Winter Prep for Gravel Driveway

Winter is coming. It’s a good time to get your gravel driveway ready for next mud season. But, here’s the thing. The best time to renew your gravel driveway is in the spring. Fall gravel driveway fixes are necessary, but temporary.  

What You Can Do Before Winter

Do you own a tractor with a rear blade or plane? Assuming your drive is in good shape just pull the gravel from the driveways edge back to the center of the drive. This will level off the drive to create a smooth surface filling in tracks and holes. Don’t own a tractor? Give St. Laurent and Son a call and we’ll make your gravel driveway ready for winter.

How to Repair Pot Holes in Gravel Drives

Get your pick and shovel out. Widen the pothole. Be sure not to disturb the underlayment of stone dust. Once you’ve taken out the area fill it back one layer at a time being sure to compact each layer of gravel as you fill up the pothole.

Keep in mind this is only a short-term solution. The repair could last several years or not hold up through the next mud-season. The one thing you can count on is that gravel will be displaced over time and you’ll likely have to come back again.  

Best Time to Repair a Gravel Driveway

Spring and early summer is the best time to repair a gravel driveway. Buy gravel that has a fair amount of stone dust in it. Our gravel is unwashed which leaves a fair amount of stone dust to help the gravel bind together. 

If you put the gravel down in the spring you give the dust a chance to bind from the compaction of being driven on. Plus, the rain and heat of the sun naturally bind it. Another reason we recommend spring application rather than fall is because most of the binder would be plowed off during the winter.

Replenish the Gravel in Your Driveway

You’ll want to maintain your gravel driveway regularly. Depending on your drainage situation you’ll want to add gravel every two to four years. Gravel with angular, sharp stones are best for driveways because they lock together and movement is minimized by vehicle traffic.

Use large 4” crushed gravel for the base to insure there is no sinking or shifting when vehicles drive on it. The second layer is typically 1.5” gravel with 3/4" gravel used for the top layer.  The key is to have gravel pieces continually get smaller until you get to the top layer. Remember, every layer of gravel needs to be compacted in order to maintain its shape and strength. Get pricing now

It’s All About Drainage

Should your gravel driveway have stubborn wet areas that keep coming back every spring consider a more extensive repair for that segment of the driveway. St. Laurent and Son will remove the saturated earth below your drive and rebuild the segment with the appropriate layers of gravel. We can also suggest culverts or drainage pipes to insure your driveway sheds water easily.

Our goal is to eliminate your gravel driveway mud season issues and increase the longevity of your gravel driveway. Call 784-7944 or Contact Us today!