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What’s the Best Way To Grade a Gravel Driveway?

grading gravel driveway

If you have a gravel driveway or road on your home or property, you know that they require regular upkeep and maintenance. Grading your driveway is the best way to fix common problems and prevent them from occurring in the future. But what’s the best way to grade a gravel driveway? Here’s the inside scoop!

Why Should I Grade My Gravel Driveway?

When you grade a driveway or other area, you’ll fill in uneven spots and create drainage with gravel before re-smoothing it into an even surface. 

Every property is different, and there’s an array of issues that can arise when you own a gravel driveway. When you grade the area, it can be a quality fix for many concerns. It can also help to prevent these inconveniences from happening in the future.

Some of the most common problems that arise with gravel driveways that can be fixed with grading include:

  • Deep paths formed from driving in the same spot over and over again
  • Ruts develop that are uncomfortable and dangerous to drive over
  • Gravel is compacted and uneven
  • Washouts appear after heavy rain

The 3 Best Ways To Grade a Gravel Driveway

There are several ways to grade and maintain a gravel driveway, including grading by hand, using a driveway grader, and using a tractor. Discover the best option for your property and budget that will leave you with top-notch results that will last. 

  1. Grading a Driveway By Hand

One of the best ways you can maintain your gravel driveway by hand is by regularly raking it to keep it even and avoid debris buildup. Heavy equipment will be needed if you’re looking for a full regrading.

If your driveway has just a few potholes, you can fill them by hand. This is a quick fix that won’t last long-term, and potholes might reappear relatively quickly. However, if you don’t have access to heavy-duty equipment or you’re trying to save money, grading by hand is a solid solution. 

When you’re fixing a pothole by hand, it’s important to remember that the loose fill will wash away the next time it rains. Your main concern should be the compaction of the pothole surface. Loosen up the hole to a depth of a few inches before filling it. 

  • Use a pick or mattock to loosen up the pothole surface. 
  • Add new gravel slowly. Be sure to compact the new gravel as you go. 
    • Hint: Tamping with a post or a five-gallon bucket works, or you can roll over it with your vehicle. 
  • Add water to increase the compaction of the new gravel you filled in. 
  1. Grading a Driveway With a Tractor

If you own a tractor, you can pair it with a box scraper or other attachment to grade your driveway. Before grading, you should fill any potholes’ low spots with new gravel (see above for filling potholes by hand or consider investing in a backhoe attachment).

  • Pull gravel from the left side of your driveway towards the center. 
  • Repeat this step to make sure the gravel is decompacted. 
  • Pull gravel from the right side of your driveway towards the center. 
  • Repeat this step to make sure the gravel is decompacted. 
  • Walk through the center of the driveway with a shovel and remove any debris.
    • While doing this step, create a slight crown down the center of the driveway for proper drainage.
  • Level any piling formed at the driveway’s ends by going back and forth over the area to redistribute the gravel. 
  • Ride up and down the driveway several times to smooth and set the gravel.
  1. Hire a Professional Grading Contractor 

Hiring a professional grading contractor is a solid option if you need to build a new gravel driveway from scratch, grade for maintenance, or have it repaired. The process is time-consuming, and if you’re not comfortable working on your own or don’t have the proper tools, improper grading can happen – resulting in erosion, potholes, and water buildup. 

When hiring a gravel driveway contractor, it’s best to gather multiple quotes and compare them to find the best solution. Don’t be afraid to do some research and look around — you might find that as often as most gravel driveways need to be serviced, it might pay off to have your own tools after all!

Invest in Your Own Gravel Driveway Maintenance Tools

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If you want to avoid hiring professional help for your driveway, take matters into your own hands. You want your gravel to last a long time to get the most of your investment. 

If you’re looking for the best way to grade a gravel driveway, you can’t do better than the Driveway Scraper. This helpful tool attaches to your tractor and efficiently smooths out dirt and gravel driveways. It can also work on any job where gravel needs to be leveled, such as parking lots and golf courses. Beyond gravel and driveways, it can also level out topsoil for planting and landscaping.

The Driveway Scraper attaches to the 3-point hookup on your tractor and uses its front blades to smooth out high spots, while the rear blade uses the material from those high spots to fill in any low spots, ensuring everything is even once you’re done. It also works on both flat and contour surfaces.

For more information, visit the Driveway Scraper page, or get in touch with our team! 

The material and information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. You should not rely upon the material or information on the website as a basis for making business, legal or other decisions.