Driveway Paving Can Help Prevent Flooding

If you currently have a gravel or dirt driveway, it's time to look at paving it over. While gravel and dirt allow rain to soak into the ground, heavy rain can cause the gravel or dirt to shift and erode. Driveway paving can eliminate many effects of heavy rain, though you must be sure there's adequate drainage. One of the biggest advantages of paving is that it destroys ruts that prevent rainwater from reaching proper drainage channels.

No Longer Stuck in a Rut

When you use your driveway, chances are that you drive up and park in pretty much the same part of the driveway every time. That leads to ruts in the dirt or channels in the gravel. Rain that isn't absorbed by the ground (either because the ground is saturated or because it's been so dry that it isn't absorbing water easily) can run into the ruts and into other parts of the driveway or yard. If you pave, you can configure the paving so that the rain runs into specific areas designed to carry the water.

Draining Away From Your Yard

Depending on how you pave the driveway, you may have to install drainage channels that allow rainwater to roll off the driveway and into the gutter in the street. While the driveway should be sloping away from your house slightly, like the rest of your yard, a lot of rain can run off into the soil that is next to the driveway, causing erosion that could ruin the driveway.

If you use plain asphalt that's been sealed, the rain should run off, so you'll need those channels. You could use very well-draining soil next to the driveway, as long as the soil can handle large amounts of rain. However, it's safer to direct the runoff to gutters that lead to storm drains. Get one storm that dumps more rain than the well-draining soil can handle, and you've damaged your yard. So a channel is still best.

Concrete can be a bit absorbent, but still allows most rain to run off. Like asphalt, a large slab of concrete will require some sort of drain or channel to effectively remove the excess water.

Pavers are another matter. You can create driveways using pavers that are spaced to allow rain to soak into the soil under the pavers. In this case, you wouldn't really need channels unless your area receives massive amounts of rain or is prone to torrential storms. However, you will have to brace the pavers so that they don't move if the soil underneath is too wet. There are special brackets that you can place around the paved area to keep the pavers in one place.

If you want more information about paving over a driveway and eliminating ruts and erosion, while still letting water drain away correctly, contact a paving company that has experience with driveways. You'll make your yard look better as well as make it safer.