Choosing the Right Driveway Channel Drain

Driveway and linear drain

A well-chosen driveway channel drain can prevent damage and save a lot of hassle and money for property owners. Excess water can cause damage to concrete on driveways and water damage to the nearby siding. Besides, it can seep into the building’s foundation, basement, or garage. This can cause soil erosion or rot in the building, leading to costly repairs.

But, channel drains, also known as trench drains, can collect and transport excess water out of the area quickly and efficiently.

Novena Church driveway channel drain
Channel drains can be used on both residential and commercial driveways.

Implementing trench drain systems

The first thing to consider when choosing the right driveway channel drain is how it will work as a piece of a larger drainage system. If the area has no other drainage system, then a driveway channel drain can simply be emptied at a drainage point. 

However, if the property already has or is going to have a larger drainage system, a driveway channel drain can form an integral piece of this system. Driveway channel drains provide a bridge across an otherwise difficult to cross part of the hardscape. Or, they can simply direct the flow of water coming from a house’s gutter downspout.

They can also be paired with other types of drainage solutions, depending on the surrounding areas. For example, tree grates help reduce soil compaction and keep tree roots healthy. This keeps pipes clear and the surrounding soil loose enough to absorb excess water. A combination of drainage tactics can help reduce the amount of water that needs to be drained from the property.

Burjside Boulevard Sump Covers
Channel drains can be paired with other drainage solutions, such as sump covers, to create an efficient drainage system.

There are many possibilities, and adequately considering them can lead to a more unified and efficient drainage system. It’s essential to choose both an appropriate channel and grate for the trench drain system to be effective as well.

Consider the location

After considering the logistics of the drainage system, it is vital to consider the drainage requirements of the location. The specific trench drain needed for an area depends on how that area is used and the local climate and weather conditions. 

The drain needs to be able to redirect a certain amount of water. The flow rate capacity is the amount of water a drain can carry at a particular time. It may need to be higher for areas that will experience a lot of excess water. 

Driveway with snow
Excess water from rain or melting snow can cause damage if not efficiently drained.

It is also beneficial to choose a material that can withstand local weather and climate conditions. Cast iron can increase the temperature of the surrounding areas besides that of the grate itself. Meanwhile, plastic grates may be prone to damage due to freeze-thaw cycles. Look into more weather resistant grate materials, such as Jonite’s reinforced stone. This material is suitable for a variety of conditions. It is also rust and corrosion resistant, making it more durable and easy to maintain. 

Consider the specific driveway

Just as each location is different, each specific driveway is as well. A flat, short driveway will have dramatically different drainage needs than a driveway that slowly slopes up throughout a dozen meters. 

Slope not only affects how fast water travels over the surface but also how the trench drain itself can be situated. A deeper or wider drain may be required to catch water coming off a steeper slope. Consulting with a trench grate manufacturer can lead to an informed choice for the property’s unique situation.

Another primary consideration is what will be traveling over the driveway channel drain grate. A grate that needs to support heavy vehicles will require a more excellent load capacity rating than one exclusively supporting pedestrians. An A15 grate will work for pedestrian areas. However, a driveway should use a grate with a B125 loading class, at a minimum. If larger vehicles, such as delivery vehicles or garbage trucks will use the driveway, a C250 loading class grate may be a better option.

Aesthetics of the perfect driveway channel drain

The grate is a prominent part of the trench grate system. It needs to match the aesthetics of the surrounding landscapes. Trench drains create clean lines across a property line and thus lend themselves well to modern designs. Customizable grates help integrate the drain even more. Choosing a slot design or a color that meets the rest of the property’s look ensures a seamless style transition.

Driveway with linear drain
Trench drains feature clean lines and mesh well with modern designs.

In some locations, it may be necessary to follow regulations, including ADA compliance or design or environmental regulations. Choosing a grate that complies will ensure a functional grate. Be sure to check with local governing bodies if needed. A trench grate manufacturer will be able to help choose a style suiting these needs. 

Final thoughts

Channel drains are an effective way to prevent damage from excess water in driveways. Choosing the right driveway channel drain means selecting a channel and grate combination that will work together in that specific driveway.