Concrete Driveway Drainage

Surface Water Solutions For Your Parking Area

Concrete driveways are a popular choice for Atlantic County, New Jersey homeowners because of their durability and low maintenance requirements. However, one issue can arise with driveways is poor drainage. Without proper drainage, rainwater can pool on the surface of the driveway, leading to unsightly and potentially dangerous puddles.

Fortunately, there are several solutions for adding drainage to a concrete or asphalt driveway. One option is to install a channel drain, which is a trench that runs along the edge of the driveway and collects water before redirecting it to a designated location. Another option is to add a gradient to the driveway’s surface, which allows water to flow away from the center of the driveway and towards the edges where it can be collected and redirected.

Sometimes, it may be necessary to install an in-ground drainage system or even remove and replace the entire driveway to address drainage issues. However, before taking any drastic measures, it is important to consult with a professional to assess the situation and determine the best course of action. By addressing drainage issues, homeowners can ensure that their concrete driveways remain functional and visually appealing for years to come.

Preparing a driveway.

Understanding the Importance of Drainage

Proper drainage is a crucial aspect of maintaining the longevity and structural integrity of concrete driveways. Without adequate drainage, water can accumulate on the surface of the driveway, leading to erosion, cracking, heaving, or settling.

Erosion is a serious problem that can occur when water is not properly drained away from the driveway. Over time, water can wash away the soil underneath the driveway, causing it to sink or crack. This can lead to costly repairs and even pose a safety hazard.

To prevent erosion and other issues, it is essential to ensure that the driveway has proper drainage. This means that water should be directed away from the driveway and towards the front yard or other appropriate areas.

In addition to preventing erosion, proper drainage can also help protect the garage and other structures on the property. When water is not properly drained away from the driveway, it can seep into the garage or other structures, causing damage and potentially even compromising the foundation.

Overall, adding drainage to a concrete driveway is an important investment that can help protect the driveway and the property as a whole. By ensuring that water is properly drained away from the driveway, homeowners can avoid costly repairs and maintain the structural integrity of their property.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The best drainage solutions for a concrete driveway include installing a channel drain, a trench drain, or a French drain. These options will help to effectively divert water away from your driveway and prevent any potential damage.

To install a channel drain next to your house, you will need to dig a trench along the side of your driveway and house. Then, you can place the channel drain in the trench and connect it to a drainage pipe that leads away from your property.

Some homemade options for a driveway channel drain include using PVC pipes or gutters to create a DIY channel drain. However, it is important to note that these options may not be as effective as a professionally installed channel drain.

The process for installing a driveway trench drain involves cutting a trench into your driveway, installing the trench drain, and connecting it to a drainage pipe that leads away from your property. It is important to ensure that the trench is properly sloped to allow for effective drainage.

To add drainage to an existing concrete driveway, you can install a channel drain or trench drain. These options will require cutting into the existing concrete, so it is recommended to hire a professional to ensure that the job is done correctly.

Some effective ways to improve driveway drainage include ensuring that the driveway is properly sloped away from your home, regularly cleaning out any debris that may clog drainage systems, and installing a drainage system such as a channel drain or trench drain.

Driveway flooded with standing water.
Driveway flooded with standing water.

Planning for Drainage

If you are planning to add drainage to your driveway, there are a few things you should consider before starting the project. Proper planning can help ensure that your new drainage system is effective and complies with any local regulations.

Check for Permits and Planning Permission

Before starting any work, it is important to check whether you need a permit or planning permission for your drainage project. This can vary depending on your location and the scope of the project. Check with your local government or building department to find out what permits or permissions are required.

Determine the Gradient

The gradient, or slope, of your driveway is an important factor to consider when planning your drainage system. A properly sloped driveway helps water flow away from your home and into the drainage system. The ideal slope for a driveway is between 1 and 5 percent. Use a level or transit to determine the slope of your driveway and adjust the drainage system accordingly.

Consider Border Options

Adding a border to your driveway can help contain water and direct it towards the drainage system. Borders can be made of concrete, brick, or other materials. Consider the style and design of your home when choosing a border material.

Choose the Right Drainage System

There are several types of drainage systems available for concrete driveways. Channel drains, trench drains, and French drains are all effective options. Consider factors such as cost, ease of installation, and maintenance requirements when choosing a drainage system.

By taking the time to plan your drainage system properly, you can ensure that it is effective, complies with any regulations, and enhances the overall look of your home.

Preparing a driveway.

Preparation Before Installation

Before installing drainage on a concrete driveway, it is important to properly prepare the site to ensure the best possible outcome. This includes several steps such as grading, excavation, and forming.

First, the site should be graded to ensure proper drainage away from the driveway. This involves creating a slope that directs water away from the driveway and towards a designated drainage area. A slope of 1/4 inch per foot is recommended for optimal drainage.

Next, excavation is necessary to create a trench for the drainage system. The trench should be deep enough to allow for proper placement of the drainage pipes and should extend beyond the edges of the driveway to capture any runoff water. The depth of the trench will depend on the specific drainage system being installed.

Once the excavation is complete, forms should be set up to create a barrier for the concrete. This will help ensure that the concrete is poured in the correct location and will create a clean edge for the finished product. Forms can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, or plastic.

Finally, it is important to consider the soil type when preparing for drainage installation. If the soil is mostly clay, it may be necessary to add additional drainage measures such as a layer of gravel or sand to prevent water from pooling. This can also help prevent erosion and ensure the longevity of the drainage system.

By properly preparing the site before installation, homeowners can ensure a successful and long-lasting drainage system for their concrete driveway.

Trench drains to move water away from driveway.
Trench drains to move water away from driveway.

Installing a Trench Drain

Adding a trench drain to a concrete driveway is a great way to prevent water from pooling and causing damage. Installing a trench drain can be a DIY project, but it requires some preparation and the right tools. Here are some steps to help guide you through the process.

First, gather the necessary tools and materials. You will need a trench drain kit, a wheelbarrow, shovels, a level, a saw, and concrete mix. Make sure to choose a trench drain kit that is strong enough to support the weight of your vehicles.

Next, mark the area where you want to install the trench drain. Use a level to ensure that the area is level. Then, use a saw to cut the concrete to the size of the trench drain. Remove any debris and make sure that the area is clean.

Now, it’s time to install the trench drain. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble the trench drain kit. Then, place the trench drain into the cutout area and make sure that it is level. Use concrete mix to secure the trench drain in place.

Finally, fill in the area around the trench drain with concrete mix. Make sure that the concrete mix is level with the surrounding area. Allow the concrete to dry completely before using the driveway.

In summary, installing a trench drain on a concrete driveway can be a DIY project with the right tools and preparation. By following these steps, you can prevent water from pooling and causing damage to your driveway.

Digging Ditch For Water Supply
Digging a drainage swale along a driveway.

Creating a Swale

If you’re looking to add drainage to your concrete driveway, creating a swale is an effective solution. A swale is a shallow ditch that is designed to channel water away from your driveway and towards a designated area, such as a soakaway or drainage system. Here are some steps to creating a swale:

  1. Determine the location: The first step is to determine the location of the swale. It should be placed in a low-lying area where water tends to accumulate. It’s also important to ensure that the swale is sloped away from your driveway and towards the designated area.

  2. Mark out the area: Once you’ve determined the location, mark out the area where the swale will be. Use stakes and string to create a straight line along the length of the swale.

  3. Excavate the area: Excavate the area to a depth of around 6-8 inches. It’s important to remove any grass or vegetation to prevent future growth from obstructing the flow of water.

  4. Create a gravel base layer: Once the area is excavated, add a layer of gravel to the bottom of the swale. This will help with compaction and improve drainage.

  5. Compact the soil: Use a compactor to compact the soil in the swale. This will help ensure that the swale is sloped properly and will prevent future settling.

  6. Install a soakaway: If you don’t have a drainage system in place, consider installing a soakaway at the end of the swale. This will allow the water to filter into the ground and prevent erosion.

Creating a swale is an effective way to add drainage to your concrete driveway. By following these steps, you can ensure that your swale is properly sloped and will effectively channel water away from your driveway.

Builder laying paving tiles
Builder laying paving tiles

Using Permeable Pavers

Another option for adding drainage to a concrete driveway is to use permeable pavers. Permeable pavers are designed to allow water to pass through them and into the ground below, reducing the amount of runoff and preventing puddles from forming on the surface of the driveway.

Permeable pavers are made from a variety of materials, including concrete, brick, and stone. They are available in a range of sizes, shapes, and colors, allowing homeowners to choose a style that complements the look of their home and landscape.

One advantage of using permeable pavers is that they are low maintenance. Unlike traditional concrete driveways, which require regular sealing and cleaning to maintain their appearance and prevent damage, permeable pavers can be left to age naturally without any special care. This makes them a great option for homeowners who want to reduce the amount of time and money they spend on maintaining their driveway.

Another benefit of using permeable pavers is that they can be installed over a gravel driveway. This means that homeowners who already have a gravel driveway can easily upgrade to a permeable paver driveway without having to remove the existing driveway surface. This can save time and money on the installation process.

Overall, using permeable pavers is a great option for homeowners who want to add drainage to their concrete driveway while also reducing maintenance requirements. With a range of styles and colors to choose from, permeable pavers can be a stylish and practical addition to any home.

Here is a cool permable paver system. TRUEGRID


Concrete driveways are popular for their durability, but poor drainage can cause puddles and damage. Solutions include channel drains, driveway slope adjustments, and in-ground systems. Erosion, cracking, and structural damage can result from inadequate drainage. Proper planning, permits, gradient determination, and border selection are crucial. Installing a trench drain involves marking, cutting, assembling the kit, and securing it with concrete mix. Creating a swale redirects water via a shallow ditch, while permeable pavers allow water to pass through.

Consult professionals before making major changes. Ensure a dry, safe, and long-lasting driveway with effective drainage. Upgrade your driveway’s drainage today contact us for a hassle-free experience.

Concrete driveway.
Water runoff solutions for your driveway and property.

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