HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR GRAVEL DRIVEWAY
There are two main things you have to do to keep your gravel driveway in good condition.
1 - The first is to repair potholes as they form.
2 - The second is to make sure your driveway remains well drained.
Potholes form when puddles are allowed to stay on the driveway. As your tires splash through the pothole the water carries gravel, sand, and other bits of road way out onto your car, and into the grass. Every splash takes a little bit more. As the hole gets bigger, the bigger the splash, the more gravel gets carried away. And so on.
The quick fix is to shovel more gravel into the hole and tap it down. However, this leaves that area less solid that the rest of the driveway, and in addition to the puddle that reforms, the loose gravel will just result in another pothole in the same place. A quick fix pothole repair will not last very long.
The better way to repair your pothole is to get machinery, pick ax, shovels, whatever you have and actually make the pothole bigger, tearing up the whole section. The bigger the better. Then replace the gravel, add more, and pack it down as much as possible.
Packing the gavel down well is the key to long term success. You can rent packing machines from rental stores. Better yet, hire out someone, for example Gavers Pavers, to bring out their rollers to pack all our repaired potholes.
Keeping your driveway well drained is the key to a strong, long lasting road. When the driveway drains there are not any puddles, and no potholes. Instead you keep your gravel on the driveway, not scattered in the grass along the driveway.
Most damage in Wisconsin on gravel driveways is done by snow plows. Plowing snow naturally cuts off the crown or hump down the middle of the driveway. It is important to hire or buy machinery that will pull the gravel back into the middle of the road. This is important to do when it appears that the crown is flattened out.
Similar to this is to keep the edge or shoulder of the driveway lower than the main part of the driveway. Using machinery it is an easy process to keep grass, mounds of dirt and gravel from blocking the drainage of the driveway. If you find a location that always gets a large puddle after a rain, you will find it worth while to excavate the area to allow good drainage. Puddles are the main cause of gravel driveway damage.
When a gravel driveway is installed or repaired it is important that the installation company uses a roller to get good compaction. If you get a bid from a company that does not use rollers look elsewhere. Gavers Pavers always offers rolling as a part of the road installation or repair process. The compaction from a roller will be the base for a good long lasting gravel driveway.
Other causes of damage to gravel driveways.
It is our experience that 18 year old drivers with fast cars or 4x4 also cause damage to gravel driveways. Especially after it rains. If you want a smooth driveway, keep it slow.