(If you need to come back to an already built driveway, how big of a process will it be to add drainage? Or will you need to rip the whole thing out and start over?)

When you think about concrete, it is likely you think of an attractive, versatile, durable, functional, quality product. Concrete driveways are a common installation for many homes to allow for adequate parking space. However, if the driveway is already built or was installed improperly, drainage can become a major problem to the homeowner. Inadequate drainage can result in a number of home damaging issues.

Incorrect Driveway Drainage

Most homeowners believe the answer to their drainage problem is to move dirt or dig shallow trenches. However, this is only a temporary fix and does not provide an effective, long-term solution. In fact, moving dirt or digging trenches can make increase the problem. If you are one of the many homeowners that are not satisfied with temporary answers, there are other solutions.

Driveway Drains

In most cases where the home sits below street level, proper placement and slopes alone do not always solve the driveway drainage issue. In this type of situation, it is necessary for driveway drains to be installed. Where the garage and driveway meet, a trench drain can be installed. A trench drain is both long and narrow and runs the entire width of the concrete driveway. To ensure the drain remains free from debris which can ultimately lead to a clogged pipe, a grate must cover the drain.  

To provide a unique design element to the outside of the home, there are decorative grates available for these types of drains. Also, if you have issues where water collects in specific parts of the driveway, there are smaller site drains the homeowner can use.

Driveway Drainage Pipes

For homes with very long driveways, it is best to consider drainage pipes or a gulley at the sides to allow for excess moisture. The gulley or drainage pipes transport the water away from the home and driveway and relocate it to a different location. However, one of the most important things to consider with this solution is where the water will be relocated to. Unless the ground is marshy or damp, creating a drainage from pebbles and crushed rock with a drilled pipe or porous above allows the water to properly drain into the earth.

This option is best when comparing it to transporting the water away to nearby storm drains. This option can also be used to guide the water away from the driveway toward an area of the property that can handle it, such as a pond or woods.

Regardless of which solution you decide is best for your specific needs, the main goal is to ensure water is carried away from your driveway and home to a location that can effectively handle the extra water. With the help from a professional, your concrete driveway can remain in place, and proper drainage installed.

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Meet Lance Davis


Lance Davis is a third generation Concrete Contractor with over 10+ years experience in concrete repair and slabjacking. His company Davis & Sons Concrete has proudly served all of North Central Illinois, Rockford and the outer suburbs - and he would love to hear from you!

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