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Gravel can be a cost-efficient but aesthetic prospect for homeowners looking to install a new driveway. A gravel driveway is more economical than many of the other options out there. With so many color varieties and variances in textures, a gravel driveway can add beautiful curb appeal to any home. Despite being a cheaper solution than concrete or asphalt, a gravel driveway can still be a sizable investment. So here are five tips from Shepherd Earthworks to ensure your investment starts right in the beginning phase and continues to look great for years to come. 

1. Add a Grade to Your Gravel Driveway 

Grading your driveway will make sure that it continues to look its best. Properly grading your driveway will ensure that some pesky issues, like erosion and pooling water, don’t occur. When graded correctly, the driveway will crown in the middle and slope away from any structures. By doing this, you keep your property free from standing water and water-related damage. 

2. Stop Water Issues Before They Damage Your Gravel Driveway

Soft spots or holes under your driveway will cause water to pool and begin erosion. It’s always a good idea to walk the area once excavated to check for any potential water threats. If you feel a soft spot under your foot, fill it and compact it. This will save you lots of time and frustration later. 

It’s also a good idea to dig drainage ditches on your driveway to give water a place to move. Drainage ditches give you extra support in your battle against water-related issues by pulling water away from potential low points in your driveway. 

3. Check The Area of Your Planned Gravel Driveway for Obstructions. 

The more compact your subsurface is, the more smooth your driveway is going to be. Tree stumps, holes, rocks, and other obstacles that aren’t dealt with before the gravel is laid on, will make for a bumpy ride when you’re driving up to your property. Like loose soil and holes, these issues should be dealt with promptly. 

Some of these issues may arise later on. Tree roots grow, erosion happens, and other issues can cause damage to your driveway. Letting these matters go unattended can create more significant problems that might prove more costly. It’s always a good idea to take care of any damage to your driveway as soon as it’s noticed rather than wait for it to get bigger. Shepherd Earthworks has the technology to get your excavation done right. We’ll make sure the area is clean of any obstacles and that the ground is compacted correctly. 

4. Landscape Fabric Will Prevent Grass and Weeds From Popping Up in Your Gravel Driveway

Putting down landscape fabric before you add the top layer of gravel is an excellent preventative against unwanted greenery sprouting up in your driveway. Like tree roots, grass and weeds continue to grow wherever they please. Once they get started, the problem can get out of hand quickly. The landscape fabric lies over the ground and suffocates potential plant life there. This fabric is also relatively cheap and is an easy investment in the longevity of your gravel driveway. 

5. Consider Which Material is Best for Your Gravel Driveway

Gravel driveways come with plenty of options in textures and colors. When it’s time to decide what type of top layer you want to show, there are some things to consider. A gravel driveway doesn’t have to be boringly functional. It can add a bit of aesthetic to your home and even improve its curb appeal. Whatever you decide, a gravel driveway appropriately installed will last for many years, so pick something that compliments your property’s personality.

Ask an Industry Trusted Professional for Help With Your Gravel Driveway

While an ambitious DIYer can probably address some of the more minor issues that might come up with your gravel driveway, sometimes these tiny issues have more significant causes. It’s always a good idea to call the pros to assess problems and ensure there isn’t anything more significant looming underneath the surface. If your driveway requires repair, or if you’re thinking of installing one for the first time, give Shepherd Earthworks a Call. We’re ready to help you install a driveway that you’ll love. 

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