A Temporary Way to Fix a Gravel Driveway Drainage Issue

A couple months ago we finally found and purchased land to build a new home and (of course) new gardens. No matter what property you have there will always be imperfections that need to be addressed in some way. One of the biggest problems with our property is the driveway. It’s a LONG driveway that is approximately 1000′ before you get to the main property. In my mind this is a feature and not a problem. It puts our home and bulk of the land behind other large acre properties which will give us privacy from the road. The actual problem with the driveway is with the very front entrance to the driveway. It’s a gravel driveway with a steep entry from the main road. When it rains the gravel begins to wash away so I needed to come up with way to a fix a gravel driveway drainage issue.

The problem was that when I brought my truck in to do maintenance on the land (mowing) the truck and trailer got caught in the grooves washed away by the rain. Once the truck was stuck it dug in even further because of the ruts. I needed something solid for the truck to run on that wouldn’t wash away in a heavy rain.

Here’s a look at the gravel driveway problem.

The ruts on either set of treads was 4 inches deep or deeper in some places. The gravel that was put down in this location was so large that it did not pack down well. That allowed water and vehicles to push the gravel down the hill.


A Temporary Way to Fix a Gravel Driveway Drainage Problem

Before I show you the temporary fix for the driveway, let me start off by saying that this is only a temporary fix until we can get our home built. I didn’t want to have a nice paved driveway installed only to have big trucks tear it apart. I also realize that what I did may need some additional maintenance.

I chose to pick up some 4″ thick cement 8″x16″ blocks to set into the tread areas. These were less than $1.50 each and gave me some instant volume in the excavated tread areas. Originally when I was brainstorming how to fix this I considered getting concrete and filling in the cavities with it. Since I don’t have water at the land yet that would have been tricky to mix the concrete on site and would have involved bringing water in tanks from home.

The cement blocks needed to be leveled with the slope of the driveway. I installed the first cement block sideways to hopefully slow a little of the water running down the hill. I spaced them out to allow the water to continue to flow but in a way that the blocks would hopefully prevent the gravel from washing down the driveway slope. Then we raked the gravel back into place around the blocks.

What I really need to do next is come back with a very fine gravel to work in between the large gravel. That will help shore things up better and make it a more solid surface so that the water isn’t flowing underneath and through the gravel as much.

This temporary fix for the driveway drainage issue will hopefully last long enough to get through our building project. Once it does we’re considering paving the front portion of the driveway so we won’t need to address this issue again. It’s been very dry since we made the gravel driveway fix so it hasn’t been tested yet.

What’s Next?

One of the next challenges we’ll have will be to begin the transplant process! That process will begin this fall so check back in and see how we move all these perennials, shrubs, and trees!