Can you fix steep driveway setups at your home or business? Yes, but the best solution usually depends on several factors, such as the current angle and length of the driveway. Here’s what you should know about steep driveway solutions.
Why Steep Driveways Are Problematic
An excessively sloped driveway creates many problems for homeowners, ranging from the risk of a vehicle sliding down and hitting something if its brakes fail to difficulty traversing it with mobility issues. People with wheelchairs, for example, may have trouble navigating a grade higher than 8.3%.
If you don’t fix a steep driveway, you may also have a much higher risk of falls, whether it’s people stumbling over the incline or items inside a vehicle sliding out when you open the door. If heavy items fall, they could break themselves, the driveway, or a person.
Outside of the problem of excessively steep driveways, different areas have different rules for allowable grades. In short, steep driveways aren’t just annoying, they’re a genuine safety hazard. Fortunately, steep driveway solutions can help you fix a steep driveway.
Regrading is the most effective method if you’re in need of steep driveway solutions, though it can also be the most expensive depending on the angle and slope of the existing driveway. A professional team will show up, remove the current driveway, and add or remove dirt as necessary to fix a steep driveway.
Once the grading is finished, the team will install a new driveway. Regrading may also involve building additional access ramps, flattening other areas, or installing retaining walls. If you want to be sure your new driveway meets all regulations, regrading is a guaranteed way to fix a sloped driveway.
2. Gravel Driveways
Gravel driveways are an affordable alternative to traditional driveways. It provides significantly better traction at a low cost, though many people feel that gravel doesn’t look as good as a paved area. Installing gravel to fix a steep driveway is an excellent option to consider if you can’t or don’t want to regrade the area or if you want the most economical solution.
One thing to remember when choosing this option to fix a steep driveway is that gravel may need occasional replacement as it shifts down, so expect to get some extra every few years. Angular gravel doesn’t slide as much, so it’s a good option for fixing a sloped driveway.
Resin driveways aren’t as well-known as other options, but they’re a surprisingly effective option to fix a steep driveway. Resin has an outstanding grip, even better than gravel, and works with a layered setup involving sand, gravel, decomposed granite, and finally the resin surfacing.
A properly-installed resin driveway can last up to 25 years with minimal maintenance necessary, although company guarantees are usually somewhat below that. Resin is a particularly effective way to fix a steep driveway in rainy areas because water goes straight through it. However, it’s not as effective in places that get a lot of snow, which can make the resin more slippery.
4. Add Speed Bumps
If you don’t want to change your existing driveway too much, installing speed bumps is an option to fix a steep driveway. These are usually concrete or asphalt, but they have two primary effects when you install them on a driveway.
First, speed bumps can slow down any vehicle sliding down them, reducing the distance the vehicle travels and likely decreasing any damage it causes.
Speed bumps can also provide an additional flatter surface to walk on. Although not ideal for wheelchairs, they may be safer than a steeply-sloped driveway.
Installing speed bumps is usually much cheaper to fix a steep driveway than redoing it entirely, but less effective on the steepest slopes.
5. Curve Your Driveway
If you have a lot of horizontal space, curving the driveway may be a good way to fix a steep driveway. In this format, the total height doesn’t change, but increasing the length of the driveway makes it easier to flatten things out and reduce the slope at any point.
In suburban areas, installing a curve usually requires cutting deeply into a lawn. It’s important to check with local regulators before doing this, but most are willing to consider the option if it means being able to fix a steep driveway.
6. Install Barriers
Barriers won’t do anything to fix a steep driveway, but they are a cost-effective option for minimizing damage.
A good driveway barrier is essentially a removable gate that can help stop any vehicle that starts sliding. That may result in slight vehicle damage, but it’s usually far less than if the vehicle slides freely into the street.
It should be strong enough to stop the vehicle when it’s sliding, meaning most effective options are metal. Wood can be an affordable alternative to help fix a steep driveway, though it’s likely to break if hit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions people have about how to fix steep driveway problems.
Can I Fix My Driveway Myself?
Possibly, depending on its current condition. However, it’s usually better to hire a professional. Pros have the tools to fix a steep driveway that meets your house’s unique needs. If you have gravel, you can usually maintain it yourself.
How Long Does Regrading a Driveway Take?
It depends on the length of the driveway and the amount of regrading. Most driveways take a few days to regrade, but especially long or steep ones can take more than a week. A month to fix a steep driveway is unlikely for all but the longest driveways.
What Is the Best Grade for a Driveway?
An ideal grade is about 5%, angling away from the driveway to avoid funneling water toward the house. It is flat enough for most people to traverse with no difficulty. 15% is the highest most places will ever allow, and anything 25% or over is a genuine hazard.
Local guidelines are more specific than these, so be sure to check before you fix a steep driveway.
Turn to Richfield Blacktop for Your Steep Driveway Solution
Whether you’re ready to fix steep driveway problems now or want to talk to someone about your house’s needs, contact Richfield Blacktop today. Our experts are happy to hear about your needs and find a solution that works for your schedule and budget.