Installing a DIY Curtain Drain Alongside Driveway
LESLIE: Dot, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
DOT: A couple of years ago, we had a driveway put in. We have a house with an attached garage. And they had, oh, graded the driveway, they said, properly so the water would drain away from the house and into the lawn. And we get standing water in our driveway still. And I was just wondering the steps to – the proper steps to put a trench in our driveway and possibly a drain.
TOM: OK. So, it would seem to me that if – you’re talking about water that’s collecting on the driveway itself or on the side of the driveway? There’s a distinction.
DOT: In the driveway and also close to the house and where the driveway meet. And then there’s an attached garage there, also.
TOM: If we were to stop the water from collecting on the side of the driveway, would the top of the driveway still be flooded?
DOT: I think so. Apparently, they graded it …
TOM: Alright. Because it’s easier to put in a curtain drain along the side of the driveway than it is to slice the driveway and insert a drain. Because if you want to try to drain what’s on the driveway, essentially you have to cut a slice into the driveway. It’s not something that you could do; it requires specialized tools. And then a drain is inserted and it’s kind of like a very narrow grate, almost like a box, that’s dropped into the driveway. The driveway is graded to the top of it so that the water can sort of roll in and then fill up the drain and then run out.
If, in fact, that this water is collecting along the side of the driveway, it would be easier, from a do-it-yourself perspective, to add in a curtain drain. You can build a curtain drain yourself. The way that works is you would dig a trench that was maybe a foot wide, maybe a foot deep. You’d put some stone in the bottom of that and then you’d put a perforated PVC pipe. You continue to fill that up with stone all around it. You’d add some filter cloth over that and then you would regrade and you would be – it would be completely invisible when it’s done. And of course, it has to be pitched properly and discharged properly, as well.
So, the curtain drain on the side of the driveway is easier than sort of the trench drain where you have to cut the driveway. I would tend to say do the curtain drain first and see how it goes.
Dot, I hope that helps you out. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.