Walk down any suburban street and you’re sure to pass by plenty of gravel driveways. That crunchy, satisfying sound of
How to Maintain Your Gravel Driveway
Gravel driveways are affordable, stylish and hard-wearing. They’re a great addition to a home. Some are put off installing a gravel driveway in the belief that it will be difficult and time-consuming to maintain it. It’s true that gravel driveways do need regular maintenance in order to stay looking, and functioning at, their best.
But keeping up with that maintenance is not difficult. With a little bit of basic knowledge, anyone can keep a gravel driveway in tip-top condition. It’s also worth noting that driveways laid by a good, professional contractor will last better and need less maintenance than home-made driveways.
There are two main maintenance issues with gravel driveways. They can be prone to weeds, and the gravel will displace and move around over time. Taking the four steps below will help you deal with both.
Rake your driveway regularly
Gravel is loose and so naturally moves over time. This is one of its benefits, making it versatile and affordable. It also means that wheels and feet constantly making their way over gravel will cause ruts and sometimes displace gravel from the drive. At the same time, sticks, rubbish and other bits of debris can find their way from elsewhere into the gravel.
Raking will help keep your gravel level and free of ruts and holes. It will also mean you can remove debris before it builds up and becomes unsightly. Do it regularly and you’ll stop small problems becoming big ones.
Top up your driveway
Raking will go a long way to keeping your drive smooth and looking good, but you’ll also need to add more gravel occasionally to keep it looking at its best, filling in potholes and uneven patches. It’s a good idea to keep a spare bag of gravel in your garage or shed so that you can top up when and where needed. Generally, you’ll need to spend time topping up your drive once a year, although you may need to do it more often if it’s especially heavily used.
Topping up also helps you keep the level of your gravel higher than the level of the surrounding ground. This means water will run off during heavy rain, keeping your driveway free of flooding.
Maintain your edging
Your gravel driveway should have an edge of some sort, usually some kind of brick, stone or wood. This is there to keep the gravel in place, as well as making the driveway look smart. For the edging to keep doing its job, it needs to be in good condition. Get in the habit of checking for breaks and cracks that will allow gravel to spill off your drive.
Deal with weeds
When your drive was laid, herbicide should have been applied and a weed control fabric laid. These will help keep it weed-free, but it won’t prevent all weeds in perpetuity. To make sure weeds don’t spread, you’ll need to keep an eye out for them poking through and apply weedkiller when they do. You’ll find the edges of the drive, especially if you have lawns or flowerbeds, are most prone to weeds.
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