Given their affordability, ease of upkeep, and rustic appeal, gravel driveways are a common choice among homeowners and people often ask how to keep gravel driveway from washing out. Let’s find out how to keep gravel driveway from washing out. However, one of the frequent problems that homeowners encounter, particularly during times of heavy rainfall, is the washing away of gravel. This could ruin the driveway and be a safety problem and an eyesore. Fortunately, there are some practical ways to stop pebbles from washing away.

We’ll discuss how to keep gravel driveway from washing out and some useful advice and tactics in this article to help you maintain the quality of your gravel driveway.

Causes of washing out on gravel driveways

gravel driveways

Let’s find some of the reasons gravel roads get washed out to understand how to keep gravel driveway from washing out.

Heavy rainfall and flooding

Gravel washing off driveways is frequently caused by flooding and heavy rain. If a gravel driveway lacks sufficient drainage or a slope to direct water away, rainwater that contacts the surface of the road may take away loose gravel fragments and create erosion.

Poor drainage or improper slope

Gravel washing off of driveways can also be caused by poor drainage or an inappropriate slope. A poorly graded driveway can collect water in low areas, saturating the gravel and causing it to wash out. In the absence of adequate drainage, the water will have no choice but to wash the gravel off the driveway.

Use of the wrong type or size of gravel

Another factor contributing to a road washing out is using the incorrect size or type of gravel. Compared to larger, angular gravel, which offers higher stability and interlocking qualities, smaller, rounder gravel tends for washing out more readily. Using gravel that is not appropriate for your local climate or soil type might also cause issues.

Traffic or heavy equipment usage

Gravel washing out on driveways can be significantly caused by traffic or heavy equipment use. Ruts and compression caused by heavy machinery or large cars can make the gravel unequal and more susceptible to washing out. Similarly to this, gravel can become more prone to erosion when it is moved by moving vehicles with spinning tires.

Prevention and maintenance tips

Here are some maintenance and preventative suggestions you can use:

Ensure proper drainage and slope by grading the driveway

Water will be directed away from the driveway’s surface and prevented from pooling, which can cause gravel erosion, by a well-draining and correctly sloping driveway. Maintaining correct drainage and slope can be aided by routine grading and filling of low areas.

Use the right type and size of gravel

A driveway’s resilience to erosion and durability can be impacted by the kind and dimension of gravel used in it. The best gravel to use for driveways is an angular, crushed stone of varying sizes. Better interlocking capabilities are offered, and displacement is resisted.

Install a border or edging to keep gravel in place

The gravel will be controlled and kept from overflowing onto neighboring areas by a border or edging. Frequently used edging materials include bricks, concrete, and landscape timbers.

Limit heavy traffic or equipment usage on the driveway

Gravel driveways can sustain serious damage from heavy vehicles and equipment, particularly when turning or backing up. It may be possible to lessen erosion and damage by restricting their use or offering alternate routes.

Add additional layers of gravel to replenish and reinforce the driveway

A driveway’s structure can be strengthened and erosion can be avoided by routinely adding layers of gravel. Every year or two, it is advised to add 1-2 inches of gravel.

Solutions for existing washing out problems

gravel driveway

There are various options that can help to solve the problem if your gravel driveway is already suffering washing out issues. Let’s look at some solutions to understand how to keep gravel driveway from washing out.

Resurface the driveway with additional gravel

Adding more gravel may strengthen the surface and provide stability if your driveway is eroding moderately to severely. In order to avoid either overfilling or underfilling, it is crucial to add the proper amount of gravel.

Repair and improve drainage or slope issues

It’s critical to solve these problems immediately if inadequate drainage or an inappropriate slope is to blame for the washing out. Re-grading the driveway, installing drainage pipes or culverts, or setting up a French drain system are all ways to divert water away from the roadway and stop erosion.

Consider the use of geotextile fabric to reinforce the driveway

Before adding gravel to the driveway, geotextile cloth can be used as a permeable membrane. It aids in strengthening the driveway and stops the gravel from washing away.

Consider installing a concrete or asphalt driveway

Although gravel driveways are a common and inexpensive alternative, they might not be the greatest choice in locations with a lot of traffic or rainfall. A driveway made of concrete or asphalt might offer more stability and longevity.


gravel driveways

What kind of gravel will keep a driveway from washing out the best?

An angular, crushed stone of different sizes works best for avoiding washing out on a driveway. Better interlocking qualities and displacement resistance are provided by this kind of gravel, which aid in retaining it and reducing erosion.

How frequently should I re-gravel my driveway to stop it from washing away?

It is advised to add 1-2 inches of gravel each year or so if you want to stop it from washing out. The amount of traffic on the driveway, its slope, and the level of rainfall in the area, for example, can all affect how frequently more gravel needs to be added. To keep a firm and level surface, it’s crucial to routinely check the driveway for signs of erosion and add extra gravel as necessary.


If you take the appropriate steps to stop gravel from washing out, managing a gravel driveway is not difficult. You can avoid the inconvenience of having to keep your driveway repaired and refilled by using the proper methods. To prevent bigger issues, keep in mind to frequently inspect your driveway and fix any issues as soon as they arise. You may reap the rewards of your gravel driveway for many years to come by maintaining it. Hopefully, this article has provided you with sufficient information about your concern about how to keep gravel driveway from washing out.

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