Gravel driveway maintenance is an important part of the investment that you have made in your property. These affordable yet beautiful types of drives can help to enhance the overall appearance of any property, and offer users a great amount of flexibility and freedom. To ensure that your drive continues to offer these benefits for a long period of time, you have to take the proper steps for upkeep.
Despite the many misconceptions about the amount of difficulty that goes into gravel driveway maintenance, it’s a lot easier than you might suspect.
Take a look at the five simple things that need to be done in order to keep your gravel drive looking and functioning perfectly.
1. Perform Regular Raking
One of the simplest yet most effective tools used in gravel driveway maintenance is a standard yard rake. Here in NJ, NY, and our neighboring locales, we are frequently subject to periods of rain and wind which can cause leaves, grass, sticks and other debris to be blown into the driveway and become lodged between the gravel.
When left unattended, this can make the driveway extremely unsightly, more difficult to walk and drive upon smoothly and more challenging to address other issues in the future.
You can make things much easier on yourself by establishing a regular raking regimen. By taking just a few moments of your time you can get rid of debris and also ensure that the driveway is remaining level.
2. Monitor and Improve Drainage
Some of the biggest problems that homeowners face with their gravel driveways have to do with water. After a downpour, you might notice that there’s a great deal of flooding or pooling in the low points of the gravel drive, or that an excessive amount of water is flowing across the gravel.
This may indicate that your driveway has some drainage issues. In most cases, this type of problem can be corrected by filling in low patches with more gravel.
The best thing to do is to make sure that the entire driveway has enough gravel that it is higher than the ground surrounding it. This will prevent water from running off the lawn and spilling onto the drive.
Finally, check the edges of your driveway for berm – especially if the water-related problems seem new. Over time, soil can build up along the edges of a gravel driveway and create a kind of dam where water will pool and cause damage. Simply clearing these areas out will do wonders.
3. Fix Potholes
Potholes can be a real pain in the neck if you don’t know how to remedy the issue. You should be aware that proper gravel driveway maintenance does not involve taking stone aggregate from one area of the driveway to correct problems in another part.
This “quick fix” solution will actually only give you more of a headache in the long run. Potholes develop due to weak points, and by dragging stone from other parts of the driveway you’ll only be creating another weak spot.
Instead, you should rake gravel out and away from the pothole so that you have plenty of room to introduce new aggregate into the low point. Be sure to compact the stone as you go.
4. Keep Things Fresh
Even if you don’t have potholes, it’s not uncommon for gravel to become displaced after being subject to regular traffic.
In order to keep the driveway looking lovely and to ensure that it remains at the proper depth levels, it’s a good idea to apply a fresh, thin layer of gravel to the surface of the drive each spring.
5. Take Extra Care in Winter
Concerned about how to remove snow from your gravel driveway? The good news is that gravel actually offers a lot of traction, so even with a thin layer of snow (1-2″), most homeowners are able to manage to safely drive across the surface.
This also means that it’s possible to adjust your plowing or shoveling methods to leave 1″ of snow and not be required to displace the actual gravel. Come spring, you will apply your fresh new layer and be good to go for another year.
Other Gravel Driveway Maintenance Tips
- Weeds – Avoid problems related to weed growth by applying landscaping fabric during driveway installations and regularly spraying edges with weed killer.
- Edging – Help keep stones on the driveway and off of the grass by edging the perimeter.
- Ask an Expert – Do you have other questions about how to properly care for your gravel driveway? Feel free to visit or give us a call. The professionals at Braen Stone are happy to help you resolve any problems you may be having. We have all of the materials you need for property gravel driveway maintenance at the most competitive prices throughout parts of NJ, NY and PA.