How wet is too wet??

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Woodland, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. Woodland

    Woodland LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 207

    Probably not the right place to post this question but it does sort of relate to hardscaping so here goes...

    I'm looking at a piece of property to purchase for a storage yard. It won't be my "shop" as of yet since that is still at my house and is working well for now. This will basically be a place to store trailers, equipment, mulch/gravel/loam/etc., job site spoils. Basically, anything that doesn't fit neatly in a garage! The site is an open field that has been hayed for many years. It is located in an area that is somewhat wet. There is a river on the other side of the road, a few hundred feet away. The property is not in a flood plain. I have walked the lot several times and there are areas that seem like they are somewhat wet. You can see tire tracks from the tractor that hays the field. I haven't been able to get a definitive answer from anyone as to how wet the field gets. The landowner (as translated by his broker) says they don't think it gets wet, but they only use the land for a few weeks each summer to park their RV. The neighbors say it can be wet but is never under water and the gentleman that has hayed it for years says its fine - although he strikes me as the type of old timer that thinks everything is fine and if you disagree your a pansy! We had a very wet spring and early to mid summer up here, with dryer weather since then. It had rained a fair amount, several inches, in the days before I walked the property and with the exception of a few spots, mostly near the back corner of the lot, I would feel confident driving my pickup with a trailer attached over the land.

    So the question is, how wet is too wet to make a usable property and to put in a "driveway" relatively easily?? I would basically need a small driveway/parking lot that can accommodate a large roll-off truck, a dump truck and paver delivery truck traffic. The rest is mostly incidental. My plan on building the road would probably be to leave the existing soil in place with exception to some minor leveling/flattening and then laying geofabric where the drive would be and covering with 6" to 8" of gravel or asphalt reclaim, depending on price.
  2. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    Kevin, your plans sounds reasonable, except for leaving all the soil in place. Any organic matter in the soil will continue to break down and create voids in the soil, leading to rutting or potholes in your driving areas. By utilizing the fabric, you will spread the load over a much larger area, but if this was a farm field, that topsoil can be valuable and unstable for driving on. You will likely need more roadbase, like asphalt millings or recycled concrete, but than you will only need a coating of decorative driveway gravel and will have a much more stable road and parking area. You'd want to keep the road surface higher than the surrounding soil for drainage.

  3. greatinmulchbeds

    greatinmulchbeds LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    if you wanted to spend the money, a engineer could never hurt. prob save money in the long run
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776


    Even if it isn't very wet most of the time, the first time you get an inch of rain and need to drive on it, you're going to make a bet.

    Most guys around here use White CA-6 crushed gravel. It packs well and looks good with the white rock in it. Usually on a new area your going to have to put down anywhere from 6-12 inches of the stuff to make a good base. Even then you'll need to add more occasionally to fill any pot-holes.

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