Driveways And Drainage: What Are My Options?
When you consider having a new driveway built, you will think about how it will look, where to place it, what materials you will use and of course, how much it will cost. But does drainage ever come into your thoughts?
This hidden aspect of building a driveway is probably one of the most important and if it is not done correctly, you could end up with a driveway that damages the environment or your home and will last a fraction of the time that it should.
Drainage and driveways go hand in hand – so it makes sense to understand your options when it comes to getting great drainage and a great driveway.
Driveways And Drainage: The Latest Legislation
In 2008, the government brought in new measures to regulate the number of front gardens that were being paved over to provide off-road parking.
While individually, these spaces were causing little harm, the sheer numbers of gardens that were being lost was starting to cause an environmental issue.
There are now rules in place to ensure that your new driveway is built with suitable drainage. You will need to apply for Planning Permission if your driveway is not made from a water permeable material, such as gravel, some types of concrete, or asphalt.
You can also provide for the water to run into a permeable area – such as a lawn, a gravelled area or a drain.
If you can’t do this and you have chosen a non-permeable material such as concrete or paving stones, and your driveway is larger than 5 metres squared, you will need to apply for planning permission.
Standing water on your driveway will make it dirty and dangerous. This water can freeze making the area slippery and it will encourage moss to grow, adding to the chance of slipping
Why Is Drainage So Important? 6 Key Points To Ponder
● Due to climate change, the UK is seeing many more heavy weather events, with high rainfall especially common. This has led to flooding in urban areas which is made worse by front gardens that have been paved over. The local drains cannot cope with all of the water that is washing off the driveways, rather than soaking into them.
● Driveways without drainage can also cause the local sewers to become polluted. Dirt and oil from the driveway can be washed into the sewer causing environmental issues.
● Water that soaks into the ground will reach natural underground aquifers, feed plants, provide a cool atmosphere for wildlife and provide a natural habitat for animals that nourish the earth such as worms. No water in the ground can lead to devastation of natural species.
● Standing water on your driveway will make it dirty and dangerous. This water can freeze making the area slippery and it will encourage moss to grow, adding to the chance of slipping.
● Water than sits on the surface of your driveway will make its way into cracks and small imperfections in the driveway surface. This can then freeze and expand, causing these cracks to become worse and leading to your driveway needing replacement or repair. This can be an expensive and time consuming job.
● Water that flows towards your home can also lead to damp issues inside your house. This water (if it has nowhere to go) can sit in puddles next to the exterior walls of your house and will eventually cause damp and mould on the interior walls and floors.
A popular way to use material to prevent water is to use different materials in different areas, such as a lawn, gravel and paving used as a combination to give all the drainage required and an attractive look
Drainage For Driveways: What Are My Options?
Option No.1: Permeable Surfaces:
The most common and effective way to ensure that your driveway has the drainage it needs is to choose a driveway material that is porous. These include some types of concrete, asphalt, gravel and resin bound materials.
The latter offers one of the best options as it is a stronger material, will last for upwards of 30 years and provides an attractive option for your driveway.
A popular way to use material to prevent water is to use different materials in different areas, such as a lawn, gravel and paving used as a combination to give all the drainage required and an attractive look.
These porous materials allow the water to seep into the ground over the entire surface of the driveway. They are usually constructed using a sub-base of hardcore that slows down and redirects the passage of the water.
This hardcore will hold onto the water as it soaks into the ground, enabling natural absorption.
The depth of this hardcore layer will depend on the type of material you have chosen, and the amount of rainfall expected, but your contractor should be able to advise on the best method.
Option No.2: Radical Redirection:
The water from your driveway can also be redirected to places where it will natural soak away such as a lawned area or a purpose built soakaway.
This requires a grading of the driveway towards these areas and to prevent the driveway from having any dips that might be places water can build up.
It is very important to ensure that these areas are large enough to accept enough water to keep your driveway free from run off into the street. Purposely directing water into sewer drains may not be permitted and could prevent your planning permission.
Option No.3: Purpose-Built Drains:
If your driveway is large and the amount of run-off water expected to be great, you may need to build a network of drains within the construction. These drains will usually be towards the edges of the driveway and the drive will be graded towards them.
Pipework will then take the water to a soakaway or to your household drainage system. The drains can also be connected to a rainwater harvesting system to allow you to use this excess water for your garden, flushing your toilet or for other outdoor water uses.
It is easy to see that choosing the right material and drainage options for your driveway is key to protecting the environment and providing a safe and protective surface for your home!
Resin Bound Surfacing: The SUDS Compliant Solution
It is clear that it is important to consider drainage as part of your driveway construction and the easiest way is to simply choose a material that will do the job for you without needing to create special drainage systems.
Resin bound provides the best way to do this. It has many advantages over other porous materials:
● Resin bound driveways combine resin and aggregate together before it is laid onto a prepared asphalt surface. This means that each stone is coated with the resin, leaving gaps for water to penetrate through. This makes it a great option for preventing standing water.
● Resin bound driveways can be built to almost any colour that you wish, while concrete and asphalt come into just two rather plain choices. You can choose the aggregate stone that you love and even have the mix dyed to suit your tastes.
● Resin bound driveways are long lasting and are not prone to cracking. The surface is flexible and will not crack like asphalt or concrete. In fact it has been shown to last as long as 30 years – looking great for all of that time.
● Resin bound driveways are quick to lay and dry within hours. They can be laid over an existing (but perfect) asphalt base or a simple base will be provided by your contractor. Your driveway can be transformed within days.
It is easy to see that choosing the right material and drainage options for your driveway is key to protecting the environment and providing a safe and protective surface for your home.
By making the right choices you are also staying within the law and giving your home a fantastic makeover. Just ask your contractor for the right advice for drainage for your new driveway and see what fits your budget.
Don’t let driving rain put a dampener on your dreams-talk to our team instead! Take the first step to creating a resilient resin surface today by calling 0800 1700 636, or by simply clicking the button below!