Gravel driveways are now becoming more common, compared to having it cemented, which is more expensive. Gravel driveways need to be regularly maintained, as they are prone to weed growth, formation of puddles and the movement of gravel causes the driveway to be muddy. Here are some useful tips in maintaining a gravel driveway:
- Take the weeds out. Weeds can grow in between the gravel, and if not pulled out in time, they will take root and will be more difficult to remove. Weeds tend to accumulate dirt and eventually retain water when it rains. It is also advisable to use chemical weed killers instead of pulling them out to avoid creating holes in the driveway.
- Regularly rake the gravel driveway to even out the gravel. When there is frequent traffic, the gravel on the driveway usually moves and accumulates on the sides, and dirt becomes more exposed. When it rains, this turns to mud and puddles form. To avoid this, rake the gravel evenly to cover the bare areas. If the driveway is long and cannot be raked manually, you can use a gravel driveway groomer, which is composed of a weighed metal frame that is attached to a truck and is dragged behind it to rake the gravel.
- Fill in puddles and holes with sand and gravel instead of regular soil to avoid water to accumulate again and cause it to develop into a new hole. When filling a hole, put more sand and gravel until it is more elevated than the rest of the driveway. Then let your vehicle pass through it until it becomes more compact and evens out with the rest of the driveway.
- To avoid water from accumulating, especially at the center of the driveway, rake the gravel in a way that the center is the most elevated portion. This is called creating a crown. In this manner, water drains off to the sides and makes its way to the canal on the side of the road. For the portion of the driveway that is near your house, rake the gravel in a way that the water drains off away from your house.
- Aside from getting rid of weeds, take off fallen leaves from the gravel driveway as they decompose into dirt. When it rains, it also accumulates water. You may choose to sweep it with a broomstick, but this may be impractical for a large area of driveway, plus sweeping moves the gravel. You may opt to use a leaf blower, especially during autumn. Do this while the leaves are dry, because leaves will not be blown away when they are damp.
- After several months, you may have to dump in a fresh supply of gravel to maintain your gravel driveway. Do this during fall or spring. Be sure to cover potholes with soil first before pouring in the gravel. It is best to use sharp gravel so that it presses onto the soil and stays there, rather than round ones that easily roll off the road or goes into your yard.