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Dewnmoutain

It rained...of course my shop is flooded!

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It rained this past weekend here in wisconsin. and, no surprise, my shop flooded. I took a couple pictures a day after it rained, so some of the water had drained, but as you can see, theres some water issues in my shop. With the slow rate at which the water drains from my area due to high clay content in the dirt,  it takes upwards of several days for the shop to be dry enough for me to utilize without tearing my up floor. Sure, i can use it a couple days later, but i'll be tearing out chunks of dirt clinging to my boots as i move about. Frustrating.

I know, i just need to suck it up and redo the floor in my shop. I just need to figure out what to put down thatll keep the floor dry, or at the very least increase the ease of water drainage so im not waiting days for a floor to dry. 

 

I tried adding the photos directly here, but it keeps saying that there is an issue with the upload. I just went ahead and put a link in to the imgur site. Link removed

Your image was 42 inches x 56 inches in size and 35 megs. I reduced the size to less than 100kB.

 

w1.jpg

 

w2.jpg

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I boxed around the edges of my shop with pressure treated 2x6"s and infilled with sand and gravel I got from the local arroyo---with permission from my neighbor who owns the land it goes through.  Easy on the joints and any water disappears.  

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How deep are the clayey soils? How far is the shop from the well if your on a well? 

A common solution is to excavate to a permeable layer and back fill with permeable fill in graduated layers. Clay is impermeable, water can't flow through it, well actually if just flows so slowly it seems trapped. 

Another more affordable solution is to excavate a couple few feet and sink dry wells around the shop floor. A dry well is simply a drilled or excavated hole filled with drain rock topped with geotextile and permeable fill. Hopefully there is a permeable layer at a reasonable depth, if not water will perk through clayey soil but not very fast. A gravel shop floor may not be what you like but even if it's a couple inches under water you can get around on it and work on it without damaging the shop floor.

Getting more specific about saturated clayey soil problems requires more specific data. If it's near a county or state road there may be soils investigation reports and data available through the highway department.

It can be fixed maybe not easily nor cheaply but it can be fixed. Get back, we'll talk.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Shoot they could move out here!  Folks have been known to dance in the rain when we get it out here!  Had some Virga recently---rain that evaporates before it hits the ground for precipitation with a sum total of 0 at ground level.

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clay is pretty deep around here. vaguely remember hearing somewhere that its around 6-12 feet, but doing some research from available online sources, im thinking that the clayey layer is sooooooo much deeper. 

My though was initially, compacting the shop floor to an even layer, fill with pebbles, compact,  cover with sand or dirt, compact again, and leave it be.

But now, talking to a friend, and reading Thomas' post, i think i could get away with installing a border tile around the inside of the shed,  and have it lead out to my ditch that's about 30 feet away. Of course, i still have to re-level the floor, but that can be held off until im sure that my water issues have "drained" away.  

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Here in northern Ohio, we've got a LOT of deep clay with all the drainage problems that entails. If you can't build up above the water table or lower it locally with good drains, you're going to have issues.

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Your problem of flooding can be addressed by removing the source of the incoming water.  This can be done by installing gutters on the building, and adding diversion drains before the water gets from the grounds surface to the building. Outside the footer perimeter drains surrounding the building, as well as under the floor drains would collect and remove any water under the building.  Channel all of the collected water and drain it away from the building and off site.

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Water follows the path of least resistance. As Glenn has said, remove the source of pooling on the outside of the building. I had good success with a simple compactable earth berm, at least until it was overtopped. If you give the perimeter water an easy path to your ditch, you will see good results. A lot depends upon the elevations surrounding your shop.

Robert Taylor

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41 minutes ago, Dewnmoutain said:

My though was initially, compacting the shop floor to an even layer, fill with pebbles, compact,  cover with sand or dirt, compact again, and leave it be.

This will make a pool and collect water from the surroundings.

Cut a trench from your shop to the drainage ditch. Do NOT cut it deeper than the ditch! 

Elevate your shop floor above the surrounding OGL. (Original Ground Level) Mixing gravel with the base and sub base under the shop will help. NOT PEBBLES! <Sheesh> To make soil amelioration work you have to use the right aggregate and gradation. 

Probably your best bet for a stable dry floor will be to excavate a couple feet and ameliorate the base with crushed gravel 1" minus will be pretty common so economical. Extend the base at least 2' beyond the shop walls, 6' would be better and elevate your shop a foot or two above OGL. 

Cut your drainage ditch on the uphill side of your shop a few feet away from your shop's new elevated base and make sure it has about 1" to 10' slope to the existing drainage ditch. Lay a geotextile fabric in the new ditch and fill it maybe 1/2 with bone rock (2" +) field stone, NOT crusher run! Fold the geotextile fabric over the drain rock and cover it with washed rock. Do NOT fill the ditch to OGL it's a drainage ditch. 

The geotextile allows water to pass but blocks clays so it won't fill the voids in the drain rock and water will be able to flow through your ditch to the existing drainage ditch. This is called a "French Drain" and is similar to a dry well but horizontal. A dry well is the same basic structure but vertical allowing water to flow down into the soil. A french drain allows it to flow horizontally to a natural outlet. The existing drainage ditch in your case.

Crushed grave in the shop's base isn't to allow water movement it's to provide a structure that won't shift when saturated with water. Broken rocks key together, they don't slide past each other easily. Picture a bag of Jacks and compare it to a bag of marbles. Marbles easily move no matter how hard you squeeze the bag Yes? Any pressure on the bag of jacks locks them together and they won't shift at all. Have the image? This is what crusher run gravel does in a foundation course. 

Allow a MAX FEW % clay to mix with the foundation base courses but ordering unwashed crusher run will contain enough sand and fines to compact HARD. Do NOT put a lot of water on it when you compact, just a LITTLE BIT! Too much moisture actually replaces aggregate particles and leaves voids which WILL cause settlement in time. Fill and compact in lifts, if you're using a plate compacter 6" at a time compact hard every lift. If you're using a jumping jack compacter you can get away with a foot or more but don't get carried away. 

For the last 4" lift under your feet order D1. It's more expensive but it will compact like concrete with a plate compacter.

It sounds like a PITA but building on clayey soils always is unless you live in a desert and it doesn't rain.  Ask Thomas what Adobe hard pan is like after a long soaking rain, the stuff turns to sticky slippery goo. Adobe hard pan is just dry mud. REALLY dry for sure but it's just waiting for some water to exceed it's liquid limit and it turns to toothpaste consistency goop.

I spent 30 years dealing with foundations investigations, while it's general advice it's educated advice. If you can email me the soils lab and geologist's reports for the closest road  I can make more educated suggestions.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Whew! lots of info from Frosty. It's good stuff, but i'll have to apply it to my true workshop that'll be built 5 years from now.

just for further info, my shop is just a free standing converted carport with metal siding extended to the ground. Open dirt for a floor. It would rain out, and since i screwed up with laying the metal sheets down, it would leak into my shop. I fixed this issue, but still have some leaking in other areas, like my pipe for exhausting the coal smoke. I went with a huge 12inch diameter pipe, which works well, but i didnt put a cap on it to prevent rain from coming down the pipe. Plus, the hole i cut for the pipe is about 6 inches too big, so i took a piece of scrap sheet metal and put it up there to cover the original hole. Well, that leaks pretty bad as well since the base roof is ridged and doesnt line up properly with the scrap metal piece put into place. So it's a hot mess up there, and it's another thing i am planning on fixing for my shop.

honestly, id love to do Frosty's suggestion. Xxxx it'd be easy because i could just put my structure on a sled and move it out of the way and build the area up. But, my budget is between $100 and $150.  i can get dirt for free from my county land fill, pile that up around the edge of the building, to encourage the water to flow away from it. i can also dig a trench and do that "french drain" system Frosty talked about. 

Now that im sitting here thinking about this, and figuring this out, it would probably help if i filled in the gaps between the walls i made for the ends of the car ports to enclose the structure. 

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You need to make a "french drain" around your shed, so the water finds it's way around it and not in it. 

Thomas described a primitive way to do it, a faster and cheaper way is to dig a trench all around the walls on the outside, say 1' x1' or 1.5' x 1.5' depending on your level of energy. :)

lay a couple of inches of aggregate, recycled concrete, pebbles, stones, whatever you call it about 20mm in diameter or 3/4".

Then buy slotted plastic pipe,lay it inside the trench and backfill with pebbles. 

 the water will sink through pebbles and in the pipe and away wherever you direct your drain.

PS

Just saw Frosty's post. Yes Geofabric is good to prevent silt to go in the pipe, but in clay soil it blocks fairly soon and defeats the purpose. Same with the sock they supply to put over the slotted pipe. Whatever solids that find their way through the stones, will go through the slots and down the pipe. 

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Okay, your budget is saying to me. Log skids a couple cross members notched into the sill logs and fill with gravel. When it's time to build your permanent shop make a proper drain and foundation base as I described. Give me a shout I'll be around if I'm still be alive of course. Deb and I will be doing more RVing and I might do something annoying and . . . been nice guys. :rolleyes:

Frosty The Lucky.

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She might just pull out quietly and leave me if you tick her off. Winter is about the only time you're likely to see me down thataway, I tend to start sweating at 65f. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I've met some folks from Canada who said that they winterize their house up there and come down here in their RV and the cost savings of not heating their house pays for the entire trip.

If she wants to dry gulch you there are THOUSANDS of sq miles of desert to choose from out here!  Free range coyotes and vultures too!

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Only THOUSANDS of sq. miles? Sounds crowded, I guess you guys can't social distance. Coyotes we have and the Ravens eat any vultures that show up. On the up side I'll bet it's clear for the meteor showers there. Every darned meteor shower or good aurora forecast has been overcast for the last 5+ years. 

Deb has a son in Oregon with land to park the RV so her tentative plan is to park it there and fly back and forth. Once you've driven the Alcan you've driven the . . . Alcan. It's a nice enough drive but not twice a year. <shudder>

Frosty The Lucky.

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NPR said that the busiest airport in the USA was in Alaska this last week.  Never said that about NM!   Clear skies are great.  I once read a standard print paperback book page by starlight out here to prove a point.

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Yep, Stevens Anchorage International Airport. It's the main refueling waypoint for over the pole flights. It's actually closer to fly to Alaska and on than directly to much of mid Europe. I've never heard that about NM either and what are the odds we'd both be wrong? Hmmm?

 Frosty The Lucky.

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My great-grandfather was an early adopter of cat's-whisker radio when he was a missionary in Alaska and noted in his memoirs that he got such clear reception over the North Pole from the European radio stations that he (and by extension the rest of the villagers in Anvik) had a much better picture of the political situation there than did the folks back home who got their news from their local papers!

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I've flown the pole route from Chicago to Tokyo; *much* nicer than walking it!   

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On 5/21/2020 at 1:26 PM, Frosty said:

Do NOT cut it deeper than the ditch

I used to be the lead mechanic for a taxi company. The owner bought a piece of property with an old pole barn on it. He wanted to convert the barn into a garage for us to work on his cabs. it had a dirt floor that he got covered in concrete. Before the concrete was pour he hired this guy (read idiot) to put in 6 drainage pipe. They went out each side and into the ditch around the side and back of the barn. Unfortunatly the guy made the ends going into the ditch higher than the floor grates in the barn. We discovered this coming into work one morning after a very heavy rain fill the night before. The bright side is all the trash lying about was washed out when we opened the barn doors. 

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I get a somewhat different floor covering; it's the time of year when the cottonwoods produce their "cotton" As my neighbor planted a row alongside the property line where my shop is and half my shop has open gables. I can walk in to a floor covered with white "cotton".  I did freak out a friend once by clearing it by dropping a lit match on it---no burnables in that section! Steel building, dirt floor, Cast iron work bench legs, etc.

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I had to look up cat's whisker radio, that's a new one on me. I built a crystal radio from a kit as a kid and used to spend hours listening to foreign radio stations on my head phones. I have an old now defunct tube radio, comparable to a Trans Oceanic I used to take with us on field jobs that would have us in a cabin for a week or longer. It picked up radio from almost everywhere BUT Alaska, we listened to America win the gold in Hockey in Russia on that radio. Radio free Russia blasted Soviet radio everywhere on lots of bands so we listened to the Olympics that winter in Russian accented but excellent English.

I know radio "skip" rolls better from Europe to Alaska than the lower 48 especially in winter. Then radio stations in the US were limited to 50,000 watts and State run Russian radio stations could roast chickens in the next province. 

I especially liked how my crystal radio worked better the longer the antenna wire and seeing as we had electric stock fences I could pick up chatter from everywhere. That was in S. California and we stabled our horses at night, fir the dog problems, so I turned of the power to the fences at night. 

I have fond memories of my crystal radio set, I wonder if my sister still has it packed away somewhere.

 Frosty The Lucky.

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Do you remember the brand mane of the kit? There was one brand that seemed to be everywhere from chemistry sets, geology sets, electronics, etc.. Only SERIOUS folk went to Radio Shack in the day. 

One thing I REALLY loved about my crystal radio was being able to listen in bed without my parents knowing. 

 Frosty The Lucky.

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