When a driveway gets installed, whether residential or commercial, driveway grading is a crucial part of the process. Driveway grading is a key factor when it comes to safety. If a company building the driveway fails to do so, they open themselves up to liability if something goes wrong. It is essential to consult experts and professionals when building a steep driveway or driveway drainage system.
What Is Driveway Grading?
Driveway grading is a process that takes place during the construction of your home and the surrounding property. Whenever a road or a driveway gets constructed, it requires grading. To grade an area in preparation for installing an asphalt driveway or parking lot, the land needs to get cut or filled. Then, it must get leveled and pitched to allow for water runoff.
Signs a Driveway or Parking Lot Was Not Graded Properly
The best way to explain why you must grade your steep driveway is to provide examples of what can happen when it does not receive proper grading. Almost everyone has driven through a parking lot before.
If you’ve ever driven through a large Walmart parking lot, you likely saw sections with large puddles. Alternatively, you might have experienced rainwater getting into your garage after a large storm. In these situations, driveway grading was likely not done properly.
Grading stops asphalt layers from bending, cracking, and filling up with water. Their structural integrity remains intact, and damage is less likely.
What Are Some Important Things to Know About Grading a Driveway?
The first thing you must know about driveway grading is the subgrade must be adequate. Without a strong foundation, a driveway can crack. As a result, you will need to have it replaced much quicker than is ideal.
Additionally, it is crucial to know that driveway grading must prove that water can drain properly. Water should never pool in a driveway. Driveway grading properly will help with driveway drainage and stop water pooling from happening.
How Is Driveway Grading Done?
Although getting your driveway graded by a professional is ideal, it is possible to do it yourself. With the correct materials and research, you can grade your driveway without the help of a professional.
To start, you must dig in as deep as possible as this helps loosen up the gravel. Ideally, you will dig as deep as your deepest potholes. Once you do this, you should go back and forth, taking several passes across your driveway to loosen up the gravel. You do not need to dig up the entire area, but you should dig several holes.
Once you finish tossing and turning the gravel base, you can examine the area for washouts or floating gravel. You can sweep excess gravel back into the driveway if everything meets standards. If there are any washouts or floating gravel, fix them and proceed.
Finally, once you finish scanning and sweeping the area, grade your driveway again. Go back and forth across your driveway to even everything out. Distribute the gravel evenly over the surface. After you place the gravel, you can start installing the other sections of your driveway.
Be Consistent When Grading Your Driveway
The most crucial thing to remember when grading your driveway is consistency. Without consistency, driveway grading and regrading serve no purpose. Driveway grading once is not going to do much. Sure, it might help for a few months, but you must commit to the process at least twice a year. People usually regrade their driveways in the spring and fall because winter can be very harmful. Driveway grading in the seasons surrounding winter helps in damage response and prevention.
If you decide to regrade your driveway seasonally, there are a few things to remember. First, you must fill any potholes with gravel or loose rocks between driveway gradings. Although it is not a perfect solution, it should do the job while you wait for your seasonal driveway grading. Second, you should always ensure you are aware of any gravel drifting into surrounding areas. When this happens, sweep it back into your driveway. Finally, it is essential to maintain the crown of your driveway. It is the high point in the center of your driveway and is crucial to the water driveway drainage process.
Take Your Time When Grading a Driveway
Whether you are a professional or someone grading a driveway for the first time, you should take your time with the process. Driveway grading can be a bit of a tedious process, and, as a result, it is tempting to rush through it. Unfortunately, rushing will only force you to regrade your driveway again sooner. So, it is best to be thorough when you do it. Contact Richfield Blacktop today for more helpful information on driveway grading.