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What Kind Of Gravel For Driveway?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by velvetfoot, Jul 22, 2008.

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  1. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    We currently have grey crushed stone (crusher run) on our driveway.
    It's very functional, but not that good looking.
    I was toying with the idea of putting something else down on top, like natural round stones of a light color.
    I imagine it would tend to move around more, and maybe more snowblower projectiles, but I don't know about any of that for sure.

    Any opinions or experiences?

    Thanks.

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  2. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    IMO, crushed stone is where it's at if your drainage is reasonable. Larger stones do become projectiles and you may machinegun your house with the snowblower. I assume, however, that your blower is a 2 stage and that you can adjust the skids to give clearance. This meas that you leave some snow with a gravel driveway, but it's not that bad. Some gravel drives get a little water and snow on there and the stones freeze in place- problem solved... except that the next storm you have a little snow on icy spots.

    I am thinking about topping my driveway up with crushed stone to fill some problem areas.
  3. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Thanks. We have a quarry near us that does the grey crushed sone, so everybody are here has that. A little farther away and they're more varied. I saw one the other day with rounds stone, a step above what they call 'pea gravel'. It looks good but I'm thinking about practicality. A piece of the crushed stuff gets into the snowblower every once and a while and causes a broken sheer pin even with the skids adjusted high.
  4. lvfd50

    lvfd50 New Member

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    Don't know how this would work with a snowblower, but I had a big dip at the end of my driveway and I happened to have a truckload of drainage stone (round) left over after a job. So to fill in the dip I layed in the stone and then used a bag of quickcrete motar mix on a misty day and spread it all over the stone. This is the third year of regular use and while I notice that the stones move a little up and down when you drive over them they haven't moved out of the hole. Also the driveway gets used a bit because the end of it is connected with the nieghbors driveway. I like it because the water can still run through and not cause problems. The stones even retained their shape where I tapered off on the nieghbors side. I may be doing some more of this to some holes on the road (private road) and was just goint to use a mist from a hose. I like the mist because it wets the motar to set it, but doesn't soak it so it drys fairly quick.
  5. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    For the last couple of years we've been using a special 'driveway mix'...very small stones less than 1's with stone dust. Once it's spread and it gets rained on its very very hard...you can even bounce a basketball off it. We have a swim pond on the other side of the driveway and it's even easy on your bare feet. Looks good too for gravel but what I like best about it is I can plow it without as many stones getting into my grass...actually hardly any at all now. Of course it's more expensive than what i was getting before but imo it's well worth it.

    If I were you I'd avoid getting any kind of washed stone like that colored stone...it just doesn't stay put.
  6. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    You don't want round stone for a driveway. It will never lock in or compress, always squishing out and rutting. Your real choices are the size and color of the crushed rock and whether or not the fines are included. Most crusher run in our area is called 5/8 or 1-1/4 minus and includes the fines. I like the 1.25 minus because the larger stones don't stick in your tires as much. Another product that is common is a 1.5 inch "clean" crushed rock that is washed rock that is all 1.5". That stuff is good for firming up muddy areas and locking in. I like the way it looks and since there are no fines in it the weeds have a hard time growing.

    The women with their stilleto heels like the crushed rock with fines so that they don't get stuck in the rocks.
  7. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Thanks. That's what I'm afraid of.
  8. LandscaperDarryl

    LandscaperDarryl New Member

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    Unfortunately, there is no perfect driveway gravel. I have 2-500 foot long gravel driveways.

    I prefer 3/4 inch "process" bluestone or traprock...local names vary...over those areas. It's nice because it is unwashed and contains the fines which lock things together...compacts really well. I also install and repair driveways as part of my business and will use 3 1/2 inch on areas prone to erosion or as a base coat. For wet areas, clean or washed stone is better as water can move thru it. For customers who want a bit nicer look I use 3/4 inch process granite and top it with 3/4 or 3/8 inch clean stone or pea gravel as many call it. It helps to put the clean stone on before the process has set up too hard to it sets in a bit...otherwise it tend to move around a good bit. If you're using a snow blower I'd be really relucant to recommend any type of loose stone. Even if you raise the snow blower skids up a bit, the snow can freeze to them and send them flying. I do snow removal as part of my business in the winter and any type of gravel is a pain to plow. You either have to go really slow and constantly adjust the blade height with the ups and downs or backdrag it to avoid messing it up. I had one customer who had some really nice looking smooth stone hauled in at $80/ton. It never did stop moving around...being rounded and smooth it doesn't lock together at all. Keeps rutting out in the turnout and is difficult to walk in.
  9. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Darryl. I'll probaby stick with the crusher run that's on the driveway now. I break the occasional shear pin, but it's mostly okay in that regard. It sounds like the pea gravel would be a lot of maintenance.
  10. glacialhills

    glacialhills Member

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    Dont know if you can get it where you live but here in the midwest we use 3a road gravel. it is small gravel mixed with fine sand and a bit of clay dirt. It compacts to a rock hard surface that even keeps weeds from growing once it gets driven on and compacted.Its The same stuff the county uses to do gravel roads around here. We have had ours since 1993 and only scraped it once to smooth it out.And yes the boys dribble the basketballs on it just fine, heck my 3 year old even rides his big wheel on the stuff...lol. Only the first year did I pick up lots of rocks with the blower till it got compacted. Oh and I got the next grade harder sheer bolts for the 2 stage snow blower and now never have a problem with the occasional stone.(and my snapper 2 stage is as old as the driveway) so I dont think the harder sheer bolts hurt the auger gears any.
  11. Ken45

    Ken45 Minister of Fire

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    Terms vary from location to location. I live in Ohio right next to Kentucky. When I get crushed stone from Ky, they are totally clueless as to what I'm talking about when I use Ohio terms. I'm guessing the "3a road gravel" is "304" here in Ohio and maybe RMOS in Ky.

    But yes, I agree with staying away from anything round. It will never settle in.

    Ken
  12. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Thanks. They look good though...For a while....
  13. caber

    caber New Member

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    Well, if you want black instead of gray, you can usually get recycled asphalt pretty cheap. Run over it with a tractor or roller to compact it down and its real solid.
  14. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    You know, I never realized that this was done 'til I saw it done by a local business when there was a repaving job.
    I woulda thought it would violate some kind of rule, but I guess not.
  15. ScottF

    ScottF New Member

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    I have a quarter mile driveway with crushed asphalt. It is awesome. compacts like pavement . does not pothole, and does not grow weeds. Its the only way to go for me.
  16. granpajohn

    granpajohn Minister of Fire

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    I think the asphalt is actually the tailings from asphalt milling, (those machines that grind the road before a repaving job and drive you nuts). A very good material, but I've always worried about tracking black junk into the house. Had any problem with this?
  17. Ken45

    Ken45 Minister of Fire

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    I have HEARD about pouring diesel fuel on the loose recycled asphalt and setting it afire to melt it down into a solid surface. Not something I would be willing to try.

    I have a suspicion that's what the previous owner did here, he worked for a paving contractor.

    Ken
  18. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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    The very best material next to crushed (milled) asphalt is crushed lime stone, It looks great and becomes very hard when compacted. It locks together perfectly and lasts for years. My drive way is 1425' long and i use screened bankrun up to near the house then crushed limestone.
  19. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    How big are those limestone pieces? It's funny, as soon as I cross the Mass/NY border, you see light-colored stone driveways. There is a lot of lime around there I think though.
  20. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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    It is a grayish white color. Looks great lasts long time. the pieces are crushed with jagged edges which in turn lock together nicely.
  21. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, jagged is key. A light colored driveway would be nice.
  22. Ken45

    Ken45 Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, light colored as in concrete! Last good storm we had (about two months ago), we lost about 25 ton of crushed limestone.

    Ken
  23. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Are you on a hill? I see a lot of gullied gravel driveways here. Still have to keep up with the shoulders I imagine.
  24. Ken45

    Ken45 Minister of Fire

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    Yes, about 150' elevation gain on the driveway. About 2/3rds are concrete with gravel on the side. Then at the bottom is a bridge which floods about once a year (about 2' over it this time) and then gravel for the next 400'. That's where we lost most of the crushed stone.

    We are going to put in concrete later this month.

    Ken
  25. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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    I use 170 tons to do my driveway so i am always at the mercy of mather nature as are you. I have not had to stone my drive in 5 years
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