July 6, 2018

Goat Barn: Delays and Discoveries

I had hoped to have photos of the completed hay loft door and barn quilt by now, but we had so much rain during June and this first week of july that Dan didn't want to take down the tarp that's covering the hay loft door opening. That would risk rain blowing in our our hay and we don't want that! Delays are always disappointing, but in this case, the rain was a blessing because we discovered this...

Front door

We had drainage problems. Not only in front of the barn, but in the back too.

Rain runoff also drained in under one of the back walls.

The runoff was coming in under the back wall facing us below.

If we hadn't had so much rain we wouldn't have known. I would have moved the goats in and their straw bedding would have hidden it. Not good.

Part of the problem is the roof on that side.

It has been collecting and dumping a tremendous amount of water on the ground. Putting up gutters is on the to-do list, but we hadn't gotten that far when all the rain came. Even so, Dan wanted to direct runoff away from the barn. So he started in the back and began digging trenches.

Next, gravel and perforated pipe were laid in the trench with filter cloth covering the pipe.

Filter cloth is used to prevent the perforations in the pipe from getting clogged with dirt.

Sheets of filter cloth are also available, but our Lowes only had sleeves.

The pipe extends under the fence, in front of the double door, and out toward the fig trees.

The last thing he did was to level off a spot for a rainwater collection tank and fill that and the trenches with stone.

After we put up gutters they will drain into a future rainwater tank.

The very next day we got another inch of rain and so could see how well this arrangement worked. No more water finding it's way into the barn.

Next the front. Some of the runoff was coming from the barn roof, but most of it comes off the roof on the house. The downspouts empty onto the driveway, which slopes gently down toward the barn. All that roof runoff made huge puddles in front of the barn and drained into its front door. So Dan dug a trench in front too.

Beyond the barn the ditch angles away from it and down the hill.

Dan's handiwork was tested the next day, when we got another inch and a quarter of rain. No more water in the barn! That was a relief.

We're pretty sure the problem is solved now, but gutters will go up next.


Gorges Smythe said...

It's a lot of work, but in the end, you'll have TWO ways to control the water.

Michelle said...

Like you said, such a blessing to discover this now, before the goats move in and while the ground is soft. Then you got more rain to test the fixes – perfect!

Leigh said...

Gorges, yes! A lot of work but worth it. And even better, we'll be able to collect all that rain so we don't have to haul buckets of water so far! (Dan's looking forward to that!)

Michelle, it was totally providential! So many things with this barn have been. We've been trying to get it built for so long--I think this is barn plan number 7 or 8--that it still amazes us it's finally happening.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Glad you figured that out early. We are not getting any rain now, and we actually need it.

Leigh said...

Kristina, thanks. We usually have a long dry spell during summer as well. Good thing it isn't now! If it was that way now, we would have been in for some problems later on.

Mama Pea said...

We've found so often that our S-L-O-W completion of a project works in our favor. Kinda as if one has to "live with" a situation before deciding and making the final steps. But how unusual for you to have such a wet summer just at this point of the final stages of the barn building! It's almost like Mother Nature was giving your barn a test run by saying, "Look here, folks. See what will happen when plentiful rains come?" Must have been a little discouraging but how wonderful to be able to make the necessary provisions for the more than usual amounts of rainfall at this point!

Ed said...

Looking good! I've said it before and I'll say it again, any extra rain can be mailed directly to SE Iowa.

Theresa said...

French drains are a wondrous thing! Lots of work but so worth it.

Leigh said...

Mama Pea, I agree, there's a lot to be said for living with a situation and testing out various improvements or solutions. We feel very fortunate that we got the rain when we did (even though Dan is getting tired of rain. :)

Ed, will do! :)

Theresa, exactly! Definitely well worth the effort.

Paula said...

Wow! You guys are so lucky to have found that out now! Glad the fix was a simple one!

Woolly Bits said...

can you send some of your rain our way?:) ireland is having near drought conditions - hard to believe!
and I would have liked to put most of our water tanks into the ground like cisterns, but with an existing garden and no space for heavy machinery - and more stones than soil anyway, it wouldn't have been possible. but in this weather I am glad for every single one of our rainwater tanks - never mind how they look:)

Leigh said...

Paula, simple but labor intensive! LOL

Bettina, I'd love to. I rarely complain of too much rain here, but it's raining again right now and so far we've gotten 3/4 of an inch. Too wet to work in the garden! Even so I don't think anyone can have too many rainwater tanks, above ground or under!

Goatldi said...

Wow! Blessings on you and your barn. You are correct that it couldn't of happened in a better sequence.

Since our move was down quickly we never had the opportunity to really check the lay of the land. I have experienced multiply flood conditions in the last six years and were very fortunate not to have any permanent issues land, barn or animal due to learning by experience. We did a lot of trenching and also gutters on the big barn.

Good job and it will be such a joy to use and behold when done!

Lady Locust said...

It really is all coming tomorrow and how nice and dry you know it will be. It does all take time though doesn't it? It's sure looking nice.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Sometimes speed and efficiency are the greatest enemies.

Chris said...

Design elements are so important, aren't they. All that heavy lifting to make the building, and it took something as fluid as rain, to find the weak points. Good interventions. Looking forward to seeing that tank, but I'm sure it's waiting for funds to clear first. :)

Leigh said...

Goatldi, definitely something to be thankful for in the scheme of things! It's amazing how "flat" an area can look until it gets heavy rain. Then the proof is in the pudding! Humans truly do learn best by experience.

Lady Locust, thanks! And yes, it's taking more time than we wished! But I can't complain since it's headed off potential disaster. :)

TB, very true! And we humans always seem to be in a great hurry. Still, I'll be glad to get it done. :)

Chris, sometimes it amazes me how well we think we're planning to have something so seemingly insignificant make such a huge impact. I don't think there's a project on the place that we now think we should have done something different in hindsight.

Hopefully we can get the tank soon. That part of the building needs a second coat of paint and all its trims first, and I'm sure that will go more slowly than I'd like!

Mrs Shoes said...

The rock slabs are a neat & interesting front 'porch' too!

Kev Alviti said...

Looks a good job. Time spent on drainage is always time we'll spent! We drained a whole field here. Can't see it now but the field is so much better in winter!

Leigh said...

Mrs. Shoes, our neighbor gave us those as leftovers from a job. Perfect solution to a muddy entry!

Kev, draining a whole field sounds like a huge job! But you're right, it's definitely worth it.

Renee Nefe said...

glad you got that taken care of. It looks great. the rainwater will now be a blessing for you.