I am looking at buying a home and the yard is a down slope to the road in the front and flat on the sides and in the back. The house was built in 1999 and had to have the driveway replaced in 2014. There are lines running towards the road on one side of the home and very soggy spots to the left of the house and driveway and towards the road in the front. The back seems fine. It hasn't really rained hard in a few days , just light sprinkles, but water seems to be seeping into the road with a red clay color that has stained the curb. I'm including a link to some photos and I am curious if there are serious problems here or just something that can be fixed with proper drainage installed.

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More pictures of yard and house

  • I wonder if the water main is leaking.. is the curb discolored that way on the whole block or just right here?
    – Tyson
    Jun 6, 2017 at 0:00
  • Also are there sanitary sewers or septic tanks in the neighborhood?
    – Tyson
    Jun 6, 2017 at 0:04
  • It is city sewer in this neighborhood , and the curb runs half way up the neighbors yard with that color but I drove around the subdivision more and saw more of it in other places Jun 8, 2017 at 2:31
  • My first thought, given the spottiness in the lawn, is that they may have recently done an iron treatment for moss and have been aggressively watering to work on the curb appeal. You might look to see if they've done other work like reseeding the bare spots. It does look like the downspouts by the garage dump onto the driveway so you will get boundary issues with the lawn like that mud hole at the bottom right of the drive. Also, the mid-house downspout looks to dump into the lawn, so you'll get run-off down the lawn as well. Sure it hasn't rained more recently? Oct 8, 2017 at 16:20
  • A driveway lasting only 15 years is curiously suspicious, and concerning. Moreover, that looks like a slab house. Personally, I'd be concerned buying a house built on a concrete slab knowing that, just a few feet in another direction, a different slab constructed of concrete likely mixed by the same supplier failed, for whatever reason, and needed to be replaced. I agree with @MichaelKaras conclusion.
    – elrobis
    Nov 9, 2017 at 17:15

2 Answers 2


You should check a number of things.

  1. First off have the water in the house checked for high iron content and confer with the neighbors on the same. Red coloring of the curb is likely from high iron content water evaporating and then oxidizing.

  2. The persistent wet spots in the front like this seem to point to the possibility that there is a water main break under the front yard. If this has been going on for some time and was partially under the former driveway it could have led to driveway damage. Best bet is to monitor the water meter at the street hookup and see if there is high water usage going on.

  3. There is always a possibility that there was an underground spring in this area that was covered over when the housing tract was built. Often times there is a possibility as ground preparation for the tract was done there may have been higher level ground scraped away from this area and exposed an latent spring. In either case a year cycle period where there may have been more rain than usual the water table can rise and cause a latent spring to start letting out water. Fixes for this could be complex and expensive in a developed neighborhood.

You may want to steer clear of this property unless the water source problem is root caused and you understand the potential financial burden of the problem.

  • I would not think house water could be the problem the sides and back are fine., probably iron or just plain old clay and Mr gravity causing the water to run down and over the curb.
    – Ed Beal
    Oct 8, 2017 at 15:11

Does this house have an irrigation system?

If the system wasn't blown out the underground pipes could have frozen and cracked ... or tree roots might have damaged them over time. Then when the irrigation system runs it saturates the area where it's cracked which causes standing water above and a slow leak downhill due to gravity.

Just a thought.

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