Outfitting a driveway with gravel is usually cheaper than using other paving materials such as asphalt. This, in addition to the fact that gravel driveways are easy to maintain, makes them ideal for use in homes. However, there are times when gravel-paved driveways develop problems that affect not only their functionality but also their appearance. Here are some of the most common gravel driveway problems and ways through which you can fix them.
Muddy gravel driveways
When a gravel driveway is muddy, it can be impassable. The presence of mud will also ruin the look of the driveway, something that will then mess with the aesthetic appeal of your home.
If you have a muddy gravel driveway, you are likely dealing with topsoil issues. Chances are that during installation, all the topsoil wasn't removed. With time, the soil then rose to the upper part of your driveway. It is the mixing of this soil with water that then creates the mud problem.
To solve this problem, you have to first remove any of the available topsoil. After you are done, add more gravel. Making sure that the finished gravel driveway is elevated above the surrounding areas will reduce the amount of moisture available in the driveway. This will reduce the rate at which the driveway becomes muddy.
Spongy gravel driveways
If your driveway feels spongy, especially when wet, you are dealing with a clay problem. In such cases, minimizing the effect that the layer of clay has on the gravel is the key to ending up with a problem-free driveway. To do so, simply add a layer of rocks on top of the clay before applying the gravel. Sand can also form an effective buffer layer. It can therefore be used as an alternative to the layer of rocks.
Flooded gravel driveways
Driveways that are flooded with water usually ruin the appearance of a home. They are also likely to be muddy and therefore impassable during wet months. This is a condition that is caused by birm – a build-up of gravel, sod or soil along the edges of the driveway. What the birm does is that it prevents water from flowing away by creating a dam-like feature where it serves as the walls of the dam. To solve this problem, all that you need to do is to remove the walls of the "dam." Doing so will allow surface water to flow away, something that will then rid your driveway of any flooding problems.
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