22nd Jun 2023 -

Decorative gravel can enhance the beauty of outdoor spaces, but its installation and long-term care can present a fair share of challenges. Thankfully, for each common problem, there is an effective solution, helping you ensure a successful and visually pleasing look for a garden, whether that’s your own or a client's.

By overcoming these issues, you can create stunning gravel areas that stand the test of time.

The Difficulty of Gravel Installation

During the installation process, several difficulties may arise, such as uneven surfaces and loose gravel movement. These challenges can impede the progress of the installation and affect the durability and stability of the gravel area.

To achieve a level and stable gravel surface, start by thoroughly preparing the ground. Proper excavation, compaction, and the use of landscape fabric or geotextile membrane can provide a solid foundation. Additionally, using edging materials like wooden boards or larger stones can contain the gravel, preventing migration and ensuring a tidy and well-defined space.

Weed Ingress

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Weed growth in decorative gravel can quickly detract from its overall aesthetics. Not only does it diminish the visual appeal, but it also necessitates frequent weeding, adding to the homeowner's responsibilities.

To prevent weed ingress, you should install a weed barrier or geotextile fabric beneath the gravel. This physical barrier inhibits weed growth while allowing water to pass through. Alternatively, pre-emergent herbicides or manual weeding techniques can be used to control and eliminate weeds.

Cleanliness and Maintenance

Maintaining the cleanliness of decorative gravel can be challenging, especially when leaves, litter, or other debris accumulate. Neglecting proper maintenance can detract from the overall appearance and enjoyment of the gravel area.

Regular maintenance is key to keeping decorative gravel clean. Raking or sweeping the gravel to remove debris is an effective practice, and utilising a leaf blower or gentle pressure washing can also help clean the gravel surface thoroughly. Applying gravel stabilisers or sealants not only minimises dust accumulation but also simplifies future maintenance.

Gravel Migration

Gravel migration refers to the movement and uneven spreading of gravel over time. This issue can compromise the appearance and functionality of the gravel area. To stabilise it, consider using gravel grid systems that interlock and prevent individual stones from shifting. 

Alternatively, applying binding agents can help enhance adhesion and prevent migration. Periodically raking or levelling the gravel surface ensures even distribution and minimises migration.

Drainage Problems

Poor drainage is a common challenge when installing decorative gravel. Inadequate drainage can lead to water pooling or erosion, jeopardising the longevity of the garden area.

To improve drainage, ensure proper base preparation by incorporating sufficient slope and grading. Incorporating drainage channels or French drains can effectively divert water away from the gravel area. Proper planning and implementation of drainage solutions facilitate water runoff and prevent accumulation, preserving the integrity of the gravel installation.

Discolouration and Fading

Discolouration and fading due to weathering or exposure to contaminants can significantly impact the appearance and longevity of decorative gravel. Regular cleaning and maintenance practices are essential to combat both. 

Power washing and applying colour-enhancing sealants can restore the vibrancy of the gravel. In addition, selecting gravel types with inherent colour durability and UV resistance can also contribute to a long-lasting and visually appealing gravel installation.

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Accessibility Concerns

It is crucial to consider accessibility when designing commercial decorative gravel areas. Challenges faced by individuals using wheelchairs or strollers can limit their mobility and enjoyment of the space.

Installing accessible pathways or incorporating alternative materials like permeable pavers in high-traffic areas ensures inclusivity. Compliance with accessibility guidelines and regulations is paramount, particularly in public spaces and developments, to ensure equal access for all individuals.

Erosion Control

Gravel erosion can pose a significant problem in sloped areas or regions prone to heavy rainfall. The instability caused by erosion affects both the aesthetics and functionality of the gravel installation.

Implementing erosion control measures is crucial. Retaining walls, terracing, and the use of erosion control blankets or matting can effectively prevent erosion. Installing gravel stabilisers also enhances adhesion and provides an additional layer of protection.

Wildlife Intrusion

Wildlife, such as digging animals or birds, can disturb the decorative gravel surface. This intrusion affects the overall aesthetics and usability of the gravel area.

To deter wildlife, installing netting, fencing, or motion-activated devices can be an effective measure. Regular inspection and prompt action are essential to address any signs of wildlife intrusion, ensuring the preservation of the gravel area's integrity.

Tracking Gravel Indoors

Gravel being tracked indoors can cause inconvenience and potential damage to flooring. You may find yourself spending more time cleaning and maintaining their indoor spaces due to gravel tracks.

Creating designated shoe removal areas or using doormats at entryways can prevent gravel from being carried indoors. Gravel containment systems near entry points are also beneficial in minimising tracking and keeping indoor spaces clean.

Discover Gorgeous Decorative Gravel Solutions

We offer a wide range of decorative gravel solutions through our website. From creating chic, modern-looking suntraps to a durable driveway, we have a range of products perfectly suited to your needs. 

By following the provided solutions, you can overcome a whole range of difficulties which will enhance your enjoyment of your outdoor space. Applying these quick fixes ensures a hassle-free and long-lasting decorative gravel area that enhances the beauty of outdoor spaces.

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  1. Price from: £150.94 £181.13
  2. Cotswold Buff Gravel (900/003/97501)

    2 - 3 WORKING DAY DELIVERY

    • Bulk/Small Bags Available
    • 10 - 20mm
    Price from: £135.88 £163.06

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