Frequently Asked Questions about Gravel Driveways
Many people consider gravel as a preferred material for their driveway, but if you’re looking to resurface and aren’t sure what material to choose, it’s worth doing your research to come to the right decision for you and your property.
Common Questions on Gravel Driveways
Gravel driveways have many benefits and can be a great addition to your home. This article will look more closely at the most important and common questions to consider when choosing a gravel driveway.
What Are the Different Types of Gravel for Driveways?
Gravel comes in many shapes and sizes, and the right kind for your home will depend on factors such as placement and climate, but also personal preference. Popular gravel types include:
Crushed stone is probably the most common and affordable type of gravel. Stones create a unique appearance every time, and the different colours also add personality to the drive. You can choose crushed stone in a single colour, but there will always be flecks of different shades to add to the overall look.
As you’d expect, marble chips are more expensive, but they look striking and bold on any driveway. The white stones catch and reflect sunlight, as well as adding a bright, clean appearance to your home’s exterior.
Pea gravel has an amber and brown appearance, and it contrasts nicely with lawns and other surfaces on any property. The shingle also has a smooth texture, but you need to be sure you have appropriate edging to keep the stones in place.
20mm shingle is one of the most recognisable gravels used for driveways and paths. It is designed for top layer use, and the colours of the stones are varied with black, grey, brown and white combining to create a great appearance for any drive.
What Gravel is Best for Driveways?
Gravel is one of the easiest and quickest types of driveway surface to install but choosing the right gravel can make all the difference. You can choose between different stones and types of gravel to match your personal preference, but in all instances, gravel offers:
• Great drainage due to no single solid surface blocking rainwater
• No risk of weather damage or wear and tear
• Quick and easy to maintain with fresh shingle
• A long-lasting surface
The best gravel for driveways depends on many factors, including your personal preference and location, and size.
What Size Gravel is Best for Driveways
Gravel of medium to large size is best for driveways. This helps to ensure minimal movement and ensures the chips or shingle don’t get stuck in tyres. Larger gravel also makes it easier to walk and navigate surfaces safely.
Are Gravel Driveways Cheaper than Concrete Driveways?
Gravel is one of the most affordable options you have for driveway resurfacing. It is almost always cheaper to lay and maintain than concrete. You can compare gravel driveways to other surface materials such as block paving too and make a considered decision on the right style for your property that’s also within your budget.
When looked after well, a gravel driveway can last for decades, if not longer.
How Much Does a Gravel Driveway Cost?
Lots of factors influence the cost of resurfacing your driveway with gravel. Gravel driveways rank amongst the most affordable options available, but you still need to consider many factors. The following factors will influence the cost of your gravel driveway:
1. Existing driveway surface and preparation work needed
2. Labour costs (usually priced per metre to lay the gravel)
3. The tonnage of gravel required
4. Gravel size and type chosen
Costs will also differ by region, but you will almost always find gravel your most affordable option.
How Do You Prepare Ground for Gravel?
Preparing for a gravel driveway differs dependent on the current state of the space. If you have a pre-existing driveway, the old materials will need to be excavated and removed. You may or may not have a solid sub-base; if not, you’ll need to ensure one is properly dug in. The sub-base is absolutely vital for a properly laid gravel driveway, and any driveway specialists should ensure you have the right foundations before any surface is laid.
How to Retain Gravel on a Driveway
One of the few reasons people don’t like gravel is that it can become loose and unstable. With a few basic checks and adaptations you will have no issue keeping your gravel in place.
Firstly, you can increase the depth of your driveway to give the gravel a trough to stay in. Gravel will only spread excessively if it has not been laid thickly enough. Secondly, you may opt to use borders to help retain your gravel drive. Wooden planks or other durable materials can line your driveway to minimise the gravel spreading.
How to Maintain Your Gravel Driveway
With regular maintenance, a gravel driveway can last a lifetime. Keeping on top of driveway maintenance doesn’t have to be difficult, and all you really need is:
1. Some spare gravel in your chosen type
2. A scraper or shovel to dig into the surface and even it out if mounds or dips appear
3. A rake to clear debris and weeds from your drive and to maintain its even surface
Gravel is one of the easiest types of driveway surface to maintain. You should have no trouble keeping on top of the maintenance as long as issues are quickly dealt with. To find out more about driveway maintenance, read our blog to discover everything there is to know about driveway maintenance and repairs.
How to Keep Gravel Driveway from Washing Away in the Rain
Many people fear their gravel will be lost or fully washed away when it rains. While losing some stones is possible, if your driveway is properly laid, there shouldn’t be too much of a problem. One way to keep your gravel in place even in the wettest weather is to “tamp and pack it”. This simply means using a hoe or other garden tool to pack your gravel tightly and spray it in place with water. This water will help the gravel to shift and settle in place, loosening the soil and allowing the rocks to set in place properly.
What is the Best Weed Killer for Gravel Driveways?
There are many natural weed killers to manage any growth on your gravel driveway. White vinegar is effective at killing weeds but can also kill any plant, so you need to be careful to avoid borders or lawns. Rock salt is another useful natural weed killer that will see the weeds killed within a couple of days of use.
If you want to use a chemical-based killer, then glyphosate-based weed killers will not only kill existing weeds they should also prevent further growth.
How to Get a Quote for a Gravel Driveway
Before choosing a company to resurface your driveway, it is important to do your research, get advice and acquire quotes from local companies. Finding an experienced driveway company ensures you benefit from high-quality service and support in choosing the best type of gravel for your drive. At Axtell surfacing, our expert team have over 20 year’s experience in driveway resurfacing for Surrey, Sussex and the local areas we’re happy to offer guidance and support on your new driveway.
Contact Axtell Surfacing Gravel Driveway Specialists Today
Axtell Surfacing have over 20 years’ experience specialising in driveway resurfacing and helping customers in the local areas of Surrey & Sussex to create their perfect driveways. Contact our specialist team today to arrange a quote for your gravel driveway.