Are you embarrassed by the condition of your driveway?
Believe it or not, your driveway will set the first impression for those who approach your home or business.
Whether you are trying to impress your customers or you’re selling your home, your driveway is part of the all-important curb appeal.
Now is the time to give your driveway the attention it needs and who better to help than a professional grading contractor.
Why Use Driveway Grading Contractors?
There are different types of driveways that you can have installed for your property.
It’s important that you find a contractor with experience, as each type of driveway requires specific skills.
One of the major problems property owners have with driveways is improper water drainage. If you have a sloped driveway, it’s even more problematic.
For a new home building project, the excavation of an adequate drainage system is important to protect the home’s foundation.
The same consideration should be applied to excavation for a new driveway.
What is a good grade for your driveway?
The grade of your driveway refers to how steep the driveway falls over a change in elevation.
The length and the change in elevation both need to be calculated in order to find the grade.
To prevent erosion, standing water, and water draining into the foundation, the slope should be between 2% minimum and 25% maximum for steep driveways.
This may be a lot to think about and intimidating to calculate for yourself.
That’s why there are professionals who can determine the exact driveway gradient for your property.
They will use the best equipment to accurately get your driveway to the right grade level.
If you have a driveway that is uneven, has potholes, and/or gets pools of water then contacting a driveway grading contractor may be a good idea to regrade the surface.
How do you regrade a driveway?
Well, let’s first look at the type of driveway you have. The most common are asphalt, concrete, and gravel driveways.
Gravel driveways lend themselves to easy owner maintenance.
To regrade a driveway with gravel, renting a piece of grading equipment with a blade attachment to move dirt and rock will be the most efficient method.
To regrade a concrete or asphalt drive will require using a jackhammer to break up the material and an excavator to move and re-level the dirt underneath before re-paving.
Hiring a grading contractor will get the job done quickly, accurately, and efficiently.
Plus, the grading contractor will be knowledgeable in the different types of driveway materials and will prepare the site with the right grade for the best outcome for lasting results.
Specialty Driveway Types
A Gravel Driveway
It is a common misconception that all that is needed for this type of driveway is the material and a soil rake to spread it over the area.
This type of driveway will require more consideration than that, including going over all the pros and cons before choosing this type of pavement.
The most effective site preparation involves some thought out steps, including:
- Removing the topsoil
- Compacting the soil underneath
- Adding multiple layers of varying gravel sizes with adequate compaction per layer
- Applying the appropriate slope for drainage and to minimize maintenance
An Asphalt Driveway
A solid foundation beneath the asphalt is an absolute must or it simply will not last.
In most cases, the sub-base consists of a layer of compacted crushed stone to provide drainage and to reduce heaving caused by moisture or changing temperatures.
Depending on the climate, soil type, and driveway use, the thickness of the sub-base can be from 4 to 10 inches.
The driveway will need to be pitched on one side or the other, ¼ inch to ½ inch.
This will allow for any rainfall or irrigation to drain off. The water will need to run off, away from your home or garage to prevent water damage to your buildings.
The sub-grade preparation of a concrete driveway is extremely important. Any soft spots in the soil composition are replaced with crushed stone material.
Control joints are placed to prevent cracking. If your driveway meets any other type of existing pavement, the contractor should provide a joint plan with the written proposal.
It’s important to get the correct concrete mix to ensure the finished product will hold up throughout the years.
The contractor will use steel reinforcement before placing the concrete. The concrete will be poured with a minimum thickness of 4”.
The final touch is to make sure the driveway is perfectly leveled to encourage drainage with the prescribed slope.
It’s important that the concrete isn’t finished prematurely as this can trap air and bleed water just below the top surface. This will cause the area to become weak or soft.
A simple broom finish is usually used for traction unless a different textured finish is preferred.
How Much Does it Cost to Grade a Driveway?
The cost will depend on a few variables.
- The length of the driveway and the grade work that is needed
- The material of the driveway
- The labor and equipment needed to remove the existing material
- The amount of material needed to re-pave or re-gravel
Working with grading contractors you will also benefit from a free estimate for the work.
Different contractors will have varying costs for labor and materials. The best approach to find accurate pricing is to call local contractors to get a few different estimates for comparison.
Working with the Pros is Better in the Long Run
Grading contractors have the expertise needed to build a beautiful driveway that lasts for years.
A word of advice: if you are an owner of an older property and the health of your driveway is a concern, call a professional for an evaluation and to see if regrading would be recommended.
If you have any questions about the current condition of your driveway or think it may be time for a re-grade.
Drop us a line below. We would love to hear from you!