Home > Ask Our Experts > Would a Soakaway Prevent a Garage Flooding?

Would a Soakaway Prevent a Garage Flooding?

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 10 Aug 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Soakaway Contractor Driveway Drive

Q.

I would really appreciate your advice on a problem I have with a newly laid drive. A contractor has installed a patterned concrete drive, which floods my garage every time it rains. Even though the drive naturally falls away from the garage, he has laid the concrete too thick in front of the garage causing a lot of rainwater to enter the garage.

As the only manhole cover is in the middle of the drive, he cannot channel a drain in to this without digging up the drive, so he has offered to install a soakaway directly in front of the garage. Is this a suitable option?

(Mr J M, 18 December 2008)

A.

It is likely, to be honest, that the contractor is trying to fob you off with a bodge job to fix an error on his part, and you shouldn't stand for it.

What is a Soakaway?

A soakaway is basically a trench filled with a semi-permeable substance or structure which can collect excess water and slow it down on its way to the water table. Many people think it's a pit with some gravel and, for gardens with a mild Drainage Problems, that can work. But a modern soakaway is more likely to be an open chamber with holes or slots at strategic intervals in the sides.

The contractor should put a proper soakaway in an investigation pit dug to find out how far down the water table is, to make sure it is a variable option. Assuming it is, then calculations taking the area that needs draining (perhaps not the whole of the driveway, depending on the Fall Of The Drive) and the average rate of rain fall in storm conditions (generally a figure or 5cm per hour in the UK) will give the necessary volume of the soakaway.

Given that your contractor had apparently not done the correct calculations when setting the levels on the driveway (or you wouldn’t be in this mess), it seems unlikely that he will be approaching this soakaway solution professionally either.

Consumer Rights

You are probably aware that the correct thing to do is to ask the contractor to relay the drive properly, or refund you so that you can get someone else in to do it. Go to the Citizens Advice Bureau, where you can get help to set out your arguments and get what's rightly yours.

If you don’t feel able to do this, then a better solution than a soakaway might be to take up the concrete that's been put down close to the garage and re-lay it with a drainage channel (or more than one) to a run-off on one or both sides of the garage.

Drainage Options

Not being able to see the site makes it hard to know if this would work, though. If it would, and the drive is new, then the contractor ought to be able to relay the re-contoured section without it showing as a patch. He will need to be careful to take the concrete up at the joins in the pattern then match the new again, and how successful this is will depend on the pattern, but also the level of skill and amount of preparation put into it.

Past experience makes it improbable that the appropriate levels of skill and preparation will be deployed though.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Rose - Your Question:
Moved into a bungalow last year with a tarmac driveway that slopes towards the garage. There is a soakaway across the front of the garage but recent downpours have caused garage to flood each time. Water runs off the road and straight down the drive. Are our council likely to look favourably on a request to put a drain in front of our drive to help prevent the flooding. If so, which department should we contact. Thankyou.

Our Response:
Talk to your water company first and tell them that your soakaway isn't coping with the amount of water running off the highway. They should be able to give you some suggestions/recommendations.
DrivewayExpert - 14-Aug-18 @ 10:25 AM
Moved into a bungalow last year with a tarmac driveway that slopes towards the garage.There is a soakaway across the front of the garage but recent downpours have caused garage to flood each time.Water runs off the road and straight down the drive.Are our council likely to look favourably on a request to put a drain in front of our drive to help prevent the flooding.If so, which department should we contact. Thankyou.
Rose - 10-Aug-18 @ 5:41 PM
Forestgump - Your Question:
I live in a semi detached house with my neighbour being on higher ground than me. My neighbour has decided to replace his garden and drive with a resin finiish (currently under construction). The current construction would suggest that any excess water would be filtered through a shared guttering drain. My concerns are that this would overburden the existing gutter drain and I would have a pool of water at the front of my house due to being on lower ground. Please can you advise before I raise my concerns with my neighbour.

Our Response:
Anyone installing a resin drive, should provide adequate drainage. If you feel that the neighbour has not made sufficient arrangements for this, have a word and ask them about it.
DrivewayExpert - 25-Jun-18 @ 2:17 PM
I live in a semi detachedhouse with myneighbour being on higher ground than me. My neighbour has decided to replace his garden and drive with a resin finiish (currently under construction). The current construction would suggest that any excess water would be filtered through a shared guttering drain. My concerns are that this would overburden the existing gutter drain and I would have a pool of water at the front of my house due to being on lower ground.Please can you advise before Iraise my concerns with my neighbour.
Forestgump - 23-Jun-18 @ 3:58 AM
PRB - Your Question:
Hi, I have a planning application in currently for an oak framed garage, and the planning officer has questioned the angle of the drive slope from the main gate (rises about 1m over a 15m distance possible). They have demanded a full x-section of the drive. First question is: a) is this proportionate and reasonable for a private dwelling with a 2 bay, and, b) is there any guidance, policy or even restrictions as the what gradients are acceptable/not to be exceeded?PB

Our Response:
There are several building control regulations that could be associated - you can find a list of approved documents here
DrivewayExpert - 31-Jan-18 @ 3:17 PM
Hi,I have a planning application in currently for an oak framed garage, and the planning officer has questioned the angle of the drive slope from the main gate (rises about 1m over a 15m distance possible).They have demanded a full x-section of the drive.First question is: a) is this proportionate and reasonable for a private dwelling with a 2 bay, and, b) is there any guidance, policy or even restrictions as the what gradients are acceptable/not to be exceeded? PB
PRB - 30-Jan-18 @ 11:08 PM
I have the same problem-when it rains hard it fills up my driveway and then comes into the garage.We have tried so many things-ned someone who knows what they are talking about and something not so complicated or expensive.
none - 30-Apr-13 @ 1:55 PM
Great & informative site. We have a gravel drive at the bottom of a public road. Whenever it rains hard it just pours down the road and down our drive, ruining it everytime and creating a big mess. There are stormwater manholes near our drive entrance, but no drains that collect the rainwater before it runs down our drive. I'd like to find a contractor / consultant that can work with us and the local authorities to put a proper drain in at the entrance to our drive to stop all this "public" water ruining our drive & courtyard. How can I find a reliable contractor / consultant for this work? Thank you.
MJN - 19-Jun-12 @ 11:58 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • TheResinMan
    Re: Resin Bound Driveway Surfacing
    MITCH - This is quite unusual as white patches are an indication that moisture is present upon install but shouldn't be…
    11 November 2018
  • TheResinMan
    Re: Resin Bound Driveway Surfacing
    exsigs - With regard to the headlights of your car highlighting inperfections, this is quite normal. You have to understand…
    11 November 2018
  • Improvement
    Re: Considering Drainage on Your Driveway
    Hi do I need driveway permit when the rainwater run off to the road? Regards
    24 October 2018
  • Pipoc
    Re: Planning Permission for Driveways
    30 years ago we closed off a drive and started using a different one, The old drive is still there but it is under soil and…
    17 October 2018
  • sav
    Re: Planning Permission for Driveways
    hi i have a nabour we live on a walk and the highways department have removed the bollards and made a hard standing so my…
    16 October 2018
  • daveo
    Re: Can Gravel be Laid on Top of Tarmac?
    Hello, I have a tarmacked drive which is 25 years old, the same age as the property, it is looking very tired, the…
    12 October 2018
  • Gander
    Re: Planning Permission for Driveways
    I am purchasing a rural property near Chichester.and would like to create an entrance further along the lane from the…
    19 September 2018
  • KellyB
    Re: Resin Bound Driveway Surfacing
    I had resin laid about 6 month ago but I have noticed dips on it where my car tyres have been sat. Is this normal or do I need…
    12 September 2018
  • MITCH
    Re: Resin Bound Driveway Surfacing
    Our resin driveway as been down a couple of years it is red/green and has developed white patches how can we bring the shine back
    3 September 2018
  • TreeFern
    Re: Planning Permission for Driveways
    We want to convert part of our front garden into a driveway, but to access the driveway we would have to drive through a…
    25 August 2018