Dirt and/or gravel driveways are a constant problem for many homeowners. Over the years the material gets pushed into the ground or pushed out to the sides of the driveway from years of normal driving as well as the never ending snow plowing every winter. POT HOLES are normally the biggest issue to deal with.
Many people will simply have new gravel delivered and spread over the surface but soon learn that this is a BIG mistake. It doesn't last! It's like spreading gravel over concrete. The existing surface MUST be properly prepared prior to the introduction of any new material if you want the driveway to last. I've been rebuilding / repairing driveways for 12 years and have never had to return to repair one again. If done properly it will last indefinitely! My process is described below.
GRAVEL DRIVEWAY "REBUILD" PROCESS
1. Rip up and remove the existing surface to a depth of approximately 3" - 6". This material will be reused in the rebuild process.
2. Grade the surface to crown the center of the driveway for proper water runoff.
3. Repair drainage ditches as needed.
4. Lay down road fabric (Geotextile) on the driveway area. This is a heavy fabric similar to landscape fabric but is much heavier, designed to allow
for proper drainage and withstand the heavy load of materials applied on top. This step is crucial and keeps the base rock from sinking into the
ground over the years.
5. Replace the surface materials initially removed in step 1.
6. Spread base rock (3" crushed) over driveway
7. Grade 3" base rock to build upon center crown for proper and improved drainage
8. Roll and compact 3" base rock.
9. Spread new material (5/8"< crushed rock OR 3/4"< recycled asphalt grindings) over driveway.
10. Re-grade new material to build upon center crown for proper and improved drainage.
11. Roll and compact new material to mesh with older material, forming one solid layer.
There are occasions where the "Repair" process isn't enough and more a drastic measure of "Rebuilding" must be accomplished. If the driveway construction was a simple and quick build as is typical with new home constructions in rural areas then there very well may not be a "base" to the driveway at all. It was likely a quick process of spreading one layer of rock over the surface with no preparation at all. If this is the case then the driveway will constantly succumb to deterioration and will not last. It can be rebuilt but will obviously take more time and money but it will be worth it in years to come.
Shown below are varying materials used in driveway construction, repair and rebuilds. The proper material MUST be used to achieve a good, long term driveway. In many local areas in and around Spokane WA. there are already native rocks in the ground. Some will work just fine but certain rocks must be removed or built on top of using the proper material. The rock causing the greatest problem with driveways in our area is RIVER ROCK (round rock). River Rock will never work because it moves...constantly. The rock needs to be crushed rock from local quarries that have sharp, flat and jagged edges. These rocks will compact and mesh together with little to no movement resulting in a good long lasting driveway. Shown below are examples of varying materials used in road and driveway construction. The BAD and commonly used materials are also shown so you are familiar with them.
4" - 6" Native "Ballast" Rock
3" - 4" Crushed Base Rock.
2" - 3" Crushed Base Rock.
3/4"< or 5/8"< Crushed Rock with "fines". This is the final top surface material. The fines are the grit that holds this rock together allowing it to compact for a good hard surface. This can be replaced with the 3/4"< recycled asphalt grindings.
These images are varying varieties and sizes of River Rock otherwise known as Round Rock. While this rock can serve as a good base allowing for good drainage it's never to be used as the top final layer.
River Rock is an excellent drain rock used to build French Drains in areas prone to holding water.
Below are varying materials sometimes needed or even required in the repair, rebuild or construction of driveways based on ground conditions.
Geotextile (road fabric) should always be installed on new driveways prior to inclusion of base rock to keep the rock above the ground.
Gravel Pavers or Grids are commonly used to play areas, horse paddocks, etc. but are excellent for use on hillsides where automotive acceleration and braking cause "wash boarding" ripples and bumps in the road.
The cost of repairing or rebuilding a driveway will vary from job to job. There are four factors that affect cost.
1. Type of material(s) needed.
2. Amount of material(s) needed.
3. Job location - distance from the gravel pit.
4. Degree of ease or difficulty based on ground conditions.
I do not bid driveway jobs by the hour as it's impossible to know how long the job will take...especially when your waiting on delivery of materials. Delivery times can vary greatly based on distance from the gravel pit, number of trucks available for delivery and potential mechanical issues.
I do however know up front what materials are needed, amount of materials needed based on square footage, cubic yards and tonnage. I will always get the rock pricing prior to the start of the job which again will vary based on distance. Unlike most contractors who automatically mark up there material cost regardless of location and distance from the pit, my pricing will vary based on pit pricing. This can be a huge money savings for the customer as pricing can vary from $11.00 - $24.00 per ton of rock or dirt. The closer the job is then obviously the lower the cost. My philosophy is simple......Why mark up the already high price of materials potentially making the job non affordable for the client.
Every customer is presented with an estimate for the job before the job ever begins. The only variable will be the final and actual cubic yardage or tonnage of material delivered as it's impossible to load exactly whats on the estimate.
Colossians 3:23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
Washington State Business License: COMMOGW841C4
GRAVEL DRIVEWAY "REPAIR" PROCESS
1. Rip up the existing surface to a depth of approximately 3" - 4". NOTE: This initial step is done only if the base rock is not disturbed.
2. Re-grade the surface to crown the center of the driveway for proper water runoff.
3. Repair drainage ditches as needed.
4. Spread new material (5/8"< crushed rock or 3/4"< recycled asphalt grindings) over driveway.
5. Re-grade new material to build upon center crown for proper and improved drainage.
6. Roll and compact new material to mesh with older material, forming one solid layer.
When available locally I much prefer the recycled asphalt grindings as it binds and holds better than gravel and creates little to no dust like gravel does.