Many homeowners choose gravel driveways, especially people living outside of the city. There are many benefits to having a gravel driveway. They are one of the least expensive options, which is especially helpful if you have a long driveway. The tradeoff to this less-expensive option is a bit more routine maintenance. Your gravel driveway will need additional driveway stone every so often in order to maintain a smooth surface. You will also need to add stone to repair potholes and maintain the proper grade for drainage.
Although spring is the optimal time for adding stone to a driveway, adding extra stone and doing some corrective work before winter will save you work in the spring. Now is the time to fill any ruts or potholes and address drainage issues before a winter freeze wreaks havoc on your driveway. Keep reading for reasons to add stone to your driveway to get ready for winter.
Repair Potholes and Low Spots
It is a good idea to repair potholes as soon as you notice them. It is especially important to take care of them before wet winter weather. To repair the pothole, you will need to dig out the area wider and deeper than the original hole. Add a layer of larger coarse stone and compact it. Then add a layer of medium size gravel and pack it down. Top the hole off with a layer of small, crushed stone product and compact. Fill in any other low-lying spots where water collects.
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Grade Your Driveway
Your gravel driveway will require grading at least one or two times per year. Use a grader blade to move gravel from the sides toward the center of the road to maintain a crown. Depending on the width of your driveway, you will want to keep about a ½ inch crown for each foot of width. This will help ensure that any water will drain off your driveway. After you complete the grading, you will want to compact the stone. You can use a roller or drive your vehicle up and down the driveway to set the stone.
This is also a good time to check your drainage ditches for leaves and debris. Clear them as much as possible to keep water away from the driveway. This is especially important for ditches on the high side of your driveway. If you notice a continuation of washouts during wet weather or ruts that keep coming back, you may have drainage issues that require additional corrective measures. These prewinter maintenance steps will help your driveway stay smooth through the winter and lighten your repair needs in the spring.
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If you need more information on which stone products are best for your driveway maintenance, contact Lammon Brothers at (419) 825-5956. We can help you choose the proper driveway stone, determine the amount you need, and deliver it to your site.