Need Post Hole Drilling for new decks, pole barns or fences

You can use a spade hand shovel, rent a manual post hole digger or a hand-held gas-powered auger. Use of these devices is labor intensive and limit the size of the hole that can be dug. If you want to avoid all that manual labor call us at (906) 341-4480 for all your post hole drilling needs.

What is the cost for a new or gravel road repair?

How much does a gravel road cost?

You can expect to pay to build a new road on vacant land between $4 to $8 per sqft. This cost estimator includes typical costs such as grading, tree stump removal, stabilization fabric or base and finish rock layer.

You can expect to pay to repair a driveway with potholes or water drainage problems between $0.50 to $3 per sqft. This estimator includes typical costs such as grading, base and finish rock layer. Based on the damage of the road optional stabilization fabric may be required.

The following is an example of how calculate the sqft (square footage) of your driveway.  A driveway 250 feet long and 12 feet wide equals 3,000 square feet (250 X 12= 3,000)

Call the team at Fix My Gravel Road for a free estimate 906.341.4480

Tips to consider in building a new gravel driveway

Building a new driveway or road on vacant land is an exciting first step in creating access to build a cabin or residence. The following are some tips to consider in building a new driveway or road.

Check out our new road and repair cost estimator

Vacant land before construction started on a new driveway

First and foremost, consider the proper configuration for handling moisture and water.

When gravel driveways are designed correctly they will absorb and shed water efficiently.  To “Crown” a driveway or road is where the center of the driveway or road is higher than the sides of the driveway or road. Typically a 3 degree angle slope from the center to the side of the driveway or road is common to allow for proper water drainage.

New driveway construction on vacant land after work was completed

There are two ways to resolve this concern. The first solution is to apply a greater amount of gravel so that a “crown” can be established. The second solution is to dig ditches along the sides of the driveway or road to facilitate water drainage.

And, what about tree stumps?

They need to be removed. When tree stumps rot they cause voids under the driveway which will create mini sinkholes and damage your driveway.

Stump removal made easy

Driveway Sub-Structure

A durable sub-structure is critical to the long-term health of your driveway or road. Any driveway or road surface (concrete, blacktop or gravel) will require a sturdy base. In the UP of Michigan there are a number of soil conditions ranging from sand to sandstone and shale. Depending on the situation, a base layer of sand or pit run (a mix of large stones with clay or sand) will be needed to provide a solid base for proper drainage and durability. In most cases this will entail removal of the topsoil before construction can begin.

All of the above criteria will help prevent potholes, thus avoiding future expensive maintenance and upkeep.

Call the team at Fix My Gravel Road for your new driveway or camp road free estimate


How to Prevent Gravel Loss From Snowplowing

Improper snow plowing will damage your gravel road resulting in gouges or wash boarding.  Both will cause gravel loss by pushing gravel to the sides of the road.

There are two steps you or your snowplowing contractor can perform;

  • Do not plow until you are sure the ground is frozen or
  • Raise the snow plow blade to prevent direct contact with the gravel for the first couple of snow falls until there is a hard base.

Boss Snow Plow now sells an accessory called a “truf bar” that is awesome for gravel roads. This accessory eliminates the the need for lifting the plow or waiting for the ground to freeze.  We have purchased this accessory  for our plow and it works awesome. Some thing to ask your plowing contractor about.

Have plowing damage? Call the team at Fix My Gravel Road for a free estimate to repair: 906.341.4480

Has the Spring Thaw Damaged your Road?

The spring melt is underway and once again water and mother nature are conspiring against you. As the days get longer and the temperatures start to rise your road will go through many melt / freeze cycles that will begin to cause damage. More than likely when all the snow melts you will have standing water, ruts and potholes.

While you cannot totally prevent this from occurring there are several actions you can take to minimize the damage:

  1. Push the snow as far away from the road as possible so water flows away from the road.
  2. Do not plow spring snowfall, just let the sun melt the snow.
  3. Do not drive continuously through a rut. Instead, attempt to drive on either side of the soft spot.
Example of a well plowed road
Warning signs that this section has poor drainage which contributes to pothole and rut formation
Example of a rut pothole forming

When you’re ready for a free estimate on your project, call the team at Fix My Gravel Road: (906) 341-4480

Project of the Month: West Branch Lake, Wetmore, Michigan

A homeowner wanted to eliminate the mud, ruts and pooling water that occurred after rain storms.  Part of the problem was that the wrong gravel was used in creating the driveway. In this situation, the proper gravel to use is a binder with limestone vs sand and clay.

With heavy rains the previous night, Friday was a perfect day to rejuvenate this worn out private driveway. The work included a circle driveway in front of the home, changing the grade in front of a detached garage to stop water entering into it.  All that, along with a 1,756 long private drive leading out to the County Highway.

Private Road Before

With a majority of the driveway and private road at a lower grade than the sides of the road, the solution was to raise all the surfaces by applying limestone gravel mixed with a limestone binder to make a very hard surface

Private Road Almost Done

It took a dedicated Fix My Gravel Road team to grade, groom and compact 13 truckloads of crushed limestone gravel!

13 Truck Loads of Gravel

Garage Area Before
Garage Area After

Private Road After

Need  advice or help restoring your gravel road? Call the team at Fix My Gravel Road!

How to Repair a Gravel Road in 4 Steps

Our 4-step process to gravel road repair has proven to be MUCH more effective than just topping off the road with new gravel or grading with a blade.

The Fix My Gravel Road team has developed a time-proven technique of four key steps to get your road or driveway back in shape. Winter weather, snowplowing, spring thaws and summer rain all combine with automobile traffic take a toll on gravel roads. The common theme is that water coming out of the ground as frost or summer rains wreaks havoc on gravel roads.

Prep the road surface

The first step in prepratation to repair the driveway is to break the surface and potholes up. Potholes must be broken up to below the lowest point of the pothole. By not performing this task just filling it with gravel will cause the problem to reoccur in one to two weeks, depending on traffic. The only way to permanently eliminate a pothole is to dig it up completely and fill with gravel that is compacted in layers.

Establish a crown

The second step is to establish a crown in the road or driveway for water to properly drain to the side, usually at a 3 – 4 degree angle slope on both sides of the centerline. Standing water that pools on the road is a recipe for potholes. If the road is below grade at the side, create a ditch along the side of the road will facilitate water drainage. In a worst case scenario, the only way to fix the drainage problem is to increase the height of the road by adding new gravel.

Compacting the roadway

The third step is to put the finished grade on the road or driveway and to compact it with a Vibratory Compactor, which uses 7,000 pounds of pressure to compact the road and potholes. You may see divots where the pothole(s) kept repeating over time. It’s important to continue the grading/compacting process until the surface is flat and no divots are visible.

A 7,000 pound vibratory compactor ensures a smooth surface

Final grading

The 4th Step is to perform the final grading to correct any remaining unevenness. Also, a homeowner may want to add gravel to increase the curb appeal, or if the driveway or road is below grade we will apply gravel with a limestone binder.

Are you’re ready to repair your driveway or road? Call  the team at Fix My Gravel Road for a free estimate. 906.341.4480

How to Snowplow a Gravel Road?

Do you know what steps you need to take to enjoy your road or driveway in the winter, while keeping it in good shape for spring?

Improper snowplowing will cause gouging or a washboarding in the road. It will also damage the “Crown” by flattening the road and pushing gravel to the side of the road resulting in loss of gravel. Losing the Crown will ultimately cause water drainage problems over time leading to the formation of potholes.

Usually the first snowfall arrives before the earth freezes and the gravel or sand on your road is susceptible to damage even if you have “shoes” installed on your plow.  When you drop the plow blade all the way down before the road freezes solid, the blade will bounce as it tries to dig into the road bed leaving a washboard effect.

“Shoes” on the snowplow blade or blower are meant to keep the blade about an inch above the road on a paved or frozen surface. They do not work on a soft surface as they just sink into and gouge the road bed.

So how do you avoid this problem? Simply drop the snow blade full down then raise it approximately one inch. Now you are all set to avoid a bumpy ride when plowing this winter and cause less damage, reducing the need to repair your road in the spring.

What if I use a tractor with a snow blower?  The same technique applies to tractors with snowplows or snow blowers. If your tractor has the ability to float the blow or blowers refrain from using this feature until the gravel or sand road is fully frozen.

Watch out for February thaw’s that the surface of the roads became soft during the day and re froze overnight. This also occurs with spring thaws as well.  Just be aware of the road condition and act accordingly.

When you’ve got questions about the right care for your road or driveway, call the team at Fix My Gravel Road.

Demystifying Purchasing Class 5 Gravel by the Ton vs. Yard

As with many other purchases, you shouldn’t decide on your gravel purchase based on price alone.

Ever shop gravel costs with different trucking companies and selected the lowest cost thinking you were saving money? There are at least three variables that dictate cost:

  • The binder used (a Sand binder is cheaper than Stone Dust)
  • The distance from the quarry to your delivery location
  • Does the trucking charge by the Ton or by the Yard?

You should always purchase by the “Yard”!

Chances are the gravel is stored outdoors in the quarry or depot and subject to the elements. As a result it is very likely the gravel is soaked with moisture or wet from rain. (Note: water weighs 8 pounds per gallon). Subsequently when you buy by weight (‘by the ton’) you are not only paying for the gravel, but the water as well. The result is less gravel being delivered to your project.

When purchasing by the yard you get a measured amount of gravel, so you get exactly what you paid for regardless of the water content. This is the equivalent of using a measuring cup in the kitchen for your favorite recipe.

If you have questions about your project or need a free estimate, call the team of professionals at Fix My Gravel Road today!

What is Class 5 Gravel? Pros & Cons

The formal definition of Class 5 Gravel is limestone rock crushed and screened to a maximum size of 1 inch. In the UP of Michigan there are variations of class 5:  the two most common are “23A” and “Western Limestone.”  What distinguishes the two types is the “binder” that is used that allows the gravel to be compacted. This is also the secret ingredient that will make a road last longer.

Let’s take a look at the Pros and Cons of each of the binders.

23A  Gravel with Sand Binder

23A gravel uses a sand- or clay-based binder. This material is best used for Seasonal residents or budget-minded customers.

  • Pros: This is the most economical material and has the best availability. It compacts easily and holds up well in dry weather conditions. In rural areas this material is widely used for road shoulders or turnouts.
  • Cons: When 23A gets wet the surface has been known to get soft and allows tire ruts or potholes to form. This is most prevalent in the spring as the frost leaves the ground. Driveways / roads paved with 23A require annual maintenance. Failure to do so will surely form potholes. Some customers complain about the dust cloud created when driving over 23A when the gravel is dry.

Western Limestone Gravel with Limestone Stone Dust Binder

Western Limestone uses a limestone dust binder. This material is best used for permanent residences or heavy usage.

  • Pros: Once compacted it turns into a very hard surface and is resistant to rutting or forming potholes in the spring.  Usually can last for 2 – 3 years before maintenance is required.
  • Cons: It’s more expensive than 23A. Using this material will always leave a thin surface layer of loose gravel which only becomes an issue during early season snow plowing. The snowplow picks up this loose gravel and pushes it to the side of the road. This situation can be avoided by lifting the plow blade by 1 to 2 inches for the few first snow falls until the roadway becomes snow packed.

When you need advice, or want a free estimate on your project, call the professionals at Fix My Gravel Road.

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