Gravel driveways provide a sturdy, durable surface. The textured stones and natural colors bring out the rustic qualities in a yard. While gravel driveways are simple to install, they require regular maintenance to look good. Erosion and mud coming through are common problems that can quickly become eyesores. There are various types of mats that provide a simple solution to this problem. The matting is easy to work with and offers several benefits to a landscape.
Fiber Mulch Mats
Typically used to control erosion in plant beds and lawns, fiber mulch mats are woven from fiber particles and mulch. They're made to blend seamlessly with different types of soil and ground covers. Laying fiber mulch mats beneath a gravel driveway creates a barrier between the rocks and ground below. The mats are breathable to allow underground water to evaporate and surface ice to melt and seep through.
Erosion Control Matting
Used by farmers to prevent erosion around crops, erosion control matting is manufactured from mulches, fibers, jute, wood and other materials, and held together by synthetic strands of straw. It's made in different thicknesses, and is used on residential yards to improve drainage. Erosion control matting will prevent mud from surfacing through a gravel driveway, as well as improve drainage over the site and increase ground temperatures to reduce icing.
Rubber Mulch Weed Mats
Created to manage weeds, rubber mulch weed mats do not decompose as natural matting eventually will. These mats are 1/2 inch thick and backed with landscape fabric to offer the look of natural mulch in case the gravel reveals a bare spot. The material is easy to cut to fit the driveway foundation exactly. Look for a mat made 100 percent from of recycled rubber.
Installing mats beneath a gravel driveway is a straightforward, but laborious task. Remove all of the gravel from the driveway and stop when you hit dirt. Dig out another inch of dirt, and transfer it to a low-lying area in your yard. Place the mats down over the dirt so the ends of the mats overlap by 2 inches, and use pegs to secure the corners down. Dump the gravel over the mats and spread it with a rake so the center is higher than the sides.
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