In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook helps a homeowner solve a driveway drainage dilemma.
Installing a channel drain
- Mark a straight cutline across the corner of the driveway to indicate the position of the channel drain.
- Cut through the asphalt with a water-cooled circular saw fitted with a diamond-impregnated blade.
- Pry up and remove the severed piece of asphalt with a shovel.
- Use a small sledgehammer and brick-set chisel to chop out any rocks along the edge of the just-cut driveway.
- Dig a 6-inch-deep trench along the end of the driveway. Shovel the excavated dirt into a wheelbarrow.
- Glue an offset outlet and a 90-degree elbow onto one end of the channel drain.
- Glue a short section of 4-inch-diameter plastic pipe and a 45-degree elbow onto the 90-degree elbow.
- Glue an end cap onto the opposite end of the channel drain.
- Mix up a bag of concrete in the wheelbarrow.
- Fill the trench with wet concrete. Smooth the concrete with a pointed brick trowel.
- Press the channel drain down into the concrete, then check it with a level to ensure it’s sloping slightly toward the drainpipe. Tap down the drain with a rubber mallet.
- Use the trowel to spread an angled wedge of concrete against the back of the drain.
- Dig a 12-inch-deep trench out from the channel drain and across the yard.
- Use a reciprocating saw to cut plastic pipe to extend from the drain along the trench. Glue the pipe and fittings together.
- Check the drainpipe with a level to make sure it’s pitched down and away from the driveway.
- Backfill the trench with soil to conceal the drainpipe.
- Line the end of the drainpipe with flat stones to deter erosion.
- Sprinkle some asphalt cold patch between the channel drain and the driveway.
- Compact the patch with the small sledgehammer, then add more asphalt and compact it again. Repeat until the patch is flush with the surface of the driveway.
- Plant grass seed along the backfilled trench.
If you have a lot of driveway to remove, consider renting a walk behind concrete saw.