Because they are affordable and easy to maintain, gravel driveways are very popular in certain areas. Gravel is the preferred material for driveways and roads in rural areas. Many homes have gravel driveways that lead to concrete garage floors.
Gravel is a much more affordable option for long driveways than other materials. It can also last generations with proper maintenance.
- Low cost
- Simple to maintain
- Gravel can also be replenished
- Drain well
- Compacts work well
- Potholes can be easily fixed with additional gravel
Simple to maintain
Gravel can also be replenished
Potholes can be easily fixed with additional gravel
- Gravel can be washed away
- Gravel can be a good place for weeds to grow
- Not a premium driveway material
- It is difficult to snowplow
- It is difficult to clean
- Potholes are quickly developed
Gravel can be washed away
Gravel can be a good place for weeds to grow
Not a premium driveway material
It is difficult to snowplow
It is difficult to clean
Potholes are quickly developed
Gravel for Driveways
Gravel can be defined as any rock or stone larger than sand, but smaller than cobble. It can have a diameter of approximately 1/10 to 2 1/2 inches.
Gravel used to make driveways is usually a mixture of clay, sand, or rocks. This mixture is more stable than plain rocks because it can be compacted better.
Although coarse gravel and stone paving are meant to allow water to flow through them, gravel driveways of other types can be designed to retain water just like concrete or asphalt.
Who is Gravel Driveway best for?
Gravel driveways are best for rural homes, but they can also be used in urban areas. To capture any gravel stray bits, it is a good idea to create a buffer zone around your gravel driveway.
Gravel driveways can be very flexible and accommodating if your property is susceptible to movement. Because gravel driveways are more cost-effective than asphalt or concrete, owners of large properties prefer gravel driveways.
Gravel driveways are not as effective for properties that require frequent snowplowing and scraping. The plow tends also to pick up gravel.
Before laying a gravel driveway, check with your local building department. You may not be allowed to use gravel on small lots in some urban areas.
Maintaining a Gravel Driveway
Regular maintenance is required for gravel driveways, which are more expensive than asphalt or concrete driveways. Regular maintenance is essential to ensure a gravel driveway’s optimal performance and prevent expensive replacements. Gravel surfaces should be graded at least once per year, depending on how heavy traffic they receive.
Even with normal use, gravel driveways can easily develop potholes and dips. Gravel driveways will be more damaged if you turn your vehicle around or do other vigorous activities such as turning it around. These potholes and dips are very easy to fix. Most homeowners can fill potholes quickly with a shovel and a nearby pile of gravel.
Potholes and dips need to be filled as soon as possible. This will prevent them from growing deeper and larger. Larger potholes require larger tools. To grade the surface and compact new gravel, heavy equipment is required, such as a tractor equipped with a bucket, grader and a bucket.
A gravel driveway has one major drawback: they are harder to plow and clear with a snowblower. It is not possible to clean the gravel surface with a scraper, but it can be done with solid materials without having to displace the gravel. Even with your best efforts, gravel can become displaced over winter. This must be replaced or moved onto the driveway.
How long will a gravel driveway last?
A gravel driveway can last as long as 100 years if it is maintained and taken care of properly. Gravel can be maintained and repaired on a regular basis. Concrete driveways and asphalt can be damaged and worn out, and it is more expensive to replace than to repair.
Gravel is less susceptible to frost heave cycles or seasonal freeze-thaw cycles. These can cause serious cracking and settlement in solid driveway materials.
What is the Cost of a Gravel Driveway?
A gravel driveway’s cost can range from $1 per square feet to more than $3 per square. A gravel driveway is the cheapest driveway that you can make, even at the highest end.
The distance the gravel must be hauled is a major factor in discrepancy. The driveway’s thickness is another factor.
How is a Gravel Driveway built?
A dump truck can unload crushed rock and create a basic gravel driveway. You can move gravel by hand, or with motorized equipment like a mini-track loader or stand-on skid steer.
This gravel driveway is much easier to build than a concrete driveway. Concrete driveways require concrete forms, setting and tying concrete rebar and ordering concrete from a truck.
- Can it be DIY-built?
- It may be possible to build over time
- Concrete is more efficient than infrastructure
- Are you ready to drive immediately?
Can it be DIY-built?
It may be possible to build over time
Concrete is more efficient than infrastructure
Are you ready to drive immediately?
- This is not a DIY project.
- Time-sensitive job
- Forms and rebar are required
- Curing time is required
This is not a DIY project.
Forms and rebar are required
Curing time is required
A gravel driveway is a more expensive option than a concrete driveway. However, the driveway will last longer and require less maintenance.
- The topsoil has been removed.
- The soil below the topsoil has been compacted.
- Geotextile fabric can be laid as an option.
- A layer of four inches of fist-sized stones is placed above the fabric.
- Next is a layer of gravel approximately 4 inches in size.
- The third layer is made up of marble-sized gravel.
- Also, the driveway is shaped with a crown in its center to allow water to flow off to either side.
Before adding the next layer, each layer must be compacted well.