Best Drainage Solutions for Sloping Driveways

A sloping driveway can be a beautiful addition to your home and your landscaping, especially if you do more than the standard 15% of the slope for your driveway. However, if you want to add more of a slope, you need to figure out how to drain it.

Considering where the water goes when it rains is one of the drainage solutions for sloping driveway. Having a porous surface at the bottom of the driveway, having edges to prevent the water from spilling over your landscape, and installing drainage systems ensure your home won’t be waterlogged.

This article will look at the various problems that a sloped driveway can cause your home if it’s improperly drained. I’ll also discuss the solutions you can install to keep the water flowing downwards and away from your home!

Sloping Driveways Can Sometimes Cause Flooding

When looking around at homes, the driveways you can see are either straight and level towards the garage or are on a slope of some kind. Whenever it rains, or you wash your car or have water come into contact with the driveway, the water will run down the slope. Usually, the water will move away from your home, which is what you want, especially during a storm.

However, all that water will accumulate on the bottom of your driveway. Or worse, it will move to the sides of the driveway and plague your yard with puddles. Flooded driveways can occasionally cause flooding of your garage, allow insects and other pests an area to breed, and become very difficult to look at.

Plus, the puddles in both your driveway and your yard can make being outside a real hassle. It’s not the best thing to look at, the puddles are something you always need to be aware of, and it can be annoying to pull out of the driveway and send a massive spout of water everywhere because you slammed into a puddle.

Where Does the Water Come From?

Whenever you take a look at your house and driveway, you need to make sure that the slope of your driveway is the only thing that’s causing water to run down.

The water comes from your gutters whenever it rains. Its runoff comes off of the gutters and pools at the bottom of the driveway, which often happens because your gutters extend too far into the driveway.

In other cases, the angle of your house can be a factor in where the water falls. You can often fix or redirect gutter water towards the ground and into another place to keep it off your driveway. Try to make as many minor fixes and observations about where your water falls and how that excess water impacts your driveway.

1. Build a French Drain

You know that the water collects at the bottom of the driveway and at the sides, so that’s the first step. The key isn’t to get rid of the water by forcing it to be stored somewhere else, but instead to divert the water to a storm drain or other location where it’s supposed to be.

If you have large puddles at the end of your driveway, the first step to getting rid of them is to have a driveway drain. These decorative drains can be an excellent addition to your property, looking beautiful while also fulfilling their purpose.

Trench or French drains can be dug at the end of your driveway to catch the water as it flows down the slope. It’s a large long pipe that rests inside of a gravel-lined trench. The water flows down into the gravel and then goes through holes in the pipe spaced every few inches. That pipe will take the caught water to wherever it’s needed, often to a safer draining area like a storm drain.

All you need to build a french drain is a trench, a perforated pipe, and some gravel. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Dig a trench at least 9 inches wide and 18 inches deep, and the trench should slant downward.
  2. Fill the bottom of the trench with gravel to at least 3 inches.
  3. Lay the pipe in the trench, with the holes in the pipe slanting downwards.
  4. Fill the rest of the trench with gravel, and then you wait for the rainfall!

It’s a straightforward, easy, and cheap solution to make sure that your driveway’s end is kept free of water and water damage. You just need to make sure the pipe redirects the water towards a storm drain or another place where it can safely collect itself and won’t cause any more trouble for you.

2. Use Swales to Collect Driveway Water

Sometimes the land on your driveway will slope towards the driveway as well, making it so that you don’t just need to worry about water from the top but also water from the sides. However, you can handle that with a swale, a hole in the land that’s wide but shallow.

Having swales dug on both sides of the driveway can provide a natural ‘bowl’ for the water to collect in, and then it can enter the soil instead of flooding down your driveway. All you need to do is dig a shallow but wide hole on either side of your driveway, and then you’re good to go.

If you’re worried about having two holes on either side of your driveway, then you can easily cover them with a bit of landscaping. Everyone will fawn over them and forget that they’re also there to serve a purpose! Fill them up with rocks, plants, and flowers that love water or other items to make them look like natural additions to your house.

3. Make Your Driveway Permeable

One of the best things you can do when draining your driveway is to ensure you have a permeable driveway at the end. This solution helps you make sure that the water’s going back into the soil rather than simply collecting and pooling on the surface.

Now, it’s an expensive and lengthy process, so this should be a last resort, but if you want to support your yard and make sure your driveway doesn’t keep flooding, this could be something you can do. Here are the steps for this process:

  1. Remove the regular existing material of your driveway.
  2. Install permeable driveway pavers that’ll be placed on your driveway.
  3. Cover the driveway pavers with a gravel base, and you’ll be good to go!

The pavers allow the water to slide through the gravel and then penetrate the pavers before the water goes into the soil. You won’t need to worry about either the water or the gravel sliding down the slope, and every drop will go into the soil.

Do You Need a Gravel Driveway?

You need a gravel driveway if you want a quick and effective way to fix your sloping driveway. That’s because gravel drains very well, is easy to maintain and fix, and quickly replenishes with minimal effort.

It isn’t the only material perfect for a driveway or even the only material that drains very well. Still, it’s a familiar and cheap material that just works well for most driveways and homeowners and is the best way to get a drainage solution fast for your sloping driveway.

4. Install Channel Drains in Your Driveway

Finally, install channel drains on the sides. Channel drains are straight strips, often decorated with grates, and they run along the sides of your driveway. You need to know how much water your drain will typically collect on a given day, but this is very easy to figure out.

Most channel drains have width options of 6 inches, 8 inches, or 12 inches. If you live in an area that experiences moderate rainfall and runoff, a 6 or 8-inch option will be the best for you. If you have a lot of rainfall and runoff, then a 12-inch grate will help take in the massive water input.

You’ll also need to look at who or what’s going over your drainage system to ensure it’s durable enough for foot traffic and vehicles. No one wants a drainage system that is going to fall apart underneath them! Once all that’s done, you need to have the drains installed, and they’ll work for you to keep your driveway free from pooling water!


You can use several solutions to prevent runoff from occurring on a sloped driveway. With some elbow grease, research, and know-how, you can ensure that your sloped driveway isn’t contributing to standing water or puddles all over your yard! Instead, you can just drain all that excess water away and be done with it all.

You just need to pick which drainage option will be the best for you, and then make sure that you can get it installed in time for the next big storm!




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