5 Maintenance Needs For Gravel Driveways
A gravel driveway is a low-cost alternative to paving, which is why they are so popular for longer driveways and in rural areas. Gravel can also have a long working life, but some regular maintenance is necessary.
1. Periodic Grading
A gravel driveway should be slightly higher in the center and slope down toward the drainage areas on the perimeter. Over time gravel driveways begin to lose their shape, though. Signs you need to grade include water standing on the driveway, severe rut and pothole issues, or bad washboard formation. Your repair tech will break up the badly compacted gravel and then rake everything smooth. Finally, they will grade it all so that the driveway is shaped properly for water to run off without causing damage.
2. Pothole Repairs
Potholes form just as easily in gravel drives as they do in asphalt or concrete, but they are much easier to fix. The process involves removing any organic matter that is collected in the hole, then filling it with fresh gravel fill. Then the repair tech uses a tamping tool to pack down and level the area.
3. Drainage Management
Drainage is key to keeping a gravel drive in great condition. Most driveways have drainage ditches bordering one or both sides. There may also be culverts that route water under the drive, or interior drains that provide drainage at low spots such as where the gravel dips down to meet neighboring pavement. Over time, drains can fill with debris and become blocked, but your driveway service can clear them out and get them working properly again.
4. Rut Filling
Ruts often begin to appear in spring as a result of a winter of snow plowing or from washouts caused by heavy early season rains. These low spots become major problem areas as water will fill them and create mud holes, which will eventually become potholes that can compromise the entire driveway. A gravel drive maintenance service will fill in the ruts with fresh gravel, taking the time to compact it into place so that the ruts don't form again quickly.
5. Root Removal
A tree-lined driveway is beautiful, but any trees or shrubs growing near the drive can be a problem. Tree roots can grow beneath the gravel base material, and then eventually they may try to push upward through the driveway surface. This results in bumps and lumps that have to be driven over, plus the roots will slowly destroy the driveway. Your service tech can severe the roots from the tree so they no longer cause problems. They will then install an underground root barrier along the side of the drive so no new roots grow beneath the driveway.
Contact a gravel driveway company such as E Cooper Contracting to discuss any maintenance needs for your driveway.