The previous owner had a contractor install an asphalt driveway which is higher than the side entrance concrete pad. This apparently made it easier for him to enter the house, but also allowed rain water to pool at the entrance with no place to go.

Nearby dirt becomes mud and freezes in winter and takes forever to evaporate in summer and allows mud to be brought into the house. I would like to get ahead of the spring rains and resolve the water and mud. I assume that lowering the height of asphalt is something a DIY (like me) can handle.

The driveway is in really bad shape and it is probably 35 years old. How can I best achieve this and is there a need for any rental equipment to reduce the labor to a sustainable level?

  • 7
    Photographs and a more complete description would help. A narrow gravel drive and a 30 by 30 foot square pad of reinforced concrete call for somewhat different approaches. Installing a channel (aka trench) drain might be the easiest approach if there is someplace for it to drain to.
    – HABO
    Commented Mar 7, 2023 at 4:24
  • sounds like an X-Y problem - let's try to understand the water problem. If the driveway is holding back water, a drain will be much easier than lowering a concrete slab.
    – Tiger Guy
    Commented Mar 7, 2023 at 20:49
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    Your assumption is faulty. One does not "lower" asphalt. It needs to be completely removed and replaced. Given that, your question isn't clear.
    – isherwood
    Commented Mar 8, 2023 at 16:31
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    In fact, the whole situation is unclear. How does a raised driveway help with access if the sidewalk is lower? Please post a photo of the entire area. Maybe raising the sidewalk is a better strategy.
    – isherwood
    Commented Mar 8, 2023 at 16:33

2 Answers 2


If you want to lower the driveway by 6 inches it would be a major digging job.

Renting the heavy tools to remove 20 feet of the old driveway.

Level the soil to needed slope.

Proceed with the steps of laying down new concrete.

For that reason, consider other less invasive (repair) options.


Pick, shovel, & wheelbarrow.

Giant road grinder and dumptruck for it to spew into.

Or anything in between.

Without more details I'd be inclined to agree with the comment that there might be considerably less drastic ways to solve a water drainage issue (which it's not clear you even have, since you say it could seep into the basement, not that it is doing so.)


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