steep downhill driveway

Driveways should have a slight slope to allow water to drain away from the surface. If the slope is too steep, it is dangerous and slippery in bad weather. The rise of your slope should be no more than 15 percent. If your home is on a hill, adding curves to the driveway is one way to reduce the incline. Fixing a slope is a challenging project with several solutions, depending on its severity. Extend the bottom sides of the driveway to form a V shape with the wide end facing the street.

Fanning out the sides helps prevent a vehicle from bottoming out, and makes it easier to turn in and out of the driveway. Remove any growth within the area and dig out 12 inches of soil on both sides with a shovel. Fill the hole with 8 inches of gravel and tamp it with a tamper. Pour concrete or asphalt over the expanded section and smooth it level with the existing surface.

Raise the height of the steepest section of the driveway. For instance, if the driveway is concrete, smooth successive thin layers of new concrete over the surface with a trowel. Build up the surface in thin layers to reduce the angle. Cover a gravel driveway with decomposed granite and apply stabilizing resin over the top to prevent the rocks from washing away and to provide a surface with more traction.

Install underground drain pipes between the driveway and garage if the slope is toward the house. Cut the pavement with a concrete saw or handheld cutting tool fitted with a masonry cut-off wheel accessory. Break up the concrete with a jackhammer or sledge hammer. Dig a trench about 12 inches deep and wide with a shovel.

Fill the trench with clean gravel until the expanse is deep enough for the channel to sit level with the driveway and garage. Install a drain channel across the driveway and use PVC cement to seal the joints. Extend the course of the underground pipes to direct the water into a dry portion of the yard.

Aurora LaJambre is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, N. For over five years she's covered topics in culture, lifestyle, travel, DIY design and green living for print and online media. Skip to main content. Home Guides Garden Landscaping. Home Guides Garden Landscaping A driveway with a proper slope allows for good drainage. Warning Wear eye and ear protection when using power tools, as well as heavy gloves and protective clothing.

Photo Credits Photos. Customer Service Newsroom Contacts.Although gravel driveways are generally less expensive than concrete or asphalt, they do require more maintenance.

The type of gravel chosen for the driveway is critical to how well it forms a solid, durable surface. Gravel driveways are composed of layers of several different sizes of gravel.

Each layer is set with a mechanical tamper and serves a different purpose, such as providing strength, drainage or degree of compaction. Select 1 angular gravel -- approximately the size of a baseball, about 4 inches in diameter -- for the foundation or first layer of the driveway. Round gravel does not bind together and moves easily under the weight of vehicles.

Angular gravel is produced by rock-crushing machines for construction purposes and has many flat surfaces on each piece that interlock and help create a more durable driveway.

Place a 4-inch layer of the smaller size angular gravel -- 4, which is about the size of a golf ball -- on top of the baseball-sized gravel. This smaller gravel fits well against and between the larger gravel of the foundation, forming a more solid base for the driveway. Put down a 4-inch layer of 57 nickel-size gravel for the top layer. This gravel is smaller than the gravel in the middle layer and seats well against and between the larger gravel.

This size gravel contains rock dust, which causes the pieces of gravel to better adhere to each other. Avoid weed infestation by laying landscape fabric after digging the foundation and before placing the first layer of foundation gravel.

Gravel driveways are more practical for flat land without an appreciable gradient. Gravel driveways built on a slope are subject to erosion from rainwater, which flows downhill and picks up and transports silt through the gravel.

This causes it to separate and pushes the gravel out of the driveway. Specify uncleaned gravel for maximum adhesion to bind the gravel into as solid a surface as possible. Construct the driveway with a higher crown in the center so that water runs from the middle of the driveway to the sides. Place edging along the sides of the driveway, such as large stones or bricks, to keep the gravel in the driveway. Freelance writing sinceTom Ross has over 30 years of corporate management and hands-on experience in the supermarket industry.

Ross was featured on the cover of "Instore Buyer" magazine and his articles have appeared on various websites.

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Skip to main content. Things You Will Need 1 angular gravel 4 angular gravel 57 angular gravel. Tip Avoid weed infestation by laying landscape fabric after digging the foundation and before placing the first layer of foundation gravel. Warning Construct the driveway with a higher crown in the center so that water runs from the middle of the driveway to the sides.

Top off the driveway with 57 nickel size gravel as necessary. About the Author Freelance writing sinceTom Ross has over 30 years of corporate management and hands-on experience in the supermarket industry. Customer Service Newsroom Contacts.Discussion in ' Homesteading Questions ' started by kentuckysteaderDec 3, Log in or Sign up. Welcome to the Homesteading Today Forum and Community!

Driveway on a steep slope?? Dec 3, 1. Messages: I'm really unsure about this though and would like to hear what other folks thoughts are I figure we will need to dig ditches on either side of the new drive to help manage water erosion Questions: Has anybody done this?

Thanks and God Bless!!! Dec 4, 2. Messages: 11, Old VetDec 4, Dec 4, 3. Messages: 1, If you are running straight up a grade without any sidehill slope, you need to install some water stops. Simply a hump in the road high enough, to detour the water off of the road. If you are on a sidehill and cut a ditch on the top side, you either need the water stops to keep erosion minimal, or place culverts underneath your road to let the water escape to the downhill side.

Any hill can be bad when the weather is? Dec 4, 4.

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Messages: 8, My driveway is pretty steep also. I tried rock about dime size, but it would wash away. Then I put down a layer of softball size rock and topped that with the dime size. The small rock settled down in the large rock and its been there ten years with out any washing away. Dec 4, 5. Messages: 4, Dec 4, 6.Remember Me Forgot your password?

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Driveway on a steep slope??

Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread.Houses situated atop very steep hills provide dramatic vistas, privacy and an unobstructed view of the stars. A major problem with the configuration is building a driveway from the road to the house that can accommodate all types of personal and commercial vehicles in various weather conditions.

A driveway situated perpendicular to the road in a straight line to the house is the easiest to build, yet impractical for navigation in inclement weather and gives the home and landscaping a cold, angular appearance.

Building a driveway that gracefully curves up the hillside creates an elegant setting and is easier to climb when covered with snow or ice or slick with rain. If the hill is big enough, an S-shaped driveway design is an attractive choice. Another aesthetically pleasing option is to construct the driveway on a man-made ridge cut into the side of the hill with landscaping or retaining walls on either side of the crest.

To accommodate large vehicles, the straight stretches of the driveway should have widths between 10 and 12 feet and have curves a minimum of 14 feet wide. To make the driveway navigable in all types of weather, avoid rises above 15 feet for every feet of the driveway's length.

The turn around space in front of the home should be a minimum of 12 by 18 feet to give large delivery trucks ample room to unload goods and turn around without infringing on the lawn. A large turning area also provides space to park lawn maintenance equipment or off-road recreational vehicles. In addition to planning the design of a steep driveway, you must also decide what surface to install. Gravel driveways are less expensive than hard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete and provide good traction under all weather conditions.

Since gravel tends to travel to outlying areas, build a stone or brick barrier in between the driveway and surrounding land to prevent gravel from becoming incorporated in grass and landscaping and interfering with mowing and lawn maintenance.

Installing a New Driveway Up Steep Terrain and Land Clearing

Have the gravel professionally packed every few months by a grader with a roller that embeds the gravel into the dirt and keeps it from spreading. Concrete or asphalt covered driveways make the house and lot look neat and finished. But if your house is located in a region that receives a lot of ice and snow, the driveway may become impassable during winter months.

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Mixing small stones or pebbles into the poured surface gives the driveway tread. Hydronic snow melting systems installed under the concrete or asphalt keep the driveway clear through a system of submerged coils that circulate glycol antifreeze and water under the coating. Electrically powered snow melters work well but use a lot of energy. Using salt to melt ice and snow deteriorates the finish of the concrete or asphalt. Cassie Damewood has been a writer and editor since She writes about food and cooking for various websites, including My Great Recipes, and serves as the copy editor for "Food Loves Beer" magazine.

Damewood completed a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in creative writing at Miami University. Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Houses located on hilltops need driveways for access. Share this article. Cassie Damewood. Show Comments.If you need to build a driveway on an incline, there are a few tips that can make the job easier.

But keep in mind that during severe weather conditions, an inclined driveway could become impassable no matter what you do if the angle is steep enough. If you want to build a driveway with poured or materials, including concrete and asphalt, work from the top of the hill to the bottom.

Not only does it allow flow down the hill, but it prevent "pouring yourself into a corner". Gravel can be applied in either direction, but should begin at the delivery point to prevent mixing dirt into the gravel when successive trucks back up for deliveries.

For steep inclines, you may want to approach the climb gradually by angling the drive up the hill instead of climbing it directly. A longer curved drive is easier to climb in wintry weather than trying to go straight up the hill. For long steep climbs, consider using a switchback method where the drive forms an "S" as it travels up the hill. If you have a gravel drive that travels horizontally across the slope, the gravel may have a tendency to "travel" towards the downhill side.

If this happens, install a form along the low side to prevent the gravel from scattering down the side of the hill. We welcome your comments and suggestions.

All information is provided "AS IS. All rights reserved. You may freely link to this site, and use it for non-commercial use subject to our terms of use. View our Privacy Policy here. Toggle navigation Login Register How-Tos. Build a Driveway on a Hill.

The Recommended Driveway Slope

Written by Justin Stewart. Reviewed by Gabriel Connor Salter.

steep downhill driveway

Poured Drives If you want to build a driveway with poured or materials, including concrete and asphalt, work from the top of the hill to the bottom. Extremely Steep Drives For steep inclines, you may want to approach the climb gradually by angling the drive up the hill instead of climbing it directly. Preventing Gravel Travel If you have a gravel drive that travels horizontally across the slope, the gravel may have a tendency to "travel" towards the downhill side.

Popular Articles. Build and Maintain a Gravel Driveway. By Greg Ewald. When Is a Driveway Apron Recommended? By Maria Camilon. Landscaping on a Hill: 5 Mistakes to Avo Landscaping on a Hill: 5 Mistakes to Avoid. How to Lessen the Incline of a Concrete How to Lessen the Incline of a Concrete Driveway.

How to Build a Driveway on a Very Steep Hill

By Carol S. Choosing Between Asphalt Driveway PavingProperly installed and maintained gravel driveways have a few advantages over some of the other driveway-surfacing alternatives, such as asphalt and concrete. This property allows water to flow back into the ground to replenish the water table below, while leaving contaminants in the soil for bacteria to break down.

Neglected or incorrectly installed gravel driveways, on the other hand, may become the stuff of nightmares over time due to erosion. If you have a gravel driveway or are planning to install one, there are steps you can take to keep it looking nice and prevent erosion, including proper installation, regular maintenance and timely repairs. Assuming the slope of your planned driveway doesn't exceed 10 percent, you can install a gravel surface.

But take the time to do it correctly or be prepared to face problems down the road, such as potholes, erosion, weed and grass invasion, standing water and even mud. In a nutshell:. Remove topsoil, weeds, grasses, large tree roots and stone outcrops from the planned driveway area.

Smooth out the area and compact the soil. Calculate the amount of geotextiles or weed barrier, sub-base, base and surface rock you'll need. Lay weed barrier along the compacted soil base and sides to inhibit the growth of weeds. Pour and evenly spread a sub-base of larger crushed rock, followed by a base of smaller crushed rock, followed by a surface layer of gravel, compacting each after you spread it, for a total depth of 6 to 12 inches. When finished, the driveway should be somewhat higher than the surrounding soil and vegetation.

steep downhill driveway

Crown the driveway or rake it so that the gravel is slightly higher in the middle and slopes at a rate of about 4 percent to either side to. Although it will add to your bottom line, if your driveway is sited on sloping ground, consider installing a gravel-stabilizing grid system on the compacted soil base.

This type of system comes in plastic panels or sheets comprising many small adjoining cells. The panels are affixed to your driveway and locked together, and the cells are filled with gravel, resulting in a stable gravel surface that basically stays put, requires minimal maintenance, and resists erosion and pothole development.

Additional options for preventing erosion include building water bars, which traverse the driveway at regular intervals and are somewhat similar to speed bumps; installing stone-lined drainage ditches adjacent to the driveway to catch and redirect runoff; and contracting with a professional to install drainage pipes or French drains to carry surface water back into the ground.

Walk your driveway regularly, rake in hand, looking for potential problems. Rake out any trash or loose plant matter, such as leaves and limbs, scrape off soil buildup along the sides, replace missing or damaged edging, fill depressions with fresh gravel and reshape the crown as needed. Because the driveway will lose volume as a matter of course due to gravel displacement and compression by vehicles, add up to an inch of new gravel to the entire driveway annually, compacting or tamping it down after spreading.

As soon as possible after you observe damage to your driveway, such as depressions, channels or areas of thinning gravel, evenly distribute the gravel that's left, rake any displaced gravel back onto the driveway, and fill all grooves and potholes with fresh gravel.

Use a rake or shovel to level the driveway.