Landscape fabric under rock driveway?

I am going to put in rock to make a driveway and I will also be using rock in a few other area around my house. I live in the Nevada high desert and wind blown sand and dirt seems to accumulate in the rock other people have (although it may be a lot better now most of my neighbors have landscaping).
I am ignoring the weed prevention aspect of putting down landscape fabric, I seem to be able to control the weeds with a weed preventer and spot use of a Round-up like product.
If I use fabric the dirt/sand will accumulate on top of the fabric, if I don't use fabric presumably the rock will gradually sink into the soil or be submerged by accumulating dirt/sand. Any opinions on which would be better?
Ian.
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Although there are various levels of toughness available, in terms of landscape fabric, I still don't think it's a good idea to use it. I think the combination of rocks and the weight of vehicles will cause holes to be punched in the fabric. It'll end up in tatters, sticking up, and looking ugly. Then, it'll be a real pain to remove. Go with rocks alone.
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Well, I will add my two cents.
For my driveway in Michigan (150 feet): I used a thin layer of Crushed Gravel, then the Road Tarp and on top of that lots of Road Mix (Crushed Gravel mixed with Concrete). Wait for a nice rain and finally I had nice hard driveway.
I think the Tarp is needed to keep plant growth from coming up. My driveway is now seven years old: nothing else done to it, has not sank yet, hard as a paved road with no tarp showing, No lose rock when snow plowing the driveway. However, I do use some plant killer 3-4 inches on the edges of the driveway to keep a nice clean edge. I am by no means an expert, your area may have different needs. It just seemed to work for me.
Dan....
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Ian wrote:

A rock driveway is more than a layer of rocks spread around. It should be constructed to carry the amount of traffic it will receive. If you're doing it right, the base is essentially going to be the same as if you were building a paved driveway, except that instead of the last course being a pavement material, you'll be using TB rock.
Are the roads in your area gradually sinking? Sure. But if they were built right, they last at least 50 years before the sub-base needs significant repairs. And they don't have landscaping fabric under the sub-base. In fact, I'll bet you that in your area you can find roads that were paved 40 or 50 years ago simply by placing the pavement over the sub-base that was installed 40 or 50 years earlier. (They may not use that technique on a highway, but it's not that uncommon for rural local roads.)
If you're not going to put in a substantial sub-base, and your plan is to just spread some rock, landscape fabric may extend the life of it a couple of years, but even with the longer life, you'd still be talking about significant annual maintenance, and complete rebuilding within a decade. That's actually pretty common when people don't plan on staying in their homes for more than five to seven years. And the extra expense of doing it right the first time doesn't always translate to an increase in property value when selling it.
So if you're planning on staying for more than a decade, and want something that will last, and require less costly maintenance, build the driveway with a decent sub-base to begin with, and landscape fabric will be irrelevant. If you're planning on leaving in a few years, a thicker fabric than typical landscape fabric may be the better choice. Just make sure you keep up on the annual maintenance, and keep it completely covered always.
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wrote:

I probably shoud have been clearer when I said driveway. 'Occasional use driveway and access to backyard' would be more accurate. What sort of annual maintenance do you think is required?
Ian.
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Roundup Chuckie
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Ian wrote:

If you don't put down any kind of sub-base, you'll probably have to substantially redo it every year... maybe sooner if you have very sandy soil, and ever use the driveway.
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I can see we are talking sevaral many different things. A rock driveway can be:
1) crushed gravel. Here landscape fabric will do no good because the crushed gravel will cut it to shreads. If there is a grade, the stone will all end up at the bottom. Also, the area next to a paved highway will constantly need repair from the torquing of stone when pulling onto the highway. There will be a constant growth of weeds and grass and insects will build nests under the gravel. Usually the best pavement is a mix of crushed gravel and clay. It tends to pack down and form a very hard surface. I used this in Maine and it worked great. There was no maintenance and it held up to heavy equipment.
2) cobble stone. Here a good base made from clay soil covered with separation fabric, and then 8 to 12 inches of compacted aggregate base is important. Then on top of the compacted aggregate base is the bedding leayer. The material for the bedding layer should be coarse concrete sand. Do not use stone dust or screenings; they do not allow the pavers to "seat" properly and do not allow for drainage. The sand should be an even 1 thick layer. Do not compact the sand setting bed.
In this case it is important to use a separation fabric (e.g., Mirafi s 500X). The fabric is laid on top of the compacted soil in the excavated area and keeps the aggregate base material from working its way down into the soil subgrade. This is especially important where the soil contains a lot of clay. At a cost of pennies per square foot, the separation fabric provides an insurance policy against base failure.
Then the stone is placed on the sand bed. Then the space between the stones is filled with sand. The proper sand for sweeping into the joints between pavers is either mason's sand or coarse washed concrete sand. Both of these have a larger grain size than play sand, which will tend to blow or wash out. If you wish to stabilize the sand in the joints between your pavers to prevent washout and to thwart weeds and insects, use either EP Henry's Polysand or Techni-Seal's Polymeric Sand.
Weeds and grass result from seeds or spores blowing into, and lodging in, the joint sand. This can be minimized by adding SandLock to your sand or by sealing the pavers or mixing a pre-emergent granular weed killer into the joint sand. If weeds do appear, a spot vegetation killer (such as Round-Up) can be used and will not damage the pavers.
3) cut stone pavers. Similar to cobble stone but thinner and more uniform in size and thickness. They are usually 2 3/8 inches thick. Installation is the same.
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wrote:

Please! The OP is in the desert, things are not 'back east" it was not mentioned about an HOA, etc. Las Vegas and the surrounding desert are tough. The area can be subject to sudden flash floods. Any change in the lawn elevation is subject to problems (especially with an HOA) without drainage. Water just doesn't sink in here, as quick. Any 4" base of (granite) rock (bought locally) from 3/4 - 2" will support an occasional use and give drainage in our rare rains.
K.I.S.S.
Oren "My doctor says I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
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snipped-for-privacy@at.us wrote:

What is an HOA?
Are we talking about a crushed gravel driveway or a cut stone driveway?
A crushed gravel driveway wouldn't need such a substantial base. However a cut stone driveway would, especially in the desert were temperature extremes are severe.
KISS
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wrote:

The OP stated this was an occasional use drive for access to his backyard. He can clarify this, but I don't think he was wanting a "real" driveway - just stone gravel. In our area, those fortunate to have access to the backyard to park a boat or RV use landscape rock (small granite averaging 1 inch in size four inches or so thick.)
HOA - Home Owners Association!
Oren "My doctor says I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
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snipped-for-privacy@at.us wrote:

Here in the Northeast Metropolis, I live on 10 acres in a 185 year-old field stone farmhouse and don't know of any HOA's in our county. What is very popular in our area are the E P Henry patio stone type driveways which are great for around the house type driveways.
see: www.ephenry.com
I don't think that E P Henry has any outlets in the Phoenix area. However a search of "pavers" lists several outlets for paver type patio/driveways in the area.
The original question still exists: did the OP refer to crushed stone or cut stone. Obviously with crushed stone, fabric is not a good option.
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All excellent advice from others. Look at your neighbors. I live in the same area. Most likely your soil is so compacted now ( full of rocks!), just rocks are okay for an occasional use. Those living here with RV parking space on the property don't go to any extreme. This desert is pretty hard. Don't get the sandstone rocks but the granite (if these were your choices). The sandstone rocks will break down faster. Eventually you can throw more rocks on if and when you need too.
Run a water hose on the area to see just how little sinks in.
Oren
"My doctor says I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
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On Tue, 22 Nov 2005 11:29:10 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@at.us wrote:

Thanks everyone for the replies.
The ground is pretty hard a few inches down, a light rain just sinks in but with a heavy rain I get small muddy rivers.
I see lots of ugly rock based driveways around here, the problems seems to be: 1. Weeds or accumulation of dirt 2. Rock spilling out onto the sidewalk 3. Ruts in the driveway
Also there is also a slight slope (mostly from grading to keep water away from the house) so I imagine the rock will go downhill eventually.
I am leaning towards not using the landscape fabric for the driveway especially as it will probably get cut by the rock anyway. I was thinking that using landscape fabric would make it easier remove later, probably better to assume the driveway will be permanent.
I was going to put down some 3/4in rock (not sure it it is Granite, they call it 'Nevada Gold'). The supplier recommended using at least 2inches of it. They also said that larger rock (1.5 in) will not compact as well. Any opinions on this as I like the look of the larger rock and I want to use it for parts of the yard that will not be driven on?
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You need to attend an E P Henry paver class. The base is the most important part. It is more than the stone surface. Check the experts.
http://www.ephenry.com/HomeOwner /
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