Driveway Drainage Solutions

Many homes have driveways that slope toward the garage or home. During rainstorms, water can flow onto your property from several sources including roofs, hillsides, and your neighbor’s yard. Since concrete and asphalt are impermeable, when water reaches your driveway it is no longer absorbed into the ground and often flows into your garage, or worse, your home. We get so many calls about driveway drainage issues, we thought we would lay out some of the main ways that we solve this problem.

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The Wrong Driveway Drainage Solution

Many homeowners believe they can solve their driveway drainage problems by simply moving dirt (grading) or digging shallow trenches. These temporary fixes do not effectively solve the problem and can actually make the problem worse.  The majority of homeowners report that they are unhappy with the results of temporary solutions—and end up trying another approach within 12 months.

The Right Driveway Drainage Solutions

Driveway Drains

For some properties, especially those that sit below street level, it’s difficult to solve the drainage problem with correct placement and slope alone. In this situation, driveway drains will need to be installed. A trench drain can be installed where the driveway meets the garage. This type of drain is long and narrow and should run the entire width of the driveway. A trench drain must be covered by a grate to keep it free of debris that could clog the pipe. Decorative grates are available for trench drains that can be used as a unique design element. Smaller site drains can also be used in specific areas of the driveway where water collects.

driveway drain tile edina

Drainage Pipes

On extremely long driveways, consider having a gulley or drainage pipes at the sides of the drive for the runoff of moisture. These will carry the water away and deposit it in another place. However, it’s important to consider where it will be carried. Unless the ground is damp or marshy, creating drainage from crushed rock and pebbles, with a porous or drilled pipe above, will allow the water to drain into the ground. This is a better option than carrying it away to a storm drain. You can also use this system to direct the water away toward an area of your property that might be able to handle it, such as a woods or pond.

french drain next to driveway


Land on either side of the driveway may be pitched toward the driveway, sending too much water to the driveway area. One solution to this situation is to grade the land at the driveway edge away from the driveway. This will then meet the land sloping toward the driveway so that a drainage swale can be created. A drainage swale is a pitched channel, typically located in lawn and not very noticeable, which takes water away to a lower location.

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Whatever solution you decide is best for your situation, the main goal is to ensure that water is carried away from your garage and home to an area that can properly handle the excess water. Though it is entirely possible to implement any of the solutions mentioned above yourself, it is often the best option to consult an expert who deals with situations like yours on a daily basis and has many years of experience. The benefits to paying a contractor are there will be a guarantee behind any work performed, a solution tailored to your specific problem, and experience usually means fast and high-quality work. Contact us at KG Landscape to get a free quote now!