If you live in an area with poor soil drainage, you may be wondering whether there's anything you can do to reduce the amount of standing water on your driveway after summer thunderstorms. Over time, regular exposure to water can eat away at asphalt and concrete and cause pitting and cracking, or simply wash gravel away. However, there are a few choices you can make to help extend the life of any driveway. Read on to learn more about how some of your paving material options will stand up to standing water, as well as what you can do to improve drainage on your existing driveway.
What are the best driveway choices for wet areas?
If it's truly inevitable that your driveway will be covered with water (for example, if your property is located adjacent to a creek or river), you'll usually want to avoid gravel as a paving material. Even hard-packed gravel will be lifted up by floodwaters if fully submerged, and it can wash away into your lawn, damaging your lawn mower blades over time.
However, asphalt and concrete can both be paved in such a manner that rainwater and excess ground moisture will drain off naturally. As long as your driveway has around 2% "fall" or declines approximately 1/4" for each ten foot section of pavement, you shouldn't have any issues with standing water. Both asphalt and concrete can withstand water exposure for brief periods of time, so properly-angled driveways should last for decades with minimal maintenance.
Is there anything you can do to protect your current driveway against water damage?
If you have a gravel driveway, you may be able to improve drainage by installing gutters or drainage ditches at each side of your driveway. These can help absorb overflow and keep your gravel from washing far -- although you may need to clean out your gutters after a particularly bad storm.
If you have an asphalt or concrete driveway that frequently develops pools of water after a storm, you may be able to have your current drive resurfaced to change the slope and improve drainage. A less expensive option can be to have gutters installed -- while this won't eliminate pools of water from the center of your driveway, these gutters can help water from pooling at (and eroding) the sides of your driveway. A paving contractor like Lakeridge Paving Company should be able to provide you with some feasible options for your own home.