing as it's all newly renovated it would be a shame for damp issues internally to set in. A solution which would give a nice planting area and tidy up would be to build a wall with some type of drain running along the bottom to encourage water to flow away rapidly. One builder suggested a dry stone wall and a trench with stones of a certain size. Another a cement block wall,faced Iin stone with a surface drain. My question is should we insist on a French drain (pipes with holes surrounded by stones) or do people have good/bad experiences of surface versus ditch drainage? Also how much should a 60cm drystone wall cost per linear metre? The other thing is do those drains set in paths and roads with metal grills work better than a ditch filled with stone? Thanks

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Re: Dry stone walling

Post by Geotherm on Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:45 pm

rachel68 wrote:I'm trying to resolve removing spring water which trickles in places from the cut away bank just a few metres from our house. Mosquitoes love the stangnant puddles and I think it isn't doing our house any good in terms of potential damp issues and seeing as it's all newly renovated it would be a shame for damp issues internally to set in. A solution which would give a nice planting area and tidy up would be to build a wall with some type of drain running along the bottom to encourage water to flow away rapidly. One builder suggested a dry stone wall and a trench with stones of a certain size. Another a cement block wall,faced Iin stone with a surface drain. My question is should we insist on a French drain (pipes with holes surrounded by stones) or do people have good/bad experiences of surface versus ditch drainage? Also how much should a 60cm drystone wall cost per linear metre? The other thing is do those drains set in paths and roads with metal grills work better than a ditch filled with stone? Thanks
It can be a problem with water draining towards the house. Here we have had major problems, as the farmer just drained his land onto us. We have had ditches dug , with a large pond which is then diverted through overflow pipes to run the excess water off from the pond. With the cutaway bank, have built a solid stonewall about 60 cms thick, with a concrete backing to stop the bank collapsing, and a run-off into the pond from the ditches. So far it has worked well, but as always there will be problems with mozzies, especially as everything dries out so much in the summer.

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Re: Dry stone walling

Post by ghiro on Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:40 pm

Hello rachel68 - and welcome Smile

I don't know how long you've had your house but I note you say it's all 'newly renovated', so maybe not long.

We've been living in our house now for over 5 years and this year, for the first time, we've developed not one but 2 new 'springs' on our land.  Initially we thought a water pipe was leaking but the locals assured us that there had been so much rain this year that it was this that was causing it.

And, indeed, when the better weather arrived the 'springs' were drying up when we left a couple of days ago.

So, before you get involved in major building and major expense, are you certain that you don't have a self-limiting problem?
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Re: Dry stone walling

Post by rachel68 on Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:08 am

Thanks! The water has been present for two years and there are lots of what I associate with 'marsh type 'plants ie reeds and grasses. It seems the casaletto, with old origins was built right in the line of how the water flows down the hill. One builder suggested a surface drain made from a run of concrete with a curve formed running along a wall and the other digging a ditch and filling it with stone. With the latter we really don't want the water just sitting in the soil still really close to the house but the former could look a bit concretey so close to the house as it's a run of 45 metres. I wondered about lining the ditch ...? Just paranoid about doing yet more work to this place and not cracking the slight damp we feel the house has. The architect didn't specify any type of damp proofing which I queried at the time and am now regretting not being more pushy about! He says newly plastered buildings can take up to a year to properly dry out.

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Re: Dry stone walling

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:21 am

No expert (or even beginner), but would have thought you need to catch the water before the house and run it off away from it. The places we viewed like this were/had horrendous damp problems, I'm talking up to the second floor here... I would have thought to do this you would need to get the drainage well below house level as from what I understand it seeps in underneath (this from an English builder who worked out here for some years). Better still if you can run it off to somewhere where you can use it storage or garden.... The house we have has lots of storage rooms downstairs and seemed always damp to us until the builder we had in told us it was one of the better ones he had seen and it was likely it simply needed airing, guess what he was right, doors open every day and no damp, closed and it looks damp again... He could have just put in the drainage we were asking for, so that was nice of him... Smile

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Re: Dry stone walling

Post by ourtoscana on Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:57 am

I think the cheapest and most effective solution is to address the cause before the water gets near your house. I often do a semi circular buried drain set back from the property (say 3m - 5m) using the following technique:

- dig a 50cm wide trench to a depth of say 100cm to 150cm (or 50cm below ground floor)
- insert a perforated drain pipe (diameter 110mm)
- backfill with hardcore or coarse aggregrate for about 70cm
- wrap this with a non-woven membrane (tessuto non tessuto) to stop clogging
- backfill last 100cm

You will need to divert the resulting water into a land drain.

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Re: Dry stone walling

Post by rachel68 on Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:03 am

Ourtoscana, thanks so much for lots of really clear advice on many aspects of our project. Can I clarify where you'd put the membrane - do you mean around the inner surface of the ditch then laying the pipe on the bottom and then backfilling with the gravel? Ideally I'd like to create a way we'd easily be able to use this water at a later date for irrigation or even, many moons away, a pool. We are in Lazio near Rieti.

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Re: Dry stone walling

Post by ourtoscana on Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:26 am

The membrane should be wrapped like a sausage around the hard core with the pipe located inside the package at the bottom of the trench.

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Re: Dry stone walling

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:12 am

Must admit I was lost where the membrane was going (and still am a little). However this sounds just like and English builder we had told us he would do it.... A good guy as he very honestly told us that we did not need it done and the damp we perceived was minor and likely only because the place had been shut up so long - he was of course correct...

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