Clay issues with adding gravel to driveway/parking

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Old 03-24-14, 03:31 PM
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Clay issues with adding gravel to driveway/parking

I was planning to add/replenish gravel on my driveway this spring and want to check if my plans are on the right track.

The main issue is two parking spaces to one side of the driveway. A light layer of gravel was laid down three or four years ago on grass. Unfortunately, it looks like heavy clay was laid over the grass first (to level the spaces closer to the drive), and this wet winter is resulting in very bad ruts which then fill with water and the gravel sinking down into the clay. What I'm reading online suggests what *should* have been done was a base level of larger stone, then soil, then the topping gravel. These spaces, though, are going to be maybe five-year 'temporary' so my plan was to try and stabilize the clay by adding either sand or soil to the entire area, then putting a layer of topping gravel. Does this have any hope of working? The area around the spaces seems to drain fine, so I'm not worried (unless I should be) about creating new wet spots - I just need to be able to park on something other than quicksand.

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The driveway itself drains great. There's just a little pooling at a couple of small spots resulting from someone pulling in too fast over areas that got soaked by a leaky sump pump hose. My thought is to fill in those couple of spots (inch deep at worst) with some soil, compact as best as possible, then just drop the gravel on top of the whole straight stretch. The drive has always been gravel, though it hasn't been maintained in years, and looks like it should provide a fine base for fresh gravel and some better curb appeal.

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Am I forgetting or grossly underestimating anything?
 
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  #2  
Old 03-24-14, 04:11 PM
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I would not add soil which would become mud the minute it got wet. I would just fill in the low areas with stone.
 
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Old 03-24-14, 04:42 PM
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Wait for the area to thoroughly dry out. Level the area with material that is in place. Place a good geotextile over the area and place 6" of 1" crusher run gravel over the area and compact it thoroughly. It should hold up for a long time. The geotextile will keep the soil from underneath infiltrating into the gravel and the gravel from settling into the sub base.
 
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Old 03-25-14, 04:47 PM
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Makes sense about the soil, thanks for that.

I can see the utility behind geotextile, but out of curiosity what do you think the results would be if I didn't use it - just leveled as best as possible and then added plenty of gravel on top? More settling of stone and a shorter time between needing to replenish?
 
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Old 03-26-14, 05:20 AM
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Since you're only looking for 5 years more use I'd just put down more stone. If you were building a road doing new construction for a long life driveway I'd consider other methods but at this point I'd just keep it simple. Just for fun though you can try to level the rutted area and place heavy duty landscape fabric in the divot areas and cover with stone.
 
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Old 03-26-14, 05:43 AM
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What are you planning on doing in 5 years?
 
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Old 03-28-14, 08:29 AM
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No firm plans right now. That's my expected timeline for changing the shed into more of a garage, at which point I'd tie the driveway, parking, garage, and immediate backyard more together.
 
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