Concrete Driveway Drainage: Frequently Asked Questions

As a specialist in forming concrete for driveways, patios and similar structures exposed to the weather, I’m often asked questions about drainage. The basics of drainage are simple – water will tend to find its way from higher to lower elevations. Making sure it does so effectively can be a lot more complicated.

It’s an important topic, since insurance claims may be rejected if they result from a foreseeable failure of the insured’s drainage.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions, together with my replies:

Concrete Driveway Drainage | Classic Concrete PerthQ: What are the typical consequences of poor driveway drainage design in poured concrete?
A: Unwanted pooling of water after each fall of rain, or when you hose down the surface. When the pooling occurs near your house (for instance, puddles in front of your door) you risk it overflowing into your house, damaging floors, coverings and sometimes walls.

Q: My existing driveway drainage is a mess – can you help?
A: Often we can, but we first need to inspect the area to correctly assess the problems.

These can include:

  • Water tank undersized or incorrectly installed, or poor quality. We have found tanks that have collapsed and filled with debris. These are quite easily fixed.
  • Incorrect contouring of the concrete pour. Depending on the extent of the problem, we may be able to modify the existing concrete to correct it. In severe cases, though, only major reconstruction will fix the problem.

Q: Do you install rooftop rain collection?
A: We install all types of rooftop collection. Rooftop rain collection is a great idea, but anything which intervenes to stop rain running off brings with it the risk of overflow, so planning a collection system is not a job for the inexperienced. There are many types, styles and sizes of roof, and each requires careful calculation of the amount of storage required. This is a particularly vexed area so far as insurance is concerned, since overflow from a poorly designed rooftop rain collection system can do so much damage to the house.

Q: How long does installing a properly drained concrete surface take?
A: Obviously size and complexity will vary, but a typical installation will be completed in a day.

Q: What are the common forms and methods used to drain concrete surfaces?
A: The primary means of securing drainage is the contouring of the surface to create a fall. Depending on the access to tanks or wastewater sewers, we can then use either a long grill drain or a small square grill to collect the water. Where the surface is of a complex shape, we may need more than fall, each with its own drain. If we are treating an existing surface, we may need to cut a channel from in the concrete to assist drainage.

Concrete Driveway Drainage – Classic Concrete Perth

Q: Why does water pool, and how can it be prevented?
A: Water will pool if the floor is not installed correctly. The floor should always fall on a slight angle away from the house. A poorly contoured fall can be corrected by cutting out or removing a section of the floor and installing a drain. If the drainage appears adequate it may be that the problem is an undersized collection tank.

Q: What are the insurance implications of poor drainage?
A: Water damage is a great way for insurance companies to AVOID paying a claim, as it is so often the result of poor workmanship.

Q: At the moment all my rain water runs off. Can you help me collect it?
A: We can design all types of unique rain collections systems, whether in the form of a new water tank or the installation of underground drains.

Call our professional team at Classic Concrete and talk about your concrete driveway drainage requirements.