Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 11/20/2013

How do you tell if damp spots in yard are from neighbors property? Our water meter does not indicate a leak.

Have checked water meter for inside flow and outside flow. We are not losing water. Had City Water out to check and there is no leak in main lines. Have irrigation turned off. Think it is from neighbors pool or sprinkler system. Dampness is on our property next to the block wall that seperates the two properties.

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

2 Answers


Are you in a part of the country that has had a lot of rain in the last few weeks? It could be water seeping from the ground which was held by the wall you referenced. Especially if the wall doesn't have any weep holes. You could also have a natural spring that has surfaced. It is rare but it happens. How did you test your meter? The easiest way is to take a reading at night before going to bed. Don't let anyone use any water all night, and then see if the reading has changed in the morning. Some leaks can be slow and hard to detect. Ask you neighbors to do the same since you suspect they may have a leak. Has your neighbor flushed or emptied their pool in preparation for winter? If a significant amount of water has been concentrated in one area it could seep out for quite some time depending on the soil and rock conditions.

Answered 5 years ago by Todd's Home Services


In addition to what Todd said:

If you have had freezing conditions recently, has the neighbor's sprinkler system not been winterized - could be it froze and broke a pipe - especially if they are new neighbors and don't know about having to shut off and blow out sprinkler sytems for the winter.

Also check if neighbor has changed the location of drain pipes or downspouts that could be running more water your way, or a broken off or stuck srpinkler head that is pouring out water in one place rather than distributing it. Walk around his yard and yours and feel for mushy spots indicative of shallow groundwater. Excessive green or luchness of grass might also show a trail to its source.

Do either of you have a septic tank/leach field that might need servicing ? Sewage leaking would almost always make for much lusher grass where it is coming to or near the surface, though in dry country just more water can do that too.

What is elevation difference, if any - does ground slope from your yard to his or vice versa ? If neighbor wants to cooperate, dig a couple of holes on each side of the block wall (saving grass divots for replanting if in lawn) - one a couple of feet away, one maybe 5 feet away, and check for how wet it is in each hole - may be significantly wetter on one side than other which might give an idea of a directional trend to the wetter side. If water wells up in the hole(s), if he has a chlorine test strip kit for his pool, you could check for chlorine content with a test strip, and then compare to tap water - might show if it is pool water or tap water, though depending on how far it is percolating the ground could have neutralized the chlorine before it reached the test holes.

If all the ideas fail to find it, and it worries you or you think it will grow or weaken the wall foundation, you last resort would be to contact a geotechnical engineer who could come out and dig shallow test holes and survey the water levels and possibly dye trace it, tracking it back to its source, but that will cost you probably $250+.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy