The steps to my back porch are connected directly to my driveway. However, the paved section of the driveway leading to the steps is improperly sloped. This leads to pooling at the bottom of the steps. This is inconvenient and I'm also worried about damage when water is sitting against the wood steps for extended periods.

Any suggestions on how I can regrade slightly to drain away from the steps? I've considered getting some asphalt cold patch so I can match the look of the driveway, but I'm unsure if it will hold up for this use.

Water pooling

  • 1
    Usually when we talk about re-grading we're referring to the soil around the fixed obstacles. Create a shallow trench along the line between the grass and the mulch to some low area. Water runs downhill. There's not much more to say from this tiny glimpse into the topography of your neighborhood. :)
    – isherwood
    Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 19:05
  • @isherwood I assume you're referring to the area off to the right of the steps? I suppose if I dug down a foot or so and replaced the bottom few inches with gravel, that might do the trick. Commented Apr 19, 2021 at 13:27
  • You're not creating a water pit, you're creating a slope. Doesn't much matter what's underneath.
    – isherwood
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 0:22
  • @isherwood I see what you're suggesting now although I don't think that will work with the way the asphalt is sloped in that area. It's hard to tell from the photo. Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 0:41

1 Answer 1


Yes, you could try the asphalt patch but after a few winter freezes, it would crack and crumble.

A better, more permanent solution would be to dig out about 12 square feet in front of your stairs, about a 3.5' x 3.5' area. Regrade it to eliminate the pooling and install patio stones/pavers. You'd loose some asphalt but it's not that great to look at and you'd have a nice landing at the base of the stairs.

  • I might actually just do the patch anyway for now since that's obviously much easier. But this seems like a great idea for a more permanent solution. Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 21:26
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    A nice summer project when the ground is softer.
    – JACK
    Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 21:37
  • Very true. This would be easily doable in a day depending on how much trouble I run into breaking up the asphalt. Commented Apr 19, 2021 at 13:25

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