Using gravel for your driveway surface is an economical way to pave where your vehicles and equipment traverse and park. However, if you live in an area prone to freezing, a gravel driveway requires a bit more preparation for winter than driveways made with asphalt or concrete. Use the following tips throughout the year to keep your gravel driveway in place, level, and looking good.
1. Remove Leaves & Other Debris
When organic material like leaves, weeds, or branches are left to lie on your driveway, snow and ice will accumulate on top, creating a slippery surface for driving. Melting snow and ice will then seep underneath the gravel. When they inevitably refreeze, potholes and an unstable surface can result. Take time regularly to rake and remove debris before any of this happens.
2. Grade Out Unevenness
Grading or raking is important in maintaining gravel surfaces in all weather and environments. The stones in your gravel driveway will shift throughout the year, whether from heat or cold, rain or snow, or even dry, arid weather. This can create runoff, ruts, or potholes in the surface of your driveway. Aim to keep the surface smooth and stable throughout the year, but especially when preparing for the possibility of snow and using a snow plow or snow pusher.
3. Fill In Potholes
In winter, you may want to fill in potholes with more gravel so you have an even surface for plowing or pushing snow. While we don’t recommend it in maintaining a healthy gravel driveway throughout the year, it will work in a pinch.
4. Ensure Proper Drainage
Melting snow or ice can wash away gravel, or it can get underneath the gravel and create potholes. If you have water that flows from gutters or other parts of your property, you may want to grade those areas to divert water away from your gravel driveway.
5. Use Markers
Stakes or poles inserted along both sides of your driveway will guide you in removing snow, helping to protect grassy or landscaped areas that flank either side. There are many different types of markers on the market. Take into consideration the average amount of snowfall in your area so you know how long your poles should be!
6. Maintain Snow Removal Equipment Regularly
There are many ways to move and remove snow from your gravel driveway. Whether you use a snow plow, snow pusher, snow blower, or old-fashioned shovel, make sure your equipment is in good working order before the first snowflake hits the ground. Inspect and test it periodically.
With year-round inspections and maintenance to troubleshoot any problem areas, your gravel driveway can stay in peak condition for years of winters. For more information on skid-steer graders, snow plows, or snow pushers, visit our products page or contact us!