Installing a gravel driveway
If they are properly installed, gravel driveways can last for years and breathe new life into a property. With the right materials, it is possible to ensure the driveway doesn’t suffer from from common problems, such as; rutting, pot holes, puddles and weed growth.
 Geotextile membrane
A gravel driveway installation depends on surface preparation and undercoat. A good quality, permeable membrane will ensure that rain water or surface moisture has the ability to drain through into the earth. It also prevents the growth of even the most aggressive weeds. This is an essential part of the construction, and not a place to make savings.
 Gravel grid
One of the main problems with gravel driveways is the potential for gravel to move. Though it is possible to simply lay gravel on any surface, this will lead to problems. The most obvious issue is what is described as ‘the ball bearing effect’ where loose gravel is moved easily across (and off) the surface as it’s travelled over. For example, car tyres, feet, bicycle wheels – all have the potential to move and even ping gravel off the driveway. Keeping it in place is an important part of both installing and maintaining a driveway. Gravel driveway grids have a honeycomb structure and tough durable design built to hold the gravel within their core and prevent movement that can damage a driveway and can also be dangerous.
Gravel is generally available from local home and garden supply stores at reasonable prices. Lower prices may be possible by buying direct from a local quarry.
Gravel driveways are relatively straight forward to install with the right tools and preparation.
 Clearing and preparation
It is possible to lay gravel onto an existing driveway surface without clearing or preparing the surface, but it is not recommended. This would lead to shifting, the formation of puddles and unnecessary wear and tear. It is important to clear the current surface and ensure there’s fresh soil underneath ready for the next step. Flattening the surface will also make the rest of the process easier.
 Laying the membrane
It is essential to lay a good surface membrane to stop weed growth and allow for sufficient moisture drainage. It is possible to buy membranes in large sheets, which can be cut to size and laid to overlap for complete coverage.
 Laying the grids
With the membrane properly installed, the next step is laying the grids that will keep the gravel in place. These durable tiles can be cut to shape and easily fitted by interlocking with one another to cover the entire driveway. Properly installed they will help ensure a flat surface and hold gravel firmly in place.
 Spreading the gravel
The final step is unloading and spreading the gravel over the properly prepared surface. As the gravel is raked and brushed into place it will be absorbed into the honeycomb structure, meaning that there is less potential for the ball bearing effect and far less places for the gravel to go. As a result, less gravel will be needed to cover the same amount of space.
The result is a durable, long-lasting driveway that doesn’t suffer from the usual problems.
This article was created by --Gridforce.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
A multi-purpose hall in France covered in a translucent orange membrane.
Winning designs revealed for a rock formation-influenced residential complex in Rennes.
An article explaining the techniques, regulations and environmental impacts of carbon capture and storage.
Watch one of the first documentaries by the acclaimed Adam Curtis, examining the substandard system building of the 1960s.
Take a look at the tech start-up that could transform construction design and communication.
This house in Barcelona uses an innovative new facade tiling system to blend into the landscape.
The origins, evolution and future of Level 3 BIM.
For new and returning Urban Design students, check out our article list divided up into the modules you'll be studying.
Report states that health of urban dwellers could be significantly improved by rethinking transport design.
The Kremlin, the centre of Russian power, includes some of the country's finest architecture.
Report launched outlining steps for a national infrastructure system that is efficient, sustainable, and delivers until 2050.