Out here in the country, we love our gravel driveways. They’re attractive in an understated way, and get us from the road to the house without much of a fuss. One of their biggest problems, however, is potholes. Season after season, the potholes seem to multiply, making every trip down the driveway a bumpy ride and causing a lot of wear and tear to your vehicle. Learning how to fix a pothole in a gravel driveway isn’t rocket science, however. And taking the time to care for and maintain your gravel driveway will prevent them from forming in the future.
How to Fix a Pothole by Hand
You can fill a pothole by hand in not too much time, but be prepared – it’s no pleasant task. You’ll need:
- a pickaxe or mattock
- loose gravel
- a 5-gallon bucket or other item with a flat bottom for flattening out the surface
- a hose or container with water in it
- a rake, preferably a gravel rake
Here’s how you go about filling a pothole:
1. Use the pick or mattock to break up the surface of the pothole.
2. Add loose gravel slowly, compacting the new material as you go. Tamping it with a 5 gallon bucket or other heavy, flat object is effective, or you can roll over it with your vehicle.
3. Add water to increase compaction of the new fill.
4. Add a little bit of extra gravel to give it some height above the surface of your driveway.
5. Rake it smooth.
Much easier than lugging tools and heavy gravel all around your driveway to fix potholes is using a driveway grader to fill them in and even prevent them before they form. These come in many different models, and the easiest ones simply tow behind your riding lawn mower, ATV, or truck. You attach the machine to your towing vehicle and drive over your driveway, allowing the metal teeth to dig deep into your gravel, loosening the compaction and refilling potholes. Grading your driveway just a couple times a year will ensure a smooth, comfortable surface free from potholes.
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