Gravel Driveway Snow Removal
Gravel driveways look great, last for decades, and add character to your property that you just can’t find in concrete or asphalt. Gravel driveways have many benefits, but those benefits do not include easy snow removal.
Because gravel isn’t a solid surface like concrete or asphalt, it takes some extra work to remove snow, but it’s not too difficult if you know what you’re doing. Let’s figure out gravel driveway snow removal including how you can take care of things as a homeowner and when it’s best to call in the professionals.
How to Remove Snow from a Gravel Driveway
Using Shovel and Rake
If you don’t have a large patio or driveway to clear you can take the old-fashioned approach of shovel and rake. Start at the top of your area and work downhill or toward an outlet, clearing off layers at a time if you need to. Once you’ve gotten the bulk of the snow off with the shovel you can use a rake to remove / break up the remaining snow in the gravel to help it melt sooner. It’s recommended to try a few different types of rakes like gardening or a roof clearing rake to see what works best in your gravel.
Using Leaf Blower
Don’t put your leaf blower away after fall, you’ll need it for your gravel driveway. Leaf blowers are surprisingly effective for freshly fallen snow and can save you a good deal of backbreaking labor. A leaf blower can rid your driveway of snow in minutes, but it only works well on fresh, dry snow and will be ineffective on any ice buildups.
If you have a large driveway to clear, a snowblower will be much more effective. You can’t just plop your blower down on your gravel driveway or you’ll scatter gravel all over the place, but you can cleanly remove snow off gravel with the help of skid shoes.
Skid shoes, also known as skid plates, are adjustable pieces attached to the snowblower that raise or lower the auger for different surfaces. Raise the blower to at least a half inch high on the skid shoes to avoid shooting rocks into your front window. The bigger your gravel’s size, the more clearance you’ll need on the snowblower.
Set your plow blade too low and you’ll accidentally plow your entire driveway up along with the snow. Like using a snowblower, you can adjust a plow to hover a half inch to inch above your driveway to only remove what you want to.
Remember, you can always plow more but you can’t exactly slide your gravel back into place if you accidentally scoop it up. Take your time and check your tracks to be sure you’re at the right height.
Salting Your Gravel Driveway
Before a big snowstorm hits and after you’ve plowed you should apply rock salt or melting agent to your gravel. Salt lowers the melting point of snow and ice to keep it from re-accumulating on your gravel.
Hiring Gravel Driveway Snow Removal Service
Gravel driveway snow removal is notoriously difficult, especially if you don’t have a plow or snowblower but luckily snow removal services can help clear your driveway while you sit inside and enjoy the warmth.
There are more benefits to professional snow removal services than you think. If you make a mistake and plow too much, you’ll have to carefully re-work your gravel back into place, something you don’t need to worry about when you hire a professional. Professionals will check your gravel, make sure their equipment is at the appropriate settings, and expertly clear the bulk of your snow while leaving your driveway intact.
If you’re worried about the price you should contact a local snow removal service for quotes. Most snow removal companies can look at your driveway’s specifics and negotiate a one-time price or a seasonal contract. Any reputable snow removal company will offer a quote of services free of charge.
Does Gravel Driveway Snow Removal Cost More?
Since snow removal on gravel driveways takes more care and effort, prices are normally higher compared to concrete or asphalt surfaces. Snow removal companies charge by the hour and will take more time to clear a gravel driveway but will leave your driveway looking great when the snow melts away.
Clearing Snow off Gravel Driveways
Clearing snow off a gravel driveway takes more time and patience than traditional driveways but most homeowners take on the effort thanks to gravel’s rustic appearance and affordability. If clearing yourself take your time with removal and work in layers if necessary or leave it to the professionals by hiring a reputable snow removal service. Gravel driveway snow removal might take a little more effort, but it can be done.