Deciding what driveway surface to choose for your driveway? Here's a few ideas to get you going in the right direction.
There are different types of gravel, but for simplicity we'll break it down into two main categories:
Gravel with fine particles, and gravel without.
We generally call the rock with the finer particles 'road base gravel' because it is used to strengthen and pack the base of a road. It is also referred to as 'flex base gravel', or 'base rock'. Gravel without finer particles is sometimes called 'washed' rock, and is can also be referred to as 'wash rock', 'landscape rock', 'topcoat rock', 'driveway top coat' or 'decorator rock'.
Flex Base Gravel (with fines): This rock has fine particles included so that it packs tighter. It is best for driveway, road, and parking areas where strength is needed.
Washed rock (without fines): This rock is best for drainage uses, decorative areas, or as a thin top layer of a road or driveway.
Some larger rock types are good to put down over dirt, or in muddy areas, but generally, washed rock is used for decorative purposes - especially if it is of a smaller size.
We see a lot of DIY'ers getting washed rock when flex base gravel should be used. If the road is in good shape, decorative rock may be the right solution, but if there are issues with the road, chances are flex base is what is needed.
Understanding the uses of various rock types:
First off, here in Texas, we have a lot of underlying soil conditions as well as drainage problems and a lot of trucks :) This means that just laying down any sort of loose gravel over dirt or grass isn't going to be very effective overall here in Texas.
Loose gravel pushes when twisted on and could leave low or bare spots. For this reason, we build a road with sturdy larger rock at the bottom, flex base next, and then a decorative rock if desired for the top coat. The top coat could also be left as flex base, or could be paved with hot mix asphalt or recycled asphalt.
The good news is that you don't have to know exactly what rock to use if you know us. We'll tell you if you are doing the work yourself, or we will quote the job if you're in the area. Hope this helps!
Fixing Deep Potholes - The Pothole Repair Process for Gravel Driveways, Parking Lots & Country Roads
Wondering what it takes to fix large potholes, or washed out gravel roads?
If you want to get out of the mud while putting a stop to the bumpy drive there are solutions!
Deep potholes and fixing washed out areas can be a tough one. For one thing, filling the potholes or wash out with material may not fix the problems. If you've had a washed out driveway or deep potholes in North Texas, you probably know that they come back more often than not.
Filling a pothole with gravel likely won't fix it.
Usually, a paving contractor will be needed to actually fix serious issues like in the picture below. No two situations are exactly alike, but digging ditches, putting in culverts, digging out bad areas, using rock to reinforce the areas, and grading and compaction are some of the ways we'd address the issues.
If you are trying to fix a washout or a pothole on your own or on a small budget, you can fill them with whatever you can afford or have around. Just know that many times you are temporarily fixing things, and that a more permanent solution may require expert advice. It is likely that when you do bring a contractor in, they will remove any attempt you have made. But... If that means your drive is better while you save up or consult paving companies you have made a contribution.
Things we don't recommend you put in a pothole or wash out: Bricks & wood. Try to stick to rock when attempting a driveway repair as much as possible.
If you're in the North Texas areas we work in, we can quote a driveway repair for you at no cost. Also, please checkout the deep potholes pdf below for more information on how to address repairing a deep pothole in North Texas!
Here's a pdf flyer (letter sized) if you're interested in downloading and printing:
Rural drives and private roads are our passion. We post recent jobs, paving techniques, and tips and tricks here. Enjoy!