Gravel driveways and walkways are commonly used by many homeowners and business owners alike. The affordability of gravel and relatively low maintenance requirements make it one of the simplest and most efficient materials for paving areas that need to accommodate foot and vehicle traffic.
However, anybody with a gravel driveway or walkway knows that the number one downside to using unstabilized gravel as a paving material is the fact that it spreads and moves around. Gravel is made up of many small pieces of rock and when used as pavement, it tends to migrate and spread out when subjected to constant pressure and friction.
Tips to Keep Gravel in Place on Walkways and Driveways
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to deal with unstabilized gravel. In case you’re looking to maintain gravel driveways and walkways as best as possible, let’s take a look at how to keep gravel in place on walkways and driveways:
1. Increase the Depth
For those wondering how to keep gravel in place on a driveway, this may be the easiest option. The main reason gravel spreads in driveways and walkways is because it’s not been laid thick enough.
The top layer is always going to spread a little bit without borders or pavers but if you lay at least 3 inches of gravel, the weight will help compact it and sink it deeper into the ground. You can even lay more than 3 inches, just be careful not to go too deep or the gravel will inevitably become loose and start to spread.
2. Tamp and Pack
One easy, DIY way to help prevent the spread of gravel is to tamp and pack it a bit. This simply means using a hoe or other tool to pack your gravel down tightly, and then spraying it down with water.
The water will help the gravel shift around and settle into place better, loosening the soil below and allowing it to better accept the rocks. Just remember not to go overboard with the watering, doing so will make your driveway run and lead to even more spreading.
You want it moist, not muddy.
3. Use Borders
Another way to stop gravel from spreading is to keep it in place with borders. Wooden planks or other durable material can be used to lay borders along the edges of your walkways and driveways. These borders will keep the gravel from spreading out, though they won’t prevent dips or ruts from potentially developing.
Wood is the best material to use for straight pathways and driveways, but if you’ve got to deal with curves you may want something a bit more flexible, like stones.
4. Permeable Plastic Pavers
The most effective, durable, and low-maintenance way to stop gravel from spreading is by using plastic permeable pavers from TRUEGRID. Much like borders, they lock the gravel into place. However, the grid paver cells within each paver retain and keep the gravel from moving at all, even within the borders of the paver. This is the ultimate one and done solution.
The installation of TRUEGRID pavers is simple and can be completed with basic equipment in less than a day. After the top layer of gravel has been compressed into the pavers, your parking areas, driveways and pathways will never shift or spread again.
Once installed, your gravel driveways and pathways will require almost no maintenance at all. Stormwater and all liquids will drain directly through the pavers into the soil below. TRUEGRID’s PRO PLUS® permeable plastic pavers are an example of an affordable and eco-friendly way to eliminate the spread of gravel.
By stabilizing your gravel with pavers made from 100% recycled plastic, you won’t have to worry about adding more gravel, wetting down your pathways, or taking any other measures to ensure your pathways and driveways don’t spread out.
TRUEGRID pavers can easily be saw-cut to accommodate curves, trees, and other obstacles. In terms of gravel stabilization, you can’t do much better than a cost-effective and permanent solution like the TRUEGRID PRO PLUS® paver system.
Stop the Spread of Gravel Once and For All
Gravel can be used as a stylish and professional-looking paving material, even for commercial applications. There are multiple ways to utilize gravel, from simply adding at least 3 inches of gravel, to using borders or tamping and packing.
These methods are temporary fixes, though, and not as effective or efficient as using TRUEGRID PRO PLUS® pavers. If you want to stop gravel from spreading for good, locking it into place with permeable pavers from TRUEGRID is the best way to do it.
Not only will you benefit from the clean-cut, professional look of these durable and eco-friendly pavers, but you won’t have to waste another minute tending to loose, unstabilized gravel in your driveways and pathways.
Contact the paving experts at TRUEGRID today for a product sample and project estimate.
option for the base layer of a gravel driveway is item #4. Item #4 is comprised of sand, dirt, and golf ball-sized stones. This type of gravel is available in a few different variations including recycled item # 4, which is made up of recycled stones, brick, blacktop, concrete, and rock.
There is also quarry item # 4, or crushed limestone, gray item # 4 which appears dark grey in color, and crushed bluestone item #4. Crushed bluestone item #4 is usually found in municipal driveways, though.
The middle layer of a gravel driveway features stones closer to golf ball size, with #57 stone being the prominent type of gravel. Otherwise known simply as crushed gravel, #57 stone also helps promote drainage.
5 Types of The Best Surface Gravel for Driveaway
There isn’t a lot of variety for the bottom layers of a gravel driveway, however, there are more options when it comes to finding the best gravel for driveway surfaces. Among the other options are crushed stone #411, quarry process, pea gravel, jersey shore gravel, marble chips, and river rock. These are the best options for driveway surfaces gravel, because they are small stones combined with rock dust, which makes a more solid driving surface.
1. Crushed Stone #411
It is crushed up #57 stone combined with rock dust. This mixture is able to handle moderate traffic from heavy vehicles.
2. Quarry Process
It is also called “crusher run” and works well for the surface of both driveways and walkways. It’s made from stone dust fines and crushed stone.
The stone dust will settle and become compact to create a semisolid surface that is smooth. It is important that you know that this type of surface gravel needs to be sloped towards the sides of your driveway for better drainage.
3. Pea Gravel
Pea gravel is popular gravel for driveway aesthetics. It’s made up of round, small stones that can come in many different colors. This type of gravel will easily migrate and spread under the weight of vehicles, though, and needs to be stabilized for long-term, maintenance-free usage.
4. Jersey Shore Gravel
It is made of yellow, tan, white, gold, and brownstones and looks quite a bit like sand. It’s similar to pea gravel since it needs borders or stabilizing pavers to prevent it from spreading.
5. Marble Chips
Marble chips are white and they sparkle in the sunlight. They typically cost more than other gravel types but are another favorite when it comes to being the best gravel for driveway aesthetic appeal. This type of gravel also needs a border or stabilization to prevent it from spreading, migrating, and washing away.
6. Blackstar or Blacktrap Rock
A very attractive dark gray gravel, this is an excellent choice as it is angular and locks together. When combined with stabilizing grid paving system, this provides a super durable and beautiful driveway.
A Better Alternative to Typical Gravel Driveways
Some of the aforementioned gravel types require stabilization, but the best way to construct any gravel driveway is by using TRUEGRID permeable pavers to lock in your gravel.
TRUEGRID PRO LITE and PRO PLUS stabilizing pavers simply require fill gravel and surface gravel, although you can use the same type of gravel for both. The fill gravel is poured over the top of a piece of fabric at the bottom of the excavated area where you want your driveway that provides drainage for water and other liquids.
It is then compacted and leveled before TRUEGRID permeable pavers are snapped in place over the surface. Next, your surface gravel of choice is poured over the pavers and locked into place using a heavy roller or vehicle. This weighs the pavers down and locks them securely into place.
The main benefit of using TRUEGRID pavers to build a gravel driveway is that they will keep your gravel in place, eliminating the need for almost any maintenance during the course of your driveway’s lifetime.
A properly installed and maintained TRUEGRID gravel driveway is durable enough to handle all types of vehicle traffic and will last up to 60 years without cracking or breaking down in the sun, rain, or other types of weather like asphalt does.. Choosing the best gravel for driveway usage is only part of the equation.
If you want to build your gravel driveway the maintenance-free way, get in touch with the pavement professionals at TRUEGRID today for a quote.