Homeowners typically pick gravel driveways because they are easy to install and affordable and can be designed into unique patterns and colors using varying types of gravel. A professional paving contractor should be consulted when installing a gravel driveway, as meticulous drainage planning is required to ensure the driveway doesn't flood or wash out after heavy rains. Once installed, the driveway will require regular maintenance to stay solid and intact. Read on for regular care tips for your gravel driveway to help prevent it from turning into a crumbling mess.
General driveway care
To keep your gravel driveway looking great, you need to clear it of debris and weeds on a regular basis. Use a rake to remove leaves, twigs, and other debris that will not only litter your driveway but also obstruct the free flow of rainwater. You should also apply weed killer to the surface of the gravel to prevent the eyesore of weeds sprouting all over your driveway.
With time, gravel will often get dislodged by vehicle/foot traffic and running water, leading to prematurely thinned-out areas on the surface. To reduce this, avoid driving at high speeds on the driveway and enhance the drainage periodically. You can also consider adding pavers or decorative stones to line the edges of the driveway so as to keep the gravel intact while adding to the overall appeal of the structure. Contact someone like George Kostakis for information on your options for pavers.
Should you notice potholes or ruts on your driveway, fill them with new gravel and have a fresh layer of gravel added every two years or so for a healthy, long-lasting driveway.
Smoothing and grading
Poor grading on a gravel driveway can cause numerous problems, including washouts and surface runoff that can plague your driveway with ruts and potholes. To prevent such issues, periodically run a grader blade on the surface to move displaced gravel back to the center of the driveway. This will level out the surface, improve drainage significantly, and cut down on the costs for buying new gravel.
Smoothing the driveway using a box scraper can also greatly improve your driveway's performance. The box scraper typically picks up gravel until the box is full and then redistributes it evenly over the surface, helping to scrape high points and fill in low points. Your local driveway paver can help you adjust the scraper to the right height and angle so as to avoid damaging the driveway and achieve improved grading.
With a bit of foresight and planning, you can easily keep your gravel driveway in great shape for many years to come.