Draining Around Your Driveway
LESLIE: Bob in California, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?BOB: Hi. Lovely show.TOM: Thank you.BOB: My situation is this: I bought a house recently and it has a shared driveway – it runs along one side of the house – and that driveway is higher than my foundation on my house by probably a couple feet.TOM: Wow, OK.BOB: And the water tends to run off of it towards the house and the foundation.TOM: How much space is there between the edge of the driveway and your house?BOB: There’s probably about four-and-a-half, five feet.TOM: OK. Well, that gives you enough room – and that’s soil in that area?BOB: It’s sort of a mix of adobe and – it’s fairly hard and not super-good drainage.TOM: OK. Well, what you need to do here is you need to install some drainage, Bob, and what you want is something called a curtain drain. And a curtain drain would end up being right below the surface of the soil at the edge of the driveway. You’re essentially going to trench out, in that space. You’re going to add perforated pipe surrounded by some drainage stone and then …BOB: So this would be similar to a French drain? Is that …LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Same thing.TOM: (overlapping voices) Yes, similar to it; except that it’s going to be invisible.BOB: Uh-huh.TOM: And as the last step, you put some filter cloth across the top of the trench and then you cover it with soil and grass or whatever you want. So you won’t see it when it’s done. Well, what will happen is the neighbor’s water that comes off that driveway will fall into that curtain drain and then it’ll run out somewhere. So the key here is you have to be able to drain that curtain drain somewhere to daylight; the pipe, in the end, has got to end up …BOB: Right. That’s a bit of a problem because from where I am, it’s fairly level out towards the street. There’s not much of a dropoff.TOM: Could it go underground into a sewer system? Street sewer?BOB: Well, it possibly could. It would be expensive to cut through the sidewalk and into the pipes and all.TOM: OK. Well, I mean you could also potentially go into a dry well if it’s far enough away from the house.BOB: Uh-huh. OK. Well, thank you very much.TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.