The landscaping on either side of your driveway or private road is known as the drive side. Most driveways and roads are somewhat elevated so that water drains safely away and doesn't pose a hazard or damage the paving. Unfortunately, that means the flowing water can wreak havoc on your landscaping within the drive side.
Causes of Drive Side Erosion
Drive side erosion can occur on only one side of the drive, or it may occur on both sides. It all depends on how the driveway is graded. Wider driveways are often graded so that the center is slightly higher than both sides, so you end up with water running off on both sides of the paving. Narrow drives may have one higher edge and another slightly lower edge, so erosion is primarily only a concern on the lower edge.
Rainfall and snowmelt are the most likely causes of severe erosion since these weather events can cause a lot of water to quickly run off the driveway and into the landscaping. Irrigation can be another cause, though, especially if your system sprays over or onto the driveway as well as onto the neighboring landscaped areas.
Erosion control must begin with some preventative techniques. Otherwise, the erosion won't just damage the landscape, it can eat away at the road base and cause damage to the driveway. Installation of a drainage ditch can route water away to a storm drain, but it isn't the most attractive solution. Ditches can also be difficult to maintain unless you line them with landscaping fabric and rocks to create a weed-free creek bed.
Another option is to install drains. Perforated drain pipes, also called drain tiles or french drains, are installed underground on the downslope side or sides of the drive. Gravel is installed on top. Moisture drains through the gravel and into the drain, where it is routed away safely.
Your landscaping choices are also important. If you install drains, then you can put a thin layer of soil on top of the gravel. Grow low-maintenance ground cover plants, like creeping thyme, to anchor the soil in place. Just make sure that the groundcover you choose can withstand periodic high water flowing through its roots.
Flower beds are another option. Just make sure to keep the bare soil between the flowers well mulched with a rock mulch or heavy bark nuggets. Otherwise, the water flowing off the drive can wash away the soil.
Contact an erosion control service if you need more help with preventing erosion on the sides of your driveway or private road.Share