Driveway flooding from lack of drainage

9 Replies

Good Morning. I have been viewing the site, reading information on the forums, and reading books from BiggerPockets. I am looking in to getting in to real estate and am trying to take in as much knowledge as possible. I have a question about a scenario that I would like to ask the members of the forum.

I have a friend who lives in Pennsylvania. She rents a single family home. The home has a front door and a side door. The side door exits into the driveway. The problem is that the driveway continually floods directly outside the side door whenever it rains or the snow melts. This seems like more of a nuisance but, in Pennsylvania winters, it freezes over and becomes a 200sq/ft ice rink.

At this point, I would consider this a serious safety issue. The landlord refuses to correct the problem and she is looking to see if there is any action she can take to get this resolved. Does anyone have input on what options are available to her?

Thank you.

Her best option would be to move otherwise suggest to the landlord that she would be willing to pay for the cost to regrade the laneway.

She should move or use the front door. If I rented a place and there was something I considered a safety issue, and the landlord wouldn't repair it, I would move somewhere else

Considering that is a gravel driveway, the problem is probably easily solved with some drain tile and a couple of catch basins, but if the landlord doesn't want to do it I personally think that's his/her preference (dumb, but whatever). 

Would this be something that could be noted by a safety inspector? In other words, if I owned this property would I be forced to remedy this?

Thank you for the input. In my mind, I wouldn't see this as anything different than a missing hand railing or a blocked fire exit. But then again, I don't have the experience that most of you have.

It there a basement? any moisture / mold issues down there? 

I would think water like this against foundation could cause problems but I'm not a expert.

Interesting what his insurance company would think. the Ice hazard is huge, but hard to find out who his carrier I bet, his insurance company could make him do the adjustment to the driveway. 

Are the gutter's working, have they been cleaned out? .. can longer extension down spouts be added to move water away, that's a really low cost fix,  for regular season but winter not so much. 

Yup or she could move... 


Great points. Thank you for the suggestions. I will look in to them.

@Jeffrey M. To answer your real, she can not force him to correct it by calling code enforcement/building dept, etc.

Thank you Wayne.

If this was my property, I would re-gravel the driveway grading it away from the house and put a French drain between the side of the driveway and the neighbors house.  The grading is necessary to keep water away from the foundation, and the French drain is necessary to keep the water away from the neighbors foundation.  But, I dont know how rain-runoff ties into the city sewers since i cant see how the driveway meets the road.  Simply re-grading the driveway will just displace the water causing other problems.

 I think @Deanna McCormick makes a good point by seeing if the downspouts can be modified to put the water elsewhere.

If the landlord doesn't want to do anything about it, I would recommend she move. 

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