How to Restore a Gravel Driveway?

If your gravel driveway is not in the best shape, then you may be surfing the internet to find ways on “How to Restore a Gravel Driveway?”

Not anymore; this read is just for you.

A gravel driveway is quite rugged. Hence you need to do little for the sake of maintenance. Gravel driveways can sink into the soil under pressure from passing vehicles. Parts of the gravel may also come to lose due to traffic.

The good news is that you will need less gravel for each restoration. Why? Because when gravel sinks deeper, the underlying base becomes more compact and firm. Consequently, it will sink less with time, and you will need less gravel and rework.

Here is how you can restore your gravel driveway.

Make It Smooth

First, you want to ensure that your gravel driveway is smooth. There should be undulations or bumps that will have passing vehicles jerk and bounce over them. For this purpose, you can use a box blade together with scarifiers or a landplane. These tools bring the surface to a common depth. If there is a pothole in the driveway, you can repair it by grinding the surface towards the hole’s bottom. Make sure that you don’t dig into the foundation. If you are churning out stuff that is the size of your fist, then you are digging too deep.

Rework the Surface

After you smooth out the driveway, you need to apply the right gravel size for the surface. Crushed gravel measuring one and a half to two and a half inches in size on average is a good choice for a surface that will become muddy and soft at times. With gravel of this size, the whole surface will be more stable and have better drainage. You can also lay finer gravel above this layer for extra firmness, stability and better finish.

Even Surface

You can now fine-tune the gravel surface after completing the steps mentioned above. You will want to do this final task with a rear blade since it is perfect for building a firm and solid surface. It is secured to a tractor, and it keeps above the ground at a certain fixed level. As the rear blade passes over a surface that is above the fixed level, the gravel will get compacted for a smooth finish.

Gravel and Crushed Stone for Driveways

To create a durable surface for your driveway, you can select from certain kinds of crushed stones or gravel. These materials have the benefit of providing a better finish than concrete or asphalt. You can find gravel and crushed stone in various attractive hues that can impart an aesthetically pleasing touch to your driveway. For example, these materials are available in black, red, brown, grey and white.

How to Restore a Gravel Driveway?

At this point, you might wonder what the difference between crushed stone and gravel is. These terms are used interchangeably; however, there are differences you need to know of.

Gravel comprises small stones and silt. Crushed stone is different from gravel because stones have a smoother shape due to erosion and weathering. A crusher breaks down these stones into small pieces that are suitable for driveways.

Crushed stone and gravel may encompass natural stone varieties such as quartzite, granite, limestone and shale.

Estimating How Much Gravel is Needed for Your Driveway

When applied correctly and in the right amounts, gravel can make for a durable and attractive looking driveway.

For most applications, a depth of 4 inches is enough to make a rugged gravel driveway. You should multiply this depth with the driveway area to find out the volume of gravel you will need for the job. To convert to cubic yards, you can divide this value by 27. First, make sure that you check up on the unit your local dealer uses to measure gravel quantities.

Some dealers prefer to sell gravel by its weight. You can convert the volume to weight quite easily.

Here is how you can quantify how much gravel you will need:

You first need to know how much area your driveway covers. Measure how long the driveway is, and also find out the width. Use feet to measure the lengths and area.

Simply multiply the length (in feet) with the width (Once again in feet) to find the area covered by the driveway. You now have the area of the driveway in square feet.

4 inches depth of gravel measures at 1/3 of a foot. So you will have to multiply the area you calculated earlier by 1/3 to find out the volume of gravel required. This will give you the volume in cubic feet. However, some dealers choose cubic yards as a measure. So how do you convert?

Since a cubic yard has 27 cubic feet, you must divide the volume obtained (in cubic feet) by 27.

So there is a bit of math involved. However, since it is all simple, it should not be too intimidating, even if math is not your favourite subject.

Do note that some dealers prefer quantifying gravel in terms of weight. Now, this is a question of simply multiplying the volume obtained with the density, right? Ah, the nostalgia of grade school physics.

However, this step is a bit more tricky since different kinds of gravel have different densities.

Here is how you can do it. Just look up the gravel variety to find one of your choices. Ask the dealer for its density per cubic yard. Multiply this value by the volume in cubic feet to get the quantity required in terms of weight.

Our Final Thoughts

The simple steps outlined above show how much gravel you need and how to apply it for a durable and robust gravel driveway surface that will look great in front of your property.