How to Lessen the Incline of a Concrete Driveway

An inclined concrete driveway.
  • 15-30 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 3,500-15,000
What You'll Need
Measuring tape
String and stakes
Coarse sand
Gravel fill
Compression roller
Lawn sod
Several helpers
Landscape cloth for preventing erosion

If your existing concrete driveway is cracking and splitting because it was poured on too steep an incline, you really have no alternative but to remove it and start again. You will need to hire a contractor to remove the existing concrete. Once that is done, you can lower the incline of the driveway yourself with some heavy equipment, and resurface the driveway yourself if it is not too long.

Step 1 - Determine the Incline of Your Existing Driveway

Measure the length of the driveway and the height from the top of the driveway down to the street level. If the slope of your driveway is over 7% and you want to recover it in concrete, you will need to lessen the incline.

Step 2 - Remove the Old Concrete

Hire a contracting company to do this task safely, quickly and effectively. You may also want to use their services to pour the concrete for your new driveway. Ask them lots of questions about the incline of the concrete driveway, and for their suggestions as to how you can best fix the problem.

Step 3 - Determine the New Incline You Want for Your Driveway

Work out the maximum height from street level that your concrete driveway can reach for a 7% slope. Dig a trench at the top of your driveway on the side farthest from the house, down to that maximum height. Work out how much soil you will need to remove, and arrange for the dirt to be taken away for recycling. If you want to keep some of it, arrange storage in your back yard. Order the quantities of sand and gravel you will need to make a properly compacted base for the new driveway.

Step 4 - Dig Out the New Driveway

Mark with string and stakes the entire length of the driveway that needs to be removed. Rent a backhoe and driver for the day and arrange an early start. Be sure the net incline of the new driveway when dug will not exceed 7%, and that you have allowed a base 8 inches deep for your new driveway.

Step 5 - Level the Subsurface with Proper Drainage Sloping

You will need to create a slightly convex surface in the new driveway so that water runs off it down the drive and away from the foundation of your house. Mound the soil and compress it down the appropriate side to create the drainage slope.

Step 6 - Add the Stabilizing Fill and Compress It

Add the gravel and sand to a loose depth of 6 inches, then run over it with the compression roller to compact it firmly. Measure again to ensure you have a depth of 4 inches on top of the compressed fill to pour the concrete.

Step 7 - Build Forms and Pour Concrete for Your New Driveway

Measure and lay out the concrete forms for your driveway. Order the concrete and arrange for pouring as soon as possible.