I have a rental property in need of a driveway. The property borders
wetlands, thus, the ground is very soft in the spring. I would like to
install an asphalt driveway, but I'm afraid it would fail in a short
amount of time due to ground conditions.
I am wondering if I could do the driveway in two phases. The first
phase would be to dig out the soft ground and fill with gravel or
other suitable material for the base. In the spring after the winter
thaw, if the ground settles, I can top off the base with additional
gravel and re-compact. Phase two would be to lay the asphalt after
all/most of settling had stopped. Is this feasable? Thanks...
Sounds like a reasonable plan. You may have to remove a lot of soil.
You want to get the topsoil off and any soil with organic material
content since it will eventually decompose. They make geotextile
fabric (kind of weed block on steroids) that you should lay down
before the gravel to help keep the base from sinking into the soil.
If the finished height can be somewhat above the surrounding ground
level that will help with drainage, and you may need drains along the
sides to keep water out of the base. Start with large size gravel on
the bottom. Spread and compact the gravel in no more than about 4"
thick lifts or it won't compact well.
You need a good asphalt contractor that knows how to build a good base
in wet areas.
if the area freezes use drain pipe to get any water away from under
and in the gravel.
on initial dig out go very deep and use lots of gravel.
see how it looks in the spring, if it moves a lot then go with tar and
The idea of removing the soft material until you get to solid earth
and then backfilling with appropriate material is correct. And
waiting 6 months to then do the ashphalt can't hurt, but if the
material is properly compacted as it's put down, it can be done right
away. This is done in construciton all the time. Depending on how
deep your soft layer is, this could be quite expensive. Also, as
someone else pointed out, there is the question of groundwater. If
the natural water table of this is very high, you may still have a
problem, if the water is high enough that it comes up under the
asphalt and then freezes. Mention was made of adding drains and that
is good, assuming there is somewhere for the water to drain to.
You will need to install a drain first, this is a must. As an owner of a
sealcoating company I have seen the damage from the water seeping through
many times. Over time this will create potholes and large cracks. You will
need several inches of gravel and then the asphalt. Shop around and get
several bids as they can vary quite widely. After about 90 days you will
want to get your driveway seal coated.
I would suggest just going with "phase 1."
What do you expect to gain from paving the gravel road? If the sub-soil
conditions are marginal the asphalt will crack. If you just have gravel,
you can just pile on a little more stone. If you pave it, you have to
Yes, depending on the soil and surface water conditions in the area,
that may be the best approach, especially from a cost/benefit
standpoint. I'm not a big fan of loose stone or gravel driveways, but
in some cases in may be a good alternative. Depending on how long the
driveway is, you could do pavers or asphalt near the house and leave
the rest crushed stone, etc.
On Sep 2, 2:02?pm, email@example.com wrote:
the trouble with gravel driveways is dirt ALWAYS migrates into the
gravel:( its sad and amazing:(
My neighbor fixed his over 20 years ago and although he moved out over
10 years ago his gravel driveway still looks great NO DIRT AND MUD AT
he had it dug out deep, at about a foot down layer of gravel then
cheap layer of asphalt, then 8 or 9 inches of gravel.
it worked amazingly well, his driveway is perfect.
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