Gravel is a popular choice for residential driveways and gravel driveway maintenance is an important part of maintaining your investment. The material is extremely environmentally friendly, offers users a great deal of freedom in designing their drive, is visually appealing and is very affordable.
Even so, many homeowners have concerns about how much time and money they’ll need to invest in the actual care of a gravel driveway. Contrary to what you may think, though, gravel driveways don’t have to be a huge headache.
By following these tips and tricks you’ll have the ability to maintain your driveway and continue loving it on a budget you can afford.
1) Clear Debris
One major gripe that people have with their gravel driveways has to do with cosmetics. Because gravel offers a loose fill solution for surfacing the drive, it can be possible for leaves, blown grass, sticks and similar debris to become stuck between the stones at times which, if not tended to, can quickly become an eyesore.
Fortunately, this is one of the easiest and most affordable means of caring for your driveway. By simply taking the time to regularly rake out the driveway, you can effectively remove the unsightly debris. In most cases, a leaf blower can also be used for this purpose.
2) Keep Things Level
It’s important that your gravel driveway remains level. After the gravel has been frequently driven and walked upon it’s not uncommon for it to become displaced. Some areas of the driveway may end up with a lot more gravel than others.
This can create numerous issues. Not only does it not look good, but it can also create an unsafe surface to traverse and can make the stones more prone to damages from runoff water. As in the case of clearing debris, these issues can be easily corrected by simply implementing a regimen of regularly raking out the drive.
3) Correct Water-Related Issues
Water can wreak havoc on a gravel driveway. When these problems are left unaddressed they can create very costly issues. If the driveway doesn’t have a proper drainage system you may notice that after rain and snow, your gravel has been washed away from the driveway, potholes have formed or that flooding is occurring. Completely excavating the driveway and fixing the issue is obviously the most expensive solution, but there are other ways to improve conditions.
One thing you can do is add more gravel to the top of the driveway so that it is higher than the ground around it, or to keep the driveway higher in the center than the sides in order to help water run off to the desired location. A swale leading to a french drain system is another possible answer. Finally, check along the driveway for the berm. This buildup of soil along the driveway can create a dam that allows for pooling. Clearing out this area will make a significant difference in the functionality of your drive.
4) Keep Gravel In Place
Got a problem with gravel constantly being kicked around or displaced by your car or truck? Many homeowners find themselves frustrated by these issues – especially when the stone becomes dislodged and scatters into the yard.
5) Filling in Low Points and Pot Holes
One of the biggest mistakes that people make with their gravel driveways is in the way that they address any low points or potholes. The “quick fix” solution is to simply take gravel from one area and fill another in with it.
All this will accomplish is to create further weak spots that can become even more expensive. The smarter thing to do is to ensure that you have an extra supply of gravel on hand that you can use to fill in holes. Be sure to rake out the area and only introduce a bit of gravel at a time, compacting each layer.
6) Get It Right the First Time
There’s no substitute for a proper driveway installation. If you haven’t already constructed your gravel driveway, you can prevent a lot of common problems right from the beginning. Always make sure that landscaping fabric is laid along the bottom and edges of the excavated area so that you can avoid issues with weed growth. You also must make certain that the driveway offers ample drainage.
This will ensure that your driveway will serve your needs for many years without creating expensive problems. Braen Stone is one of the top suppliers of gravel throughout parts of NJ, NY and PA. We’re happy to provide you with additional tips on affordably maintaining your gravel driveway and providing you with the materials that you need for competitive wholesale prices.