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Gravel Driveway Maintenance

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2008-04-03          152705


Our house has a 150' gravel driveway that has had nothing done to it since it was put in 8 years ago. The road is smooth and hard packed and there is nearly no gravel left on the roadbed. This year, due to a lot of snow, there are a few shallow gouges in it caused by plowing with a loader bucket.

What sort of top treatment should be done to keep the road in good repair? Is a new layer of gravel called for? Should a box scraper be dragged over it?

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Gravel Driveway Maintenance

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2008-04-03          152717


Ken, in my part of the world gravel is used very little for roads. At one time I had gravel spread over a crushed seashell driveway. Had real problem with that moving around. There is a plant near here that makes a steel wire. They have a good bit of waste from their foundary that is used for such. It worked much better than the gravel did. That slag would catch on the other pieces and not slide very easy where stone would. No problem with it cutting tires. We sold that place May of 2000 and do not think they have redressed the drive since then. kt ....

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Gravel Driveway Maintenance

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2008-04-03          152720


We use crushed limestone here. We call it roadstone meaning it has the lime left in with the crushed rock. The rock is usually crushed to one inch or smaller. Our situation is about identical to yours, meaning that in the spring the rock has compacted and settled somewhat into the base material. So long as there are no major gouges or holes I just have the roadstone spread to about 4-6 inches deep without disturbing the existing road, by fall it has worked in pretty good. Frank. ....

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Gravel Driveway Maintenance

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2008-04-03          152725


Ken, you don't say what size the gravel is.

The size is far more important than anything else. Large stone will tend to move, so will stones that are too small. The ideal compromise for a driveway (slow speed, little or no sharp wheel turns) is 3/8" - 5/8" crushed with as much of the smaller and fine particles and dust left in as possible.

If you already have fairly fine material, I would suggest just top dressing it. If the material on top is fairly large (3/4" or bigger) top dress it with smaller stuff. Any time you dig down in you risk unpacking it. If you have a rear blade that will offset, put it out and pull the material that pushed out to the shoulders back in too.

Once you have it back in order try putting some CaCl (Calcium Chloride) down on it, just sprinkle it like fertilizer, it will go a long way to holding it all together and keeping the dust down.

Best of luck. ....

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Gravel Driveway Maintenance

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2008-04-03          152726


Thanks fellas. There isn't much stone left on top, but what has been pushed to the sides is big, mostly 1-1.5" as a guess. I'll order some top dressing of 3/8-5/8, have the truck spread it as he dumps and smooth it out with the box blade. Some CaCl sounds good too. ....

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Gravel Driveway Maintenance

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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1539 Moravia, NY
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2008-04-06          152775


Ken the KEY as Murf and Frank said is the fines. The fines are what hold the blend together. A driveway the fines or minus 200 material should be at least 10-13% much more than that will hold moisture and be soft when wet then rut.

Here's where I seperate. I would not just top dress. I would scarifire 1-2 inches into original drive with the new material and get a good surface blend and bond.

I do like the calicum treatment be sure to get a nice crown. ....

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Gravel Driveway Maintenance

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2008-04-06          152776


What's available differs from one location to another. I use "stone dust and chips" but contractors elsewhere may not have heard of it. So see a local road contractor to find what you need that they can supply, and whether you have the equipment to spread and grade it or they should do it. Unless the material is porous or you don't get downpours, you want a little "crown" graded in. ....

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Gravel Driveway Maintenance

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2008-04-06          152788


Just a bit of history on the driveway to the house here at the farm. We built the house ten years ago in an open field, no driveway of any kind. there were no drainage issues to get water away from the drive so with no prior grading we put a layer of two inch washed limerock about six inches thick, then on top a layer of one inch washed rock. We drove on just that for a year or so till it settled. Since that I have two tandems of one inch "Roadstone" we call it here meaning the fines are left in with the rock spread about every other spring, that gives me a new layer about four to five inches thick. It just seems to be getting more solid every year. right now the drive is about 12-14 inches above the lawn along either side of it. That seems to be high enough that very little snow gets on the drive, it mostly just blows across it. Frank. ....

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Gravel Driveway Maintenance

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Woodie
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 104 Michigan lower
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2008-04-08          152841


here in my parts they have pretty much used a blend called "road gravel" a mix of a sandy clay, fines and gravel , sometimes crushed sometime not, sized 1/4" to 1" . Lately the concrete companies are pushing recycled crushed concrete, sized from pretty fine stuff to realy course for driveways. haven't seen it myself in use, but with talking to others -that crushed concrete is working out real well as it will break down a bit and interlock itself and form a hard tough layer. Pricing seems quite reasonable compared to the "'natural' processed stuff'" ....

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Gravel Driveway Maintenance

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2008-04-09          152846


Woodie; Here in Eastern Iowa I paid about 215.-240. for a tandem (15-17 ton) delivered 16 miles and spread last spring, I haven't checked yet this spring on the current cost. Frank. ....

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Gravel Driveway Maintenance

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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1539 Moravia, NY
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2008-04-10          152864


Frank you'll find it more expensive. We had to move all of our FOB pricing 13% just to cover electric and wear parts for crushers. The fuel is gonna add .25-.50 per ton for that distance. We price dumped in stockpile and add .50 per ton for tailgate spreading. Trucking is gonna be brutal this year. ....

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Gravel Driveway Maintenance

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2008-04-10          152886


I maintain a 1000' private road using nothing more than power box blade (think 6' wide, carbide-tipped, "rototiller") aka "Harley Rake". I have a 10'-wide road (motor) grader--and I don't even use it!

You need to "fluff" up the gouged areas and the area before and after it for a good, long-lasting repair. Otherwise, what will happen is through tire-jounce, the areas before and aft will get pounded as they hit the edges of the formerly filled in hole. Then you'll get a washboard effect and/or the filled in hole will not be as hard packed and hold water which will splash out and remain a hole---forever. For comparison, my neighbors on the other sister private road who used to pay me to maintain their road (and don't now) had holes 4-6' long and 6 inches deep. Mine---nice and flat. Ahhhhhhh! ....

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Gravel Driveway Maintenance

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brokenarrow
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1288 Wisconsin
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2008-07-12          155250


I fixed up mine this last week. Last winter played heck on my drive and I used up alot of my stock pile. I am thinking about have a tandom or two come myself and build up my stock for future! It never spoils ya know! ....

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