Is Gravel Right for You?
Gravel provides a low-cost solution that looks good and has a long life. It’s much less expensive than paving with asphalt or concrete and retains a degree of permeability that allows some rainwater to soak into the ground and results in less water runoff in the area.
Roadways can also be completed relatively quickly. With care and maintenance, a gravel driveway or roadway can last for generations.
A downside of using gravel is that it requires more frequent maintenance than paving. Over time, traffic and weather conditions can lead to the development of potholes, ruts or washboard areas. Some of the gravel may be crushed into smaller pieces that then become mashed into the underlying clay, so that a top-dressing of additional gravel is required at intervals. Still, the overall cost of installing and maintaining gravel remains well below the cost of asphalt.
Gravel Services for Commercial Sites
We create and maintain a variety of gravel surfaces for businesses, including:
Creating driveways and parking lots, from start to finish
Grading and smoothing existing gravel surfaces
Rebuilding soft, wet areas in parking lots, driveways and roads
Gravel Services for Residential Sites
Typical projects include the following:
Building driveways and private roads, from start to finish
Removing an old asphalt driveway and replacing it with a new gravel driveway
Maintaining existing gravel driveways and roadways, repairing potholes and washboard areas
Drainage Solutions for Gravel Surfaces
We make sure to give special attention to address any drainage problems. Water management services include:
Crowning or sloping gravel roads for drainage control
Creating water bars or swales to divert water
Cutting new ditches or lowering and clearing existing ditches along roadways
Installing driveway culverts
Why Use a Grading Contractor?
Hiring an experienced grading contractor to build a new driveway or roadway helps avoid potential issues later. A professional evaluates the soil type and slope, advises on the best path for the roadway and properly prepares the ground before gravel is added.
Do-it-yourself gravel repairs can be problematic unless you have the right equipment for the job. Before adding new gravel, the existing gravel needs to be graded and/or scarified to break up bonds in the compacted mix of gravel and fines. After that, new gravel can be successfully integrated into the existing gravel.
When potholes develop, the surface of the gravel has become compacted in the shape of the pothole. If new gravel is dumped into the pothole, it will soon wash out again. For a lasting repair, the compacted area needs to be broken up so that the pattern of the pothole is erased. In many cases, the initial grading or scarification will bring enough existing stone to the surface so that additional gravel is not needed.
Ruts in gravel driveways and roads are sometimes caused by high level of vehicle traffic, but ruts are usually aggravated if not entirely caused by storm-water runoff that is not being directed away from a gravel surface. As with pothole repairs, scarification and regrading can smooth out the rut, and might bring enough stone to the surface to avoid purchase of additional stone. But for a longer-term repair of ruts, it is important to address the underlying cause. Once the source of runoff water is identified, appropriate drainage solutions can be implemented to redirect the water.
Materials Used To Build and Maintain Gravel Surfaces
Each surface to be finished with gravel requires different materials, depending on the slope of the ground, flow of water, and type of soil. ABC gravel is the most commonly used material, but other types of stone may be used.