How to Fix a Pothole in a Dirt or Gravel Driveway

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When entering your own driveway is like running a slalom course, it's time to fix that pothole. Water trapped below the surface can cause potholes, so it is important to improve the underground drainage before finishing off the top surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Gravel
  • Coarse Gravel
  • Metal Rake
  • Shovel
  • Soil
  • Tamping Tool

Rake or shovel out any loose stones, gravel or soil from the bottom of the pothole.

If the sides of the pothole are loose, cut them straight down with a shovel to create firm edges to the hole.

Fill the hole with coarse gravel to about 3 inches (7 cm) below the level of the driveway (see A).

Tamp down the gravel. You can make your own wooden tamping tool from a small square of 3/4-inch (2-cm) plywood nailed to the bottom end of a 4-foot-long (120-cm) 2-by-4.

For a dirt driveway: Shovel soil into the hole until it is mounded a few inches (about 7 cm) above the surface.

Water the soil, and tamp it down as firmly as you can.

If necessary, add enough soil to raise it a little above the driveway surface again, and tamp it down again.

For a gravel driveway: Fill the last 3 inches (7 cm) with gravel that matches the driveway. Mound it just above the surface.

Rake the new gravel to blend with the rest of the driveway (see B).

For either type of driveway: Run a wheel of your car over the spot a few times to compact it down.

Tips & Warnings

  • For proper drainage, a driveway should have a slight crown in the middle--at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of height for each 4 feet (120 cm) of width--or else it should mildly slope all the way across in the same direction that water tends to drain.
  • The pieces of crushed stone on a driveway should be pointed and with clear, not rounded, edges in order to pack together tightly.

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