Does your driveway become a swimming pool after any downpour? You’re not alone, as some driveways are prone to flooding or holding large pools of water on the surface. However, the question that comes to mind for homeowners is: how do we redirect water away from the driveway?
There can be more than one solution to solve drainage problems with a driveway, as every driveway can be unique. As you read on, you will learn about multiple techniques that can be taken to create adequate driveway drainage and ensure rainwater, overflowing drains, or poor guttering will redirect away from the driveway before it becomes an issue.
Excessive water can cause all kinds of issues for your home that are costly to fix, including plant rotting, mold, and foundation damage. Suppose you’ve noticed multiple puddles of water pooling on your driveway. If that is the case, then it may be time for you to take a closer look at what’s causing all that water to get there and how to redirect water from the driveway.
A quick solution to redirect this water from your driveway is to have a berm constructed. A berm is a small hill, or an asphalt curb, that can redirect rain away from your home’s base. Usually, a berm can be one to two feet tall and sometimes have a layer of grass or other plants on top.
To construct a landscaping berm, all you need to do is pile soil into a large mound, but ensure the slope is gradual and perfectly curved to redirect any water flow. If you are building an asphalt berm, it’s best to call in your local contractor as that will require utilizing specialized tools.
Installing permeable and porous pavers can help redirect water from your driveway. Pavers are similar to bricks and are usually laid with small spaces between them to hold sand, soil, or grass. These crevices between each paver allow water to be absorbed into the ground versus staying on the surface and causing flooding.
Many pavers are also made of concrete, which is a porous material and can aid in the absorption of excess water.
Homeowners turn to pavers to help drain the excess water runoff and prevent overflow. Besides redirecting water, one of the added benefits of pavers is that they can add a unique design to your driveway. Since pavers are often made from concrete, they can easily be stamped or stained, giving your driveway a stunning appearance.
Adding pavers to your driveway is best done by a contractor. However, if you have the tools available, it can also be DIY-friendly.
Inclement weather can result in a large amount of water collecting around your home in a short period. Excess water from the driveway can seep into your home’s base or foundation without adequate drainage, causing immediate and costly damage.
Draining water away from your driveway starts with installing a sound gutter system with tubes and extensions to redirect water away from the driveway. Gutters that are poorly laid out or continuously clogged can cause an overflow of water to end up in your driveway.
If your home doesn’t have a gutter system in place, it may be worthwhile investing in one, as gutters collect the rainwater that runs off the roof and deposits it onto the ground. A functioning gutter system will prevent water from leaking into your foundation, and can also deter water damage to your roof.
For your gutters to work correctly, they should:
- Slope downward
- Remain free of debris, clogs, or holds
One of the most common problems you may face with gutters is a blockage, causing rainwater to spill over and leaving large puddles. Drains must be routinely cleaned of debris at least twice per year. You should also inspect them after heavy storms, as significant downpours can cause clogging.
Another way you can easily prevent clogs in your gutters is to invest in a gutter guard. Gutter guards are made of mesh and attached to the top of your gutters. They work like a strainer and allow water to pass through, while catching larger pieces of debris, such as twigs, leaves, and acorns. Gutter guards make it simple to keep your gutters clean and prevent blockages.
For more information on gutter cleaning and maintenance, check out this YouTube video:
Swales can be a drainage option for homeowners whose driveways slope downward. A swale is a type of trench with sloped slides that is wider than it is in-depth.
Swales provide a place to redirect water, as it is open-faced with a layer of gravel at the bottom and landscaped with plants alongside it. Swales can divert water from flowing down your driveway and away from your home.
Trench drains, also known as channel drains, can be compared to gutters, as they effectively redirect large amounts of water quickly.
Trench drains are usually found at the ground edge of the driveway to collect the water at the surface. Usually, they are built or cemented into the driveway and kept in place during inclement weather to carry water elsewhere.
French drains and trench drains are somewhat similar to each other when used to redirect water. However, the main difference is the construction.
As trench drains remain on the surface level, French drains are the opposite. French drains tend to be trenches filled with gravel and a perforated pipe to carry the water away, enclosed by polystyrene aggregate.
The polystyrene aggregate increases water flow. The trench is filled with rock fragments, such as gravel, which then allow water to soak through and into the pipe. Usually, the drain will revert water away from the driveway and into its designed location.
A soakaway is a trench in the ground that is filled with plastic crates, gravel, or similar elements, allowing water to soak through. Ideally, driveways should be directed towards a soakaway because they help redirect water away from the driveway by removing large amounts of excess surface-level water.
Having a soakaway can create a void where rainwater can be stored until it seeps into the ground. They are perfect for areas where drains can not easily be connected to primary drainage systems.
Grading is essential for your driveway, as it ensures it is leveled correctly with the rest of your property. Grading essentially redirects water from the driveway, allowing more control over the direction of the water runoff.
If graded incorrectly, when it rains, your driveway may not absorb the water like your backyard, causing water to build on the surface. Depending on how your driveway is sloped, water can cause flooding in your driveway. Flooding can lead to your garage, yard, and even inside your home.
If your driveway is not correctly designed from the beginning, you may notice weak spots or dipped areas where water collects. When this happens, it may be beneficial to regrade your driveway so that water drains to a site that works with the layout of your property.
Water should always drain evenly or be redirected from your driveway for proper drainage after any inclement weather. As mentioned previously, if it does not, cracks and holes can develop over time on the surface, causing pools of water to form and causing long-term damage to the surface.
An easy fix to that is to examine your driveway after rainfall and address those surface depressions by creating a seal.
The best thing about creating a seal is that you can do it on your own. You would first have to remove any debris from the depression and, once clean, fill your pits or cracks with landscape foam. This will provide a seal to make the driveway level and help redirect water during downpours.
Rain gardens can provide a multipurpose function for property owners. Not only do rain gardens provide a decorative element to your yard, but they can also help redirect water from the driveway.
Rain gardens are dedicated, landscaped areas that collect water from the driveway and soak it into the ground.
Rain gardens are usually planted and surrounded by:
- Flower beds
- Other outdoor plants
When it rains, these gardens pool the water during the downpour and then slowly nuggets are absorbed by the soil.
Rain barrels are versatile additions to any home. Not only can they divert water from your driveway, it can also be used for your household needs. Rain barrels, also known as cisterns, can be placed above the ground. Then, when it rains, water from the gutters feeds into downspouts that can lead to a rain barrel instead of the driveway.
The water collected from rain barrels can be left in the storage unit and used for a later time for your household needs. Many homeowners opt to use the excess water for landscaping or gardening. If you are thinking about getting a rain barrel, it’s important to note that you must place your barrel next to the downspout. If your downspout isn’t easily adjustable, you can also purchase attachments that connect it to the barrel.
It’s vital that the downspout and rain barrel are within reach, so the water can flow directly from the pipe into the barrel. If the distance between the two is too far, it can result in pooling around the base of the downspout, and potential flooding.
Collecting rainwater in this format allows the owner an alternative solution to using municipal water. Rain barrels can also reduce the amount of water entering your property sewer and keep excess water from flowing down your driveway or entering your home.
When looking to redirect water from your driveway, another method that may be useful for your household is adding drainage material to your driveway.
Concrete and asphalt are permeable pavement surfaces, meaning that these types of materials allow water to pass through them easier than other types of surfaces. Usually these materials would be installed over a layer of gravel or crushed stone as a supporting base to hold and drain rainwater.
To revert water from the driveway, consider building a dry well. A dry well can be made in various sizes but usually is a large basin filled with pebbles, gravel, or rocks.
The basin is installed underground and can be an endpoint for water utilizing any drainage method. Once a dry well receives the water, it filters down through the gravel or material selected, and disperses beneath the surface.
There are many techniques to effectively redirect water from your driveway. All of these methods have their benefits depending on your property’s needs. If one of these tips above doesn’t work out quite as well, implement one of the others.
No matter what way you choose, always turn water away from your property’s foundation. It’s also important to ensure you are doing your due diligence and checking your property for any cracks or damages, especially if you notice water pooling around your home’s base regularly. If this happens, it can eventually leak into your property, causing extensive damages.