How to Properly Prepare a Driveway
For many of us, a driveway is more than an area where we park our vehicles, it is an introduction to our home. There certainly is a lot to be said for keeping the driveway in pristine condition and at times, an upgrade may be in order. Regardless of whether you are putting down a driveway of gravel, tiles or asphalt, making sure it is prepared properly is one of the most important parts of the project. Here are some things to consider so everything goes as smoothly as possible.
First of all, there may be some material that should be removed prior to the time the driveway project is started. This could include topsoil or perhaps some additional material under the sod and topsoil. If you are working on a smaller project, you might find that it is easy to simply remove it with a shovel but if the project is larger, you might want to hire a backhoe or other piece of heavy equipment to take care of the bulk of the work. It can save you time and often makes a much nicer job.
It is also very important to get everything as level as possible under the new or upgraded driveway. Starting out with a level surface will make it much easier to have a finished surface that is level as well. In fact, having an uneven or unprepared base will often show in the final product. Some people don’t worry as much about keeping things level when they are putting in a gravel driveway but it is still something that is important to ensure that things go smoothly. Take the time to have a nice base under the driveway and it will make a difference.
Now that the surface has been pre-prepared for the new driveway, it is important to ensure that it is compacted properly. This is also a step that tends to be overlooked but if the surface is not properly compacted, it will often show up as an uneven surface and perhaps low spots that will show up over time. Low spots are more than an eyesore; they are the area where water accumulates and in colder climates, you could end up with a slippery situation. Compacting the soil underneath the driveway might require that you rent some machinery but it will be well worth the effort in the end.
Finally, put down a weed barrier and prepare the borders for the new driveway. This is something that you will appreciate once it is down. Weeds can be a problem with any type of driveway over time but they are especially difficult when it comes to a gravel drive. Consider this as the final step before actually putting in the driveway and using it.
The driveway is an area of the home that doesn’t typically get a lot of attention but it is one that can make a difference in our lifestyle. Prepare the area properly in advance of doing any work and it will make a difference.