I just installed a patio 24' x 22' with a retaining wall that is around the perimeter of it, and it looks like water pools too much at the end of the slope (where patio meets retaining wall). There is a cutout in this same area (at end of slope) of the patio with a firepit leaving about 3'x 5' of patio between the firepit walls and retaining wall (basically the retaining wall is extra seating for the firepit. Water pools up on the patio of these cutout areas so I will need to retrofit some kind of drain and need some suggestions. The grade is higher than the patio behind the wall,so I will be installing a French drain behind the retaining wall. Should I cut a piece of the patio block out in each of these cutout/leg areas and add a drain that connects to the French drain? This would require drilling through some of the retaining wall base however. Would I be better off drilling weep holes into the wall block that empties into French drain behind the wall?

Image of the "nook" that is capturing water.

Some specs

Base is 6" of ca7 gravel with 1" leveling sand. Retaining wall is glued together and is about 17" inches in height.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions to this problem!

  • It's hard to follow your text description - this desperately needs some pictures and/or drawings to make the situation more clear. Just click the edit text above then drag images into the post - they'll automatically be uploaded & hosted for you.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 5, 2022 at 13:22
  • I trimmed the image down to make it more manageable. I presume the fire pit is under the blue tarp? Is there any provision anywhere on that seating wall for drainage? If not, your contractor screwed up. You say that the dirt on the outside is higher than the grade of the stone floor inside? That's going to make for a bit of a messy situation trying to get good drainage here, but I'm sure someone will have a good suggestion for you.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 5, 2022 at 13:38
  • Thank you. I installed it myself. Yes - that is the firepit under the tarp. By provision do you mean drain for seating wall? The yard had to.have been backfield at some point since the grade was higher than the old slab. I also have to replace the wall plate of the garage which the old slab and current patio touch. It only does this in extreme downpour (2 to 3" last night). I assume I will need to retrofit some kind of drain. A French drain is being installed at the back of the wall to help with drainage since the grade behind the wall is higher than the patio.
    – Skylimit57
    Jul 5, 2022 at 13:44
  • Sorry, I'd hoped this wasn't a DIY... :( Usually you'd need weep holes in the mortar between the blocks at ground level so the water can drain out, or an in-floor drain going to a pipe leading to your storm water drain or at least directly into a French drain system around the outside of the patio. Just be happy at this point that the low spot is here and that water is not collecting against the house. Again, I'm not sure what to recommend for you here, but I'm sure someone will have suggestions soon.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 5, 2022 at 13:47
  • By back of the wall I mean outside of the patio where the yard meets the wall
    – Skylimit57
    Jul 5, 2022 at 13:48

1 Answer 1


Pull up one of the paver stones and fit a floor drain there. undermine the retainin wall to get the drain out from under the wall and connect it to the stormwater and/or a French drain or soak pit.

can't lift a paver? try an expanding bolt anchor.

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