Preparing Your Property For A Gravel Driveway

Posted on: 20 October 2019

Gravel driveways are inexpensive and suitable choices for areas that have well-draining soil, and that need some sort of cover quickly. However, gravel, like any loose surface material, is subject to erosion and those little bits of gravel somehow moving into lawns and other parts of your property, unless you prepare your property before the driveway is installed. Maintenance of the driveway is also necessary -- and luckily, it's very easy to handle.

Create Buffer Zones Near Lawns 

First, create a buffer zone between the driveway and your flowerbeds. As you walk on the driveway, your shoes can pick up pieces of gravel and transfer them to your lawn, and if you have anyone running or riding a bike on the driveway, the gravel can end up in the soil in flowerbeds and other planters. If you don't mind gravel at the edges of your lawn, that's one thing, but many people find it looks messy.

If you're one of those people who doesn't want the mess, create a buffer zone. Add a strip of pavers or leave bare dirt between the gravel driveway edge and the soil used for planting. You can quickly sweep loose gravel back into the main section of the driveway.

Tamp Down That Gravel

As the gravel is being installed, ensure the people doing the work tamp down the gravel -- and wet it down -- properly. This tamping and wetting help set the gravel more firmly into the soil under the driveway. Note that the gravel can still move and bunch up under the weight of vehicle wheels, and very heavy rains will often move some of the gravel into a different part of the driveway. But the tamping and wetting make it harder to shove whole sections of the gravel out of place.

Double-Check Drainage Direction

Your property has to be properly sloped away from your house to ensure runoff moves away from the structure. Be sure the runoff is directed away from the driveway too. Rain runoff flowing through your lawn or garden should go toward drains, such as a French drain that can corral the water and point it toward a storm drain. That helps prevent erosion of the driveway.

A gravel supplier can show you different sizes of gravel, and if the supplier also has other types of stone, you can look for flagstones or pavers for that border. Gravel is a good material to work with, and with the right preparation, you can have a driveway that stays in good shape in most weather.