A bit of a two-part question. I had a new driveway put in this week. The sides of the driveway are exposed still after the forms were removed and I wonder whether I need to rush to fill that in so rainwater doesn't seep under the driveway. It also makes me question why the contractor didn't fill that in himself.

There is only about eight inches of slope from the garage door to the street. There is an attached concrete porch so they put a slight swale at the top by the garage to help direct some of the water to one side of the driveway and I'm wondering if it might be wise to make a french drain or some such so it doesn't create a hole in the dirt on one side from water runoff. But then we're back to the original question about whether that water would work its way under the driveway. I'm really not sure this is an issue to be concerned about.

  • 1
    A picture or two would be very helpful here.
    – Michael Karas
    Jul 30, 2017 at 12:14
  • I thought so, too. I'll do that asap.
    – Rob
    Jul 30, 2017 at 12:16
  • Rainwater seeping under the driveway is Not A Problem. Rainwater washing the dirt/gravel/stone/sub-base out from under the driveway would be a problem. It would be highly unusual for there NOT to be water in the soil under your driveway. Should I also mention that your (evidently concrete) driveway will benefit considerably if you mist it regularly to keep it damp for at least a month, for proper curing?
    – Ecnerwal
    Jul 30, 2017 at 12:41

1 Answer 1


I suppose in the US for a normal concrete job, filling around the outside of where the forms were is not part of the concrete contractor's scope of work. This would be done by the home owner who, if he's flush, might hire a landscaping contractor. Where I live people would fill and sod with turfgrass.

I am not a fan of French drains, but prefer surface flow. In Dallas TX I see some people spending a lot on "French drains" to redirect water around slab foundations when in my view the surface should be contoured to do this.

If you sod along the driveway, be sure to avoid over filling. I think you want the level of the soil to be about an inch or so below the surface of the driveway. This includes the soil that comes with the sod. This prevents soil eroding onto the driveway.

  • Interesting point of view concerning piped drainage vs surface flow
    – elrobis
    Nov 9, 2017 at 17:28

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