We build and repair all kinds of gravel surfaces, from backyard footpaths to private driveways, community roads, and commercial parking lots.
Gravel Services for Commercial Sites
We create and maintain a variety of gravel surfaces for businesses. Services include:
Creating driveways and parking lots, from start to finish
Grading and smoothing existing gravel surfaces
Rebuilding soft, wet areas in parking lots, driveways, and roads
Gravel Services for Residential Sites
Typical projects include the following:
Building driveways and private roads, from start to finish
Removing an old asphalt driveway and replacing it with a new gravel driveway
Maintaining existing gravel driveways and roadways, repairing potholes and washboard areas
Creating a footpath
Drainage Solutions for Gravel Surfaces
All gravel work is done with special attention to drainage problems. Water management services include:
Crowning or sloping gravel roads for drainage control
Creating water bars or swales to divert water
Cutting new ditches or lowering and clearing existing ditches along roadways
Installing driveway culverts
Why Choose Gravel?
When people choose a gravel surface, the main reasons are a relatively low cost, pleasing aesthetics, and long life.
Gravel is much less expensive than paving with asphalt or concrete.
The rustic appearance of gravel provides an informal look that may be preferred in a landscape design.
With care and maintenance, a gravel driveway or roadway can last for generations.
Another advantage is that a gravel roadway can be completed relatively quickly. Also, in some applications, gravel retains a degree of permeability that allows some rainwater to soak into the ground and results in less water runoff in the area.
A downside of using gravel is that it requires more frequent maintenance than paving. Over time, traffic and rainstorms can lead to the development of potholes, ruts, or washboard areas. Some of the gravel may be crushed into smaller pieces that then become mashed into the underlying clay, so that a top-dressing of additional gravel is required at intervals. Still, the overall cost of installing and maintaining gravel remains well below the cost of asphalt.
Why Use a Grading Contractor?
Hiring an experienced grading contractor to build a new driveway or roadway will help avoid trouble later on. A contractor will evaluate the soil type and slope, advise on the best path for the roadway, and properly prepare the ground before gravel is added.
Do-it-yourself gravel repairs can be problematic unless you have the right equipment for the job. Before adding new gravel, the existing gravel needs to be graded and/or scarified to break up bonds in the compacted mix of gravel and fines. After that, new gravel can be successfully integrated into the existing gravel.
When potholes develop, the surface of the gravel has become compacted in the shape of the pothole. If new gravel is dumped into the pothole, it will soon wash out again. For a lasting repair, the compacted area needs to be broken up so that the pattern of the pothole is erased. In many cases, the initial grading or scarification will bring enough existing stone to the surface so that additional gravel is not needed.
Ruts in gravel driveways and roads are sometimes caused by high level of vehicle traffic, but ruts are usually aggravated if not entirely caused by storm-water runoff that is not being directed away from a gravel surface. As with pothole repairs, scarification and regrading can smooth out the rut, and might bring enough stone to the surface to avoid purchase of additional stone. But for a longer-term repair of ruts, it is important to address the underlying cause. Once the source of runoff water is identified, appropriate drainage solutions can be implemented to redirect the water.
Materials Used To Build and Maintain Gravel Surfaces
Each surface to be finished with gravel requires different materials, depending on the slope of the ground, flow of water, and type of soil. ABC gravel is the most commonly used material, but other types of stone may be used.
Understanding Stone Grades
ABC gravel, also known as crusher run, consists of pieces of crushed rock up to 1 inch in size, combined with the stone dust known as “fines.” The fines serve to bind the pieces of stone together so as to form a stable surface, once the gravel has been spread and compacted. ABC gravel is typically used for both the base and the surface layer of gravel for a roadway or driveway. The compacted surface holds up well in higher traffic areas.
Three-quarter stone is a form of ABC gravel that has been sifted to remove pieces of stone larger than 3/4 inch. This grade of stone may be preferred in some uses for cosmetic reasons.
Clean stone or washed stone has the fines removed. For many homeowners, clean stone is more cosmetically appealing surface for driveways. However, clean stone is best limited to use on flat driveways and low-traffic flat roadways. Without fines to hold the stone in place, the individual pieces of stone will not stay in place on slopes and curves.
Railroad ballast comes in several sizes (Grades #4 and #5). Railroad ballast consists of mixed sizes of stone, up to 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 inches in diameter, depending on the grade. This stone is mainly used in areas experiencing a medium water flow. It can be used in the subgrade of roads and parking lots to fill in soft wet areas, and can be used as a surface stone to provide stability and drainage where water management is an issue.
Surge is used primarily in ditches or other areas of heavy water flow. It can be used to reinforce the sides of embankments or to create small dams in ditches. The individual pieces of stone range from about 2 inches to 6 inches long.
Rip Rap is more rugged than surge. It comes in several classes and can range in size from 4 inches to over 2 feet. The right size to use depends of the amount of water flow to be managed. Rip rap is often used to line ditches at the end of a culvert, to spread out and slow down the flow of water. Rip rap can also be used to create small check dams in ditches to slow down and filter water flow.
Soil stabilizing fabric is a permeable textile material that can be used to increase soil stability, provide erosion control, or aid in drainage.