How to Repair a Gravel Drive
Gravel driveways come with numerous advantages. They’re highly affordable, environmentally friendly, and can have a lifespan up to 100 years. However, ensuring your gravel drive withstands the test of time requires regular maintenance. Take advantage of these tips to reduce your workload and secure a smooth ride for years to come.
Simple Tips for Gravel Driveway Repair & Maintenance
Often a gravel driveway is the only pathway in and out of your property. If it falls into disrepair it slows down your work costing you both time and money. Thankfully, simple maintenance and regular repairs are the biggest keys to long-term reliability.
To ward off large-scale repairs you’ll want to inspect your gravel drive often. As you use the driveway on a daily basis, be on the lookout for uneven surfaces and small potholes starting to develop. While it might be tempting to move gravel from another section of the driveway to fill the potholes, this will only shift the problem and weaken other sections.
Instead, dig out the entire section surrounding the pothole and fill with progressive layers of fresh gravel. Each layer should be compacted as it’s added for maximum strength. This can be accomplished by driving a heavy vehicle back and forth over the repaired section. Keeping a fresh pile of covered gravel nearby makes it easy to address these small repairs as they emerge.
Though gravel driveways provide excellent drainage properties, water damage can quickly erode a solid foundation. To prevent water from pooling and creating potholes, keep the drive higher in the center -- also known as a crown -- so water runs down and away. Something as simple as raking the drive weekly and removing stray weeds will go a long way in maintaining the shape.
If you find water is pooling at the edges of the drive, additional drainage trenches can be used to divert water to other areas of the property. With the right digging equipment you can implement a long-term solution to prevent substantial water damage when a big storm hits.
If you’re in a climate where the rainy season moves right into the snowy season, make sure you’re adjusting your maintenance approach accordingly. The freezing and thawing of ice doesn’t wreak havoc on a gravel driveway in the same way it does asphalt or concrete, but extra care must be taken when removing snow.
When using a snow blower, adjust the machine to avoid direct contact with the ground so gravel doesn’t get moved and scattered. The same applies if you’re using a front hitch snow blade. This extra attention to detail will save you significant time and effort on maintenance come spring.
Resurfacing a Gravel Drive
As with any job, having the right tools is critically important. When potholes start piling up despite your best efforts, it’s time to resurface your gravel driveway. Depending on the condition of the drive, this typically calls for a 1-3” layer of gravel. To spread the fresh layer of gravel evenly and effectively requires a tractor with a box blade or grading scraper attachment. The new gravel should be worked toward the center to establish a crown -- a high point that runs lengthwise down the center of the drive -- for proper drainage. Finish off the job by installing edging that will keep the newly grated gravel in place and looking fresh.
Yanmar Tractor Equipment for Repairing a Gravel Drive
With the proper repairs and regular maintenance, a gravel driveway can last a lifetime. Whether you’re starting from scratch or keeping up with regular repairs, these tractor attachments will help you with the heavy lifting.
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