I have a walkway that runs 16 inches parallel to my foundation along the entire side of my house. The walkway elevation is also higher than the top of the foundation where it meets the brick. This has created a drainage issue with water penetrating my foundation. Since brick is porous, I cannot grade the soil above the foundation line.

I think a drainage system would be best, but I was looking for direction given several constraints I've ran into.

  • Towards my back yard is a concrete patio at the same elevation as the walkway so I can't divert to the back without cutting a lot of concrete.

  • Towards my front yard looks to be at a slightly higher elevation than where the water is pooling unless I go out to the parkway. I'm not sure the city would allow this.

  • The space between my house and the neighbor's is less than 20 feet which I own most of. I was thinking of a dry well between the houses, but I'm not sure if it's far enough away from both of our houses (less than 10' from each house).

So I'm not confident about where to divert the water without causing unforseen issues or if I'm totally overlooking other options. My preliminary idea is to do several surface level intake drains, use solid PVC pipe, run it under the walkway into a dry well between the houses.


  • Normally if things are built that dense there's a storm drain available...
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 25, 2022 at 14:54
  • My downspouts run into a catch basin in my yard, which goes into the city storm water drain. Unfortunately you cannot run landscape drainage into the city storm water system. In Chicago the storm water and wastewater are tied together, so the concern is that during heavy rain you could cause sewage backup. In fact I think they are trying to phase out running downspouts into the storm water system altogether.
    – APP
    Sep 25, 2022 at 15:45
  • Had a similar problem and wound up cutting the concrete to install a drain. It worked great for 24 years.
    – RetiredATC
    Sep 26, 2022 at 3:20
  • At a minimum, concrete that little strip of grass with as much slope as you can get from the house to the existing walk way. That'll keep the water away from the house and direct it to wherever the water on the walk way goes.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 26, 2022 at 13:12

2 Answers 2



Put a wood patio roof over that walkway. The roof will be up against the brick. The windows will be under the roof. Rain will come off the roof into the grassy yard.

You might as well concrete in the little strip next to the house because the grass will be shaded.

And you can sit on the walkway under your porch roof! You can grill out there. You can have a drink and watch the people play bocci on your grass. And you will not have to shovel the snow off the walkway in the winter.


tunnel under the path and install a french drain.

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