LESLIE: Susan in Montana is having some drainage issues with the driveway. Tell us what’s going on.
SUSAN: I had my office driveway resurfaced with asphalt. And I thought that the people did a really excellent job until we got a (inaudible at 0:04:59) rain and all the water was collecting. And I had to leave to go down to Colorado and I got a frantic phone call from my husband telling me that the water was backing up into the house and it was like a big pool. And I called the asphalt people and they’re not responding to me.
TOM: Well, listen, if they just resurfaced the driveway, they’re not going to do anything to change the pitch.
SUSAN: That’s true. They did do it but they deliberately – supposedly, they had the pitch so that it would drain off into the lawn.
TOM: And they didn’t quite get that right. So how do you fix that?
TOM: If the water is draining down the driveway back towards the building – in other words, it’s never really draining off to the lawn anywhere – then what you have to do is you have to put a curtain drain in the driveway itself.
And in a driveway, basically it’s a job where the driveway is essentially sliced in half. They slice out a chunk of driveway that’s maybe 6 inches wide and you drop this trough into it so that as the water falls down the driveway, it drops into the trough – there’s a grade on top – and then it runs out the bottom of the trough. And of course, that requires some additional plumbing, so to speak, because you have to hook it up to a drain pipe to take it to the lowest place on the property to get rid of the water. But that’s how you drain a driveway that’s not pitched properly.
And typically, that’s put right near the house or right near the garage lip or something like that so that it catches the water at the lowest possible spot.
SUSAN: So who would I call for something like that? A plumber?
TOM: You’re going to need a general contractor that can install that for you. I mean a driveway-sealing company is not going to do it. A general contractor that could do that – it’s kind of a handyman project. It’s not a difficult project, it’s not a really time-consuming project but you essentially have to cut into that driveway and install a drain. You’ve got to catch that water and you’ve got to manage it. And that’s the only way to do it, Susan.
Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.