How to Improve the Drainage of Your Gravel Driveway

If you want to improve the drainage of your gravel driveway, you should consider adding an under layer, if one isn’t already there. As well, if your under layer isn’t of the highest quality, upgrading to a more modern solution may greatly assist with efficient gravel driveway drainage.

While no one wants to pick up gravel from a driveway, move it to the side and install or replace an under layer, it is probably the most practical thing to do. It’s not a quick fix. Instead, it’s a long-term solution which will make a driveway of this type more low-maintenance in the future.

To enjoy better drainage, we think that you should consider using plastic paving grids as your under layer.

What Are Plastic Paving Grids?


Plastic paving grids are openwork panels of eco-friendly plastic which interlock together. You’ll be able to buy the right number of panels for your needs and then snap them together easily. Lay them over even earth to create an under layer which is porous enough to keep drainage optimal. As a bonus, your plastic paving grids will add so much strength to your driveway. These panels are way stronger than they look! Also, they don’t usually cost too much.

Most people add an even layer of pebbles to the grids after they are laid down. Then, they put gravel on top.

If you added plastic driveway grids before you constructed your gravel driveway, you probably shouldn’t be having drainage problems at all. People who use these under layers generally don’t have such issues. However, if you do, you may want to consider the placement of your driveway, as well as what surrounds it. For example, is the slope interfering with proper drainage? Are areas around the driveway waterlogged? Analyze the situation and then plan out improvements.

Plastic Sheeting is Another Option

If you don’t want plastic driveway grids as an under layer, you may want to think about adding an under layer of plastic sheeting. It’s important to add something, although we don’t think that plastic sheeting offers the same drainage benefits. It’s not porous like plastic driveway grids. Plus, plastic sheeting tends to deteriorate over time, and may even contribute to drainage problems in the future.

Is Your Driveway Level?

Another option is using a level to see if your driveway is level. If it isn’t, consider raising the “crown” of your gravel driveway. This means raising up the center of the driveway, under the gravel. To do this, you’ll need to take away the gravel and then add more soil in order to make the crown higher.

It doesn’t need to be a lot higher and shouldn’t be. However, making it just a little higher will help you with drainage. Water will slide down the moderate slope of the higher “crown” and then drain off to the sides, as it should. This trick has helped a lot of homeowners to fix drainage problems. It will take a bit of work, since you’ll need to remove gravel. However, most fixes for drainage problems do require removal of gravel.

Consider Adding Some Drains

Another option to consider is taking excess water away by creating trenches and then putting drains into place. To do this, dig until you reach a depth of eighteen inches. Make certain that your trench slopes a bit lengthwise to carry water away. Then, add a four-inch layer of gravel to the base of the trench. After this, drill some holes in plastic piping. Then, add some plastic pipes, which will be your drains. Cover the drains with six inches of gravel. Then, add soil and tamp it down until it’s firmly in place.

Quick Solution Is Best for You?

Now that you know some sensible ways to improve drainage of your gravel driveway, you’ll be ready to choose the solution which makes the most sense for you. All of the tips listed here work well. If you don’t want to fix the problem yourself, a contractor should be able to take care of it for you. However, many people do these drainage improvements themselves and you can, too.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you to understand which drainage fixes contribute to superior drainage. Naturally, the way that your driveway is constructed in the first place will have a big impact on whether it drains well or not. With this in mind, those who are planning to build new gravel driveways should go for plastic driveway grid under layers. Usually, they will remove the need for a crown at the center of a driveway.

As well, give thought to the slope of the driveway, if there is one. Try to consider drainage when you’re deciding on your driveway placement. There may be a placement which contributes to better drainage!

Plan Your Project Today

If you need to use one of the tips here, plan your project out. Make a list of what you’ll need, decide how you’re going to remove gravel and then order the supplies that you need. Next, plan a time to get the job done. After you take care of the improvement, you’ll feel better about your gravel driveway. It is possible to fix drainage issues and it’s usually possible to do so in one day or over the course of a weekend.

With this in mind, why not plan this type of DIY project today? It’s a great way to make a driveway safer and more attractive.

Author Bio:

About Fergus @MatsGrids
Mats Grids are suppliers of Ground reinforcement systems; grass reinforcement and protection mesh for domestic and commercial landscaping projects. Our business mission is to become the UK’s leading supplier of groundworks, civils and landscaping products. Over the last few years, our company has grown to become one of the UK’s most reputable suppliers to these sectors and today we supply our range of products to thousands of businesses and end users within the UK and overseas.

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