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charlier

Dirty Gravel or Clean Gravel for a Driveway/Parking Area?

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Recently I have been talking to landscape contractors about re-grading my property for better rainwater drainage.

I have also been thinking about adding a crushed gravel area to park my car trailer and tow vehicle on.

Some of the contractors I have met with say they recommend using what is called "dirty gravel/stone".

They tell me this material compacts well and is good to use when one is driving a trailer & tow vehicle on it.

Supposedly, it does not move as much as some other gravels/stone.

All the contractors understand that this driveway/parking area needs to support the weight of my tow vehicle and fully loaded trailer.

I have some questions for AACA members that have this "dirty" gravel material for a driveway or trailer parking area.

- Does this type of gravel create a dirt problem (when wet or dry) for your Antique vehicle?

- Does your Antique vehicle leave markings on the floor of your trailer or garage after being driven on a gravel driveway made of this material?

- How does this material perform when it comes to rain water drainage?

- Does this material tend to be more stable when driven on by a tow vehicle & trailer?

- Any other Pros/Cons to having a driveway/parking area made up of this material (other than snow removal)?

FYI, due to numerous considerations, blacktopping or putting down concrete is not an option for me.

Thanks in advance for any feedback from AACA Members who have a driveway made up of this material.

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I our area dirty crushed stone just means the stone is not washed after crushing so it contains stone dust, when used with a good base it will pack down like concrete, without any dust problem. It will work well for a parking area as long as the base is good do not put it over a soft area as it will disappear. We do not have crushed gavel in our area, only crushed stone, gavel is sorted and sold in the size it is mined.

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My drive and parking area is all what we call dirty 1A's. It is everything that is left when they screen out the #1 crushed stone.

It is a good solid drive and it doesn't move around. It does track in a little. Water doesn't go through it as fast as gravel so you want to be sure and have it graded so water runs off. I had one small area by my wood shed that I used washed gravel and you could hardly move around in it. If you use washed stone only use it for a thin top coat.

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Keep in mind depending what location you are in will depend what the definition is of dirty gravel. Its quite common for slang terms to be used relative to a specific area and stone quarry the material comes from. There are many different grades of crushed stone. If the stone has fines from the crushing process typically that gets washed away with a couple hard rains and isn't an issue. (Assuming it rains where you are)

Dirty gravel may contain low grade stone types that could cause unwanted nuisances for a long time. I recommend you find someone locally who has it and go look at it first hand and use you judgement. Many landscape outlets will have various types of stone that you could see before buying. Besides potential dirt problems, this dirty gravel not be acceptable to you as far as aesthetics and may pulverize easier with extended use.

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Around here they call it "modified". It's unwashed low grade crushed stone with shale, dirt, clay, fines, etc. It packs down very tightly and holds very well in place. I had my 750' sloped drive way done with it for 20 years. It did take some regrading and additional material every few years. That being said it is no substitute for any kind of paving. It will eventually wear/erode away, it is not muddy but it can be somewhat dusty and WILL track dirt or dust. If you are just looking at a level area for a parking pad it will do a good job providing you remove the top soil first. About 10 years ago I had my drive paved ($$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$) and wish I would have done it years earlier...........Bob

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Thanks Jay, Jim, Jason & Bob for your thoughts, comments and suggestions.

It is great to get some input from people who have "Been There, Done That" regarding a project like this.

If it was possible, I would have blacktop put down but various issues/concerns by the township that I live in prevent it.

In order to avoid paperwork, meetings and a whole lot of hassles a stone parking area makes the most sense.

According to the contractors, the project may involve different types of stone for the base and topping.

The far end of this area will probably involve a 2-3 ft retaining wall so the proper grade can be achieved

and support for the amount of stone needed to do the job.

At least one of the contractors plans on using compacting equipment to compact the dirt and layers of stone.

I plan on getting a clear definition of what each of the contractor means when they talk about "dirty stone".

It should be interesting to see the final plans and cost estimates.

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Hi Charlie,

If your drive/parking area soil is prone to wetness or poor drainage you may want to use a construction fabric after the contractor has cut or boxed in your drive/parking area. It goes between the subgrade (earth) and your stone base. This way you subgrade won't pump up through your base. I think its comes in a twelve foot wide roll, some places may only sell entire roll some may sell the length you need. Check with the contractor he may have it if they use it in your area. As stated above go look at the stone or ask if you can look at another drive that was installed by the contractor. All stone will move some with a continuous traffic pattern use.

Trace Burris

1957 2 door sedan in restoration process

My57spcl

BCA #43237 AACA #986827 & BRAACA

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Trace, Thanks for you suggestion using construction fabric.

One of the landscape contractors I met with told me he intends to use this fabric.

Funny how the other contractor did not mention using this.

Have to wait to see all the proposals to see exactly how they intend to do the proposed job.

The proposed driveway/parking area is adjacent to my current blacktop driveway.

The traffic on this stone area will be mainly the car trailer, tow vehicle and the cars I load/unload.

This area will have to support the weight of the loaded trailer and tow vehicle (at most) but

will not have nearly as much moving traffic as my blacktop driveway.

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I just went through this. So here are my thoughts:

- Does this type of gravel create a dirt problem (when wet or dry) for your Antique vehicle?

**Yes, it's dusty when dry and tracks when wet. In NC they call it "crusher run"

- Does your Antique vehicle leave markings on the floor of your trailer or garage after being driven on a gravel driveway made of this material?

**See answer above

- How does this material perform when it comes to rain water drainage?

**Mine drained well but washed out where water was moving the fastest.

- Does this material tend to be more stable when driven on by a tow vehicle & trailer?

*Packs well

- Any other Pros/Cons to having a driveway/parking area made up of this material (other than snow removal)?

** I used the "Crusher run" until it was a stable base then added a course of P-57 gravel (stones about 3/4") over the

base. Now the dust is gone and the tracking too. The water goes under the p-57 stone leaving a cleaner surface for driving on. I like it so far.

I'll try to post the latest picture of the new car barn in NC

on the photo bucket thing, because I don't know haow to resize it.. A good gravel shot.

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You may ask the contractor if he can apply crushed concrete over the dirty base layer. Crushed concrete was used as a base just prior to asphalt on my driveway, but when rolled, was level, not very dusty and quite hard. I could have lived with it if I had to.

Also I don't understand why asphalt can't be used. Asphalt is not considered permanent as opposed to concrete which in building code compliance is permanent (and subject to set backs, etc).

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Paul - Thanks for answering my questions and for posting photos when you have time.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Friartuck</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Also I don't understand why asphalt can't be used. Asphalt is not considered permanent as opposed to concrete which in building code compliance is permanent (and subject to set backs, etc). </div></div>

Friartuck - Thanks for the crushed concrete idea. I will look into it.

Here, where I live, Asphalt presents certain issues when it comes to local zoning regulations that stone does not.

Personally, I would love to use Asphalt instead of stone, but there are simply too many issues some of which cannot be overcome.

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Another product to consider is recycled asphalt. It is used asphalt, broken up and run through a regular gravel crusher to yield gravel again.

The benefits are that there is very little dust, it rolls and compacts very nicely and after a few hot days is very stable.

We use it in our heavy equipment yard. Nice to not have to deal with mud when it rains and if it does get roughed up, a rake repairs it in minutes.

Around here it meets government road gravel specs for dust abatement use.

Great stuff and very inexpensive.

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You might want to do a google search on some of the permeable paving systems available (asphalt,concrete,and more ) .It might be an option that would help you with the problems presented by your local zoning regulations .I just looked at grid system the you can grow grass on and use as a parking lot. It will hold a garbage truck (they say) . I have not used them myself.

Ken

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I would like to Thank everyone for their comments, suggestions and thoughts regarding my Driveway/Parking area project. I recently hired a landscape contractor to do the work and he is shceduled to begin next week.

Interesting that with all the bids I received, this contractor was the only one who expressed concern about the sewer vent pipes that would be within the new stone area.

His proposal includes building a concrete area around these pipes with a grate to protect them and spread the load when the trailer tires drive over that area. This contractor also had some other interesting design suggestions for the project that both kept the cost lower and made the area more useful.

The contractor I hired has 31 years of experience, is local and had a very competitive bid when it comes to the total cost of the project.

Once again, thanks to everyone for your thoughts and suggestions. Once the project is completed I will post some photos.

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Charlie,

It sounds like you did your homework and got a good guy. Getting quotes and talking to contractors sure can be a pain and sometimes frustrating process (like waiting for them to show up when promised) but it sure goes a long way towards educating yourself allowing you to make the best decision that allows you to sleep like a baby before, during, and after the work.

We'll wait for the pics!

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: charlier</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> This contractor also had some other interesting design suggestions for the project that both kept the cost lower and made the area more useful. </div></div>

Hope you will share the pro's design ideas. I also look forward to the pictures.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: charlier</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I would like to Thank everyone for their comments, suggestions and thoughts regarding my Driveway/Parking area project. I recently hired a landscape contractor to do the work and he is shceduled to begin next week.

Interesting that with all the bids I received, this contractor was the only one who expressed concern about the sewer vent pipes that would be within the new stone area.

His proposal includes building a concrete area around these pipes with a grate to protect them and spread the load when the trailer tires drive over that area. This contractor also had some other interesting design suggestions for the project that both kept the cost lower and made the area more useful.

The contractor I hired has 31 years of experience, is local and had a very competitive bid when it comes to the total cost of the project.

Once again, thanks to everyone for your thoughts and suggestions. Once the project is completed I will post some photos. </div></div>

I'm coming into this thread late, but here in VA it's called "dirty crusher run" and it is much better for roadways than "clean" gravel. I have first hand experience here on our farm. We've used both clean and dirty. The "clean" is like marbles and continues to move around. As others have noted, the "dirty" packs down like concrete and makes a nice road. If you can get it rolled after having it spread, you'll end up with a very serviceable road/parking area. I will say that we've just had it spread without rolling and it still works well, but you get uneven compaction - more under the tire tracks and less in the center, as you might expect.

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Joe, Thanks for your thoughts.

I found it interesting that some of the companies that bid on this project said they would compact the stone while others would not.

Given the location of the stone area the compaction is a must since there is no way for it to compact with use in some places.

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Finally put a few photos up of my Trailer Parking Project.

As mentioned earlier the Landscape Contractor did a few things the other contractors did not propose as well as some things others in this thread suggested.

- Built a Concrete Frame around the sewer Pipes along with a metal grate on top. This takes the full weight of the trailer and spreads it out to proptect the pipes.

- The stone area is actually two different levels. One higher next to the driveway, then a declining ramp that connects to a flat area at the rear. This cut WAY down on the amount of stone needed. Also eliminted the need for a retaining wall and the cost associated with it.

- Put a second stone ramp at the rear of the parking area. This allows the tow vehicle to pull in, unhitch then pull down the ramp and go around the house. This gives the option of parking the trailer with the ramp door facing the rear of the house or the street.

- Did not take the stone area all the way to the street. This used the natural barrier of the grassy area to block wstorm ater runnoff from the street.

- Used a heavy piece of equipment that vibrated the stone into place compacting it.

- Enhanced the pitch of other parts of the property so that storm water runoff used the existing contour of the property.

A street sign was moved by the local township at my request. I moved my mailbox to the corner of my property near that sign.

With the stone area next to the driveway and the movement of these items backing the trailer in from the street and around the house is SO EASY.

Now that the trailer and tow vehicle have a new parking spot, they are shaded by the house from the Hot afternoon sun. I also have full access to both my garages which will come in handy when I start my next car project.

Thanks to everyone here for all the suggestions and feedback. It was a big help.

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