9 Gravel Road Maintenance Tips And Tricks

Roads require regular maintenance to maintain their functionality, strength, and lifespan. Maintenance levels differ from one type of road to another, depending on the materials used. Gravel needs more attention than other types as it's prone to dust accumulation and wear and tear.

landscape photography of road between wheat plants
Photo by Anjie Webbie on Unsplash

Gravel roads require maintenance as any road. Don't let their roughness confuse you! Adhering to the best practices will keep them in their best shape and appearance for years. It would help to liaise with a reputable company for gravel materials and maintenance services.

Here are some tips for maintaining gravel roads.

Magnesium Chloride Dust Control

If not well managed, gravel roads produce incredible dust levels. When considering maintenance, it would be best to always include ideas about controlling dust.

Magnesium chloride dust control is the most popular due to its effectiveness. This technique involves applying magnesium chloride as fine particles to the gravel to reduce soil erosion and dust.

The chemical absorbs moisture from the air to keep the surface moist for a specific time. Since it's not a permanent solution, you may have to reapply after about three to six months.

Dust Control Techniques

There are plenty of other dust control tactics for gravel roads besides magnesium chloride. They include installing windbreakers, watering the road, adding more gravel, or using dust depressants.

Dust control is a crucial part of gravel road maintenance, and you can rely on these ideas and many others. Examine the impact on the environment, the effectiveness of the system, the maintenance requirements, and climate change.

Improve Drainage

Gravel can be a practical road solution with a functional drainage system. It helps to prevent water accumulation, which, in the long run, weakens the surface's stability, contributing to soil erosion and potholes.

You can enhance drainage on these roads by constructing ditches across both sides, which require regular maintenance. Other drainage essentials include culverts for better water flow, vegetation management to reduce soil erosion, and water bars to slow down water flow through the road.

Traffic Control

Traffic on gravel roads refers to the intensity of vehicles, people, or animals that use the route. When it's too much, it can be unbearable for the surface, destabilizing the soil and attracting erosion.

Managing traffic on these roads is part of maintenance as it improves their longevity and strength. Some techniques include minimizing the traffic by constructing a different route for some vehicles or installing speed bumps to mitigate their speed.

Inspect the Gravel Roads Regularly

Gravel roads require inspection as regularly as every other type, regardless of their durability. Engineers and other experts should always look for general wear and tear signs. Other inspection issues include improper drainage, soil erosion, and excessive dust.

Continue to develop viable ways to address each issue alongside preventative measures. Regular inspections also helps us understand the key issues to consider during future construction.

Occasional Compaction

Gravel compaction refers to connecting stones deeper into the soil to increase stability. After the initial installation, experts recommend compacting after approximately a year or two or when you detect any signs of intensive wear.

It's advisable to add another layer of gravel soon after the compression of the previous one to protect it from erosion. This will improve its strength. You can apply any tricks you may have learned to this new one for more desirable outcomes.

Surface Maintenance

Gravel road maintenance depends on the surface. You can improve this road's stability, lifespan, and functionality by occasionally adding another layer of gravel. It can be once every six months or every time you notice a change in quality.

It is also highly recommended that gravel stones be improved in quality or brand. This idea helps increase compaction and reduce erosion and dust production.

Emergency Planning

[Emergencies exist in all areas of life], including the gravel road. It's best to be fully prepared to respond to issues with various tactics. Some common emergencies associated with these roads include landslides or stones washed away in heavy rains.

Develop a connection with the weather forecast to recognize potential disasters. Furthermore, ensure you communicate effectively with residents to notify and seek their attention regarding threats.

Winter Servicing

Winter can be hostile to nearly all forms of transportation, including gravel-paved ones. Therefore, you should establish maintenance strategies that ensure surfaces are in their best state during this period.

For instance, settle on deicing techniques that don't damage the stones or weaken the soil. When the season ends, the road may not be stable enough for use.