Nothing is worse than having a muddy driveway as it can cause a whole host of problems. From the car getting stuck in the driveway to tracking mud into the house to mud oozing into the lawn from running off the driveway. The question is how you fix this issue without having to have a new driveway put down.
So, how do you fix a muddy driveway without spending a lot? One of the easiest ways is to improve the drainage of the driveway by adding extra crushed stones, sand, or adding channels for excess water to drain through. These relatively simple steps will work with time and you’ll end up with a lovely clean driveway. For more methods and alternatives, read on.
How a Muddy Driveway can Affect You
The most negative aspect of having a muddy driveway is getting the mud everywhere, especially for children. You will see mud not only being tracked into the house but also on clothes. Your car will also be getting a lot of mud on the sides so this means more car washes.
All of these are extra expenses because you will be washing clothes more often, using more cleaning supplies to clean up the mud in the house, and extra car washes. Over time, these expenses will add up to a significant amount so the muddy driveway issue needs to be fixed.
Also, your driveway will start to develop ruts as the car tires grind away more and more of the soft mud and put it in other places. The ruts will not get smaller as you continually drive on your muddy driveway. Soon they could become a safety hazard for both the car and the family.
You will have to eventually fill in the ruts but if you use dirt to fill them in, you will soon have the same issues unless you have something holding the dirt and rock in place. In the winter, these ruts could fill with snow and ice, making it dangerous to walk on.
This could equal falls and slips when you walk over them. The suspension system of your car can also take a major hit. If your car becomes stuck, you are going to have to pay to have it pulled out and if the muddy driveway is not fixed, this can happen again.
How to fix a Muddy Driveway Cheap
Before you can fix a muddy driveway, you need to get rid of the deepest, stickiest parts of the mud. Once this is out of the way, you can really see what shape your driveway is in underneath all that mud. This will help you see just what you need to fix.
Solution 1: In the muddy sections of the driveway, you can add small rocks or crushed stones. Put in enough rocks or stones so that the excess mud can seep between the rocks or stones. By doing this, there are virtually no more holes for the mud to settle into.
There should be no space between the rocks or stones. Each one should touch another one. Do not use small gravel or sad as it will only make the issue worse. Either will mix with the dirt to create more mud.
When laying down the stone you need to make sure that it is layered correctly because if it is not, then you could have the formation of water pockets trapped below the ground. This could cause potholes eventually.
Solution 2: To each side of the driveway, you can add a culvert. The reason is that when a driveway is muddy, it could be that you have a drainage problem. When you create a void for the water to run into, you can eliminate the mud issue.
Solution 3: If your driveway is built on a hill, dig ditches on the high side. When water runs down the hill, it will pool in the ditch. It will not gather on your driveway. To create a barrier to slow the running water, put some large rocks in the ditch.
In heavy rains, make sure that you keep an eye on the ditch to make sure that it is not compromising the driveway or eroding. You also want to make sure that the flow of the water is not going to flood an area of your yard or anywhere else.
Solution 4: When the weather is dry, add geotextile cloth under the surface of the driveway. Compact it so that the dirt or gravel on top cannot be crushed into the soil below. Many times the problem with the driveway is that the soil is loose and spreads away.
This gives the water places to seep into and with enough gravel or stones on top, then the mud cannot gather. There are two types of geotextile cloth, which is a sheet of synthetic polymers that are specially designed to hold the soil together.
- Non-woven: This type has a consistency that is closer to felt. It is generally the cheaper of the two. The drawback is that it does not hold the soil together as long or as well as the other type.
- Woven: These are woven together and possess a great amount of tensile strength. They last a long time and are ideal for hold loose soil together. Because of their intricate weaving, they are more expensive.
Lay new gravel on top of the geotextile cloths once they are installed. The new gravel will help with runoff. It will also direct the excess water to the drainage ditch if you dug one When choosing gravel, start with the bigger gravel to give a solid base and the smaller gravel at the end will be able to fill in any gaps and smooth it out.
Solution 5: You can install permeable pavers, which are designed specifically for wet climates. These are porous so they will let the water penetrate the top surface to get to the rock underneath. The water will just drain out if you have put your gravel incorrectly.
These have open areas that are filled with gravel so that the water can run through it to get to the base that is underneath it. One of the main reasons that driveways get muddy is standing water. This is why using permeable pavers is a good idea. They come in types from cement to plastic.
It is better, in the long run, to get the heavier ones as they will last longer with the car continually running over them. They may be a bit expensive but they are cheaper than having an asphalt driveway put in.
Quick Temporary Fixes for Muddy Driveways
Cat litter: This is good for cleaning up spills on a cement floor and also for soaking up extra moisture on the driveway. Just sprinkle some wherever you see any excess water. Just make sure that it is the cat litter that clumps to make it easier to clean up. Don’t just leave it as it will make more mud.
Hole patching: To stop the spread of mud holes, you can fill them as soon as they appear but make sure that they are dry before you do so.
Lime: This inorganic material will work with water and dirt to harden up the soil. When you mix the lime with the dirt, it will harden by using the excess water and makes the driveway more durable.
If you mix the lime with sand and dirt, you can finish your entire driveway. You will have a strong finish and it will help to prevent ruts and potholes.
The one thing that you should not use on your muddy driveway is plywood. Many people who are trying to go green are thinking of using wood chips. Although they are beneficial to the soil, they are not a good idea.
Over time, the wood will rot and wet wood does not provide enough traction for the car to move forward or backward. Also, do not just dump gravel over the mud as it will not work. All the gravel will do is sink into the mud.
When you have a muddy driveway you want to do as fast and cheaply as you can but sometimes that is not always the best idea. Over time, if you just do quick fixes, it can become expensive and all you will be doing is patching.
Use one of the solutions suggested and fix the issue. The best solution would be to make sure that the drainage is good and water runs off the driveway instead of pooling on it and causing ruts and mud. If digging a drainage ditch is not a good idea then you can install drainage pipes, but you may need to hire professional help to do this.