The amount of abuse a driveway can handle is always taken into account during its construction. Tough materials like brick, asphalt, and concrete are the norm for these installations because they can hold up under just about any conditions. Almost as important as durability, however, is driveway drainage. Though it might seem of little consequence, the way your driveway handles precipitation can have a dramatic impact on the space around it and the durability of the actual driveway, too. Here are three things to think about when planning your new driveway to help make sure this installation will not only perform well, but will be durable and as eco-friendly as possible, too.
Though it might seem of little consequence, the way your driveway handles precipitation can have a dramatic impact.
Probably the most common driveway material in the nation, asphalt is an extremely versatile and durable option that most homeowners will consider. Additionally, this material is a lot "greener" than many people think. The National Asphalt Pavement Association points out that, with over 70 million tons of asphalt being reclaimed (of which more than 99% is reused or recycled), asphalt is the nation's most recycled material.
Unfortunately, traditional asphalt that was not installed with special attention paid to grading and run-off has taken a lot of heat over the years. This is one of the reasons why the development of porous asphalt was begun decades ago. Today, porous asphalt is used in many different settings to enhance drainage, reduce the run-off of harmful chemicals, and provide a stable, durable surface for vehicle traffic.
Porous asphalt isn't the only option out there that will reduce harmful run-off! Brick and concrete pavers look great, are able to handle heavy loads, and are excellent options in areas where freezing temperatures are expected every year. One of the most attractive things about these pavers is, however, that the gaps in between each individual unit allow water to seep into the ground where it belongs.
Permeable driveway options like brick and concrete paving stones can improve the value of your home with their looks as well as protect garages and basements from flooding. If you are looking for something even more eco-friendly, however, you might consider grass pavement. This relatively new option is real, living grass that is bolstered underneath by a network of recycled plastic cells, allowing you to have a genuine grass driveway that can be driven over and parked on without turning into a muddy mess.
3.Additional Drainage Components
Though it might not have been the case in decades past, today's homeowners have plenty of options to include excellent drainage when installing a new driveway from scratch. If you're dealing with an existing driveway, however, things can be a little trickier.
One common solution is to install a trench drain. This requires removing a portion of the driveway (in the case of flooding garages, the removed piece is often directly at the garage entrance and spans its entire width) and creating a gutter that rain water can flow into. The gutter is then covered by a grate (don't want any car tires sliding into it!) and the water it collects is then diverted away from any structures. This is a relatively simple solution for keeping rain water from entering garages and basements in many scenarios.
In some cases, driveways that are failing due to poor drainage or those that are severely sloped toward garages or the structure of the house cannot simply be retrofitted with drainage sufficient enough to solve the problem. In these instances, replacing the driveway with one that is designed properly may be the only practical course of action.