Whats happening to my Gravel Driveway : Landscape Maintenance  -- Landscape Discussion Forum and Review Whats happening to my Gravel Driveway : Landscape Maintenance -- Landscape Discussion Forum

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 02-03-2006, 12:18 Post: 124009
MacDaddy



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 Whats happening to my Gravel Driveway

I installed a 1800’ gravel driveway about a year and a half ago. It has held up pretty well until the last few weeks. Recently here in western NY, our snow has melted we have had unseasonably warm weather with lots of rain. Compounding matters is that I am in the process of building my home and the driveway has had a lot of heavy use. The drive was constructed with 1.5’ of bank run gravel over geotextile fabric. Now the top layer is soupy mud and ruts. Still passable, but in bad shape. My question is this…. right now I believe it is too much of a mess to do anything. Should I wait until it freezes then grade it with my boxblade, or, should I just wait until spring then grade it and stone it w/ #2s? I am tempted to get the stone on now because I don’t want to have irreversible damage, but I think it would be a big waste of money with all the mud that will mix with it. Any thoughts?






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 02-03-2006, 12:43 Post: 124010
JasonR



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 Whats happening to my Gravel Driveway

I the mud coming up through the 18" of gravel or somewhere else?

I've got a 200' drive witha 100'x100' parking lot. It sees an average amount of traffic, which includes tractor/trailer u-turns and the heavy garbage truck. I didn't use any fabric. I went with a 4" layer of large stone (2-3"Wink yeah right covered with another 4" of grade 8. I've been very impressed with it, as it will easily puddles water and very few weeds have grown. It's been in service for about 3 years now. I have a similar climate as you do, so the gravel sees it share of snow, frost, etc. It's on an old farm property, so the soil is black dirt, and the water table is pretty high.

Jason






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 02-03-2006, 13:02 Post: 124012
Iowafun

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 Whats happening to my Gravel Driveway

I'll take a stab at this and I may be wrong. I am absing my answer on my experience here in central Iowa. I sually have the same problem in spring when the days warm up, but the nights are still cold. BAsically, the ground is frozen. The moisture from rain, snow, etc cannot drain away because the ground below it is still frozen. But the top is melted by the warmth of the day. So you get a slurry of water, mud, gravel, etc. The heavier stuff falls through the permeable mud mixture. I get it every spring and I get it in the same spots of my drive.

Winter should be a good time for you for heavy use by construction vehicles. But you are getting boned by the warm days which melts the top layer, but not the underlayer. As for your mud problem and the fabric you put down, I cannot comment on that. I just don't have enough knowledge.

I'm having a similar problem this year due to January being extremely warm for Iowa. My driveway is much more rutted up right now than it should be.

I hear people say how happy they are about the warm weather. I'm not happy because the driveway rutts up bad, the dogs and people drag gobs of mud in the house. You can't go outside in the yard because of the mud and softness. Heck, ask any parent and they'll tell you the kids are inside playing video games. When we have snow, then the kids are outside playing in the snow. Give me snow in January. It's easier to clean up.






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 02-03-2006, 13:25 Post: 124015
MacDaddy



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 Whats happening to my Gravel Driveway

Iowa... I couldn't agree with you more... especially about the kids and the mud. Throw my yellow lab into the equation, and its a real mess. I like snow in winter. Crisp and cold. If I liked this miserable weather, Id move to Seattle.






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 02-03-2006, 13:34 Post: 124016
grinder

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 Whats happening to my Gravel Driveway

Did you remove the topsoil and or overburden down to the hardpan before laying in the gravel? If not it is probably coming up through? In my experience the filter does not always work, I think you need elevation/drainage on you side, in order for it to allow you to get away without removing the topsoil.






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 02-03-2006, 14:17 Post: 124018
Murf



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 Whats happening to my Gravel Driveway

IMHO, the big problem is the "bank run gravel" combined with a poor base.

Crushed aggregate has very sharp, jagged edges which will lock together. On the other hand, gravel found in banks is usually very rounded from the scour of moving water. It is like packing ball bearings.

The purpose of the gravel in a driveway or road is two-fold, first is to give you a clean durable surface to drive on of course.

Most importantly though, gravel spreads out the weight of the vehicles passing over it. In order for this to be possible to MUST be compacted and locked tightly together. The way it works is like a zillion little pyramids, your tire rests on say 6 rocks, those six rocks are sitting on 6 rocks each, those 36 rocks each sit on 6 more each, etc. Before very long your wheeel is resting on an area of gravel that is many square feet in size. That is why you need larger rocks at the bottom, and smaller ones as you get closer to surface, a several large rocks down below will withstand tremendous force without being pushed down into the earth.

It is this stability you are missing in your driveway.

You have two real options, just keep pouring more & more gravel on top and hope to eventually have enough base to support the driveway, or get a big machine in and start digging for the base for a new driveway.

Best of luck.






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 02-03-2006, 15:11 Post: 124022
SG8NUC



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 Whats happening to my Gravel Driveway

My friends and I went to the concrete company and bought the left over concrete that they wash out of the mixers. When you use it on top of the gravel it will set up and not wash away. I would not use to much as it will cause dust. The price is for the dump truck to haul it. After a few rains it will setup. It is wet when they deliver it and does have a few bolders, but it will spread like peanut butter with the fel after the large setup boulders are removed.






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 02-03-2006, 18:01 Post: 124030
Chief



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 Whats happening to my Gravel Driveway

I have lived on a long dirt drive for almost 15 years and if you did not lay down a good base of large rock, chirt, and base mix or "crush & run" as Murf has already mentioned; you will have to regravel the drive. I would suggest using "base" which is a mix of large, med., small, and crushed limestone. Runs about $5 a ton around here. Grading the drive now will just make a bigger mess.






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 02-03-2006, 19:54 Post: 124036
Art White



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 Whats happening to my Gravel Driveway

Your driveway has taken a set against the fiber at this time but it is wet from the rains and the moisture and you only have dirt in the upper layer. The heavy or larger rocks have been jambed into the fiber and are ready to hold but really need to be dried out to top grade and install a three inch layer of run a crush, or crush or run should be applied as close to the stone top level as possible. A good sized roller is needed for good compaction after grading. This applied with a layer of moist two inch stone dust over the top and rolled again would give a drive way the ultimate top surface which could also be professionally oiled and easily maintained and near blacktop strong.






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 02-03-2006, 23:51 Post: 124054
dkheckmanl



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 Whats happening to my Gravel Driveway

As Art mentioned, the fine material has worked its way to the top and turned to mud or soup. If you can blade some of that soup off to the side or remove it someway, you will be better off. If it freezing and thawing daily, it can be difficut job getting it dried out plus you will still have a layer of fines if you do not get it removed. If you can afford it, I would put down a 4" lift of crushed 2" minus and then if you want a little smoother running surface put 2"-3" of crushed 3/4 inch on top of the larger rock. You need to compact each lift even you just use heavy equipment such as a loaded truck; however, using a roller will give you a better product.
Good Luck with whatever you do.






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