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Question DetailsAsked on 7/12/2014

Wrong idea: Small stones under deck?

I put some 1" gravels under my deck with plastic underneath it. My original idea was to make sure no water build up around my foundation wall at the back of the house. I now felt I might worried too much and did the wrong thing.
More detail is here with photo:
Now my question is:
1. Did I worry too much and did the wrong/opposite thing? Water might actually not flow away due to the small stones keeping water underneath?
2. If I did wrong, what should I do now?

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1 Answer


Good idea - as long as the top edge of the plastic is above highest water level and it slopes away from the house, I see no problem with that - I have done it many times using 20-40 mil pond liner under stone or bark or topsoiled bulb and annual planter beds (no penetrating roots like trees or shrubs or tall flower bushes) to keep water away from foundations. Standard clear poly sheeting like vapor barrier will work but only has a lifespan of from a few to maybe 10 years depending how hot it gets in your area - the hotter it gets, the shorter the lifespan, and of course cracks badly upon extended exposure to sunlight. And of course has little puncture resistance if walked on, especially if onor under crushed as opposed to rounded river rock.

As long as the "stones" are relatively free-draining (not a lot of silt or clay mixed in) they will drain the water - and if the top surface slopes away from the house it will drain regardless if compacted.

I see nothing wrong with what you did conceptually - though could not get the picture to come up on the Yahoo question - the see the rest of the question link did not work.

When I do it I use either 4-8 inch hand-placed rock with pea gravel filled to near the top (to give an exposed aggregate look) or just pea gravel. The simple reason - 3-4 inches or so of pea gravel (nominal 1/4" clean gravel) will almost totally inhibit weed growth as dust and organic tree debris settles into the rocks over the years, and it comes clean easily with a leaf blower without the rock blowing around much, whereas bare 1" stone will become a leaf and debris trap requiring removal of the rock and cleaning ou the debris every few years, or the debris will start supporting weed growth.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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