Do I Need Gravel Under Concrete?

It is often recommended to use a gravel underlayment for a concrete driveway. The gravel base has multiple uses:

  • Drainage: Gravel drains water away from the slab of concrete, reducing damage caused by water pools under the concrete over time. This is especially important in a place, where it’s often wet.
  • Stability & Load distribution: Compacted gravel can be used to create a stable and even surface on which the concrete will rest. This can help to distribute the weight of the concrete as well as any vehicles or other objects that may be on top of it, which will reduce the chance of cracking.
  • Prevent Soil movement: A gravel base will protect the concrete slab against movements.
  • Frost protection: A gravel foundation can insulate from any possible ground freezing, which would otherwise cause ground heaving, and damage to concrete slabs.

The type of gravel and its depth can be determined by a variety of factors.

  • Type of Soil: Depending on the type of soil in your yard, you may need a gravel foundation. If the soil is sandy, it may be more important to have a gravel foundation for drainage, but not for stability.
  • Considerations for Drainage: A site with good drainage may not require a gravel drainage layer.
  • Driveway Load: A well-compacted, gravel base is important for distributing the loads and protecting the concrete.
  • Local building codes: Check the local building code or consult a professional. Apexx Enterprise LLC or the contractor you hire may have recommendations or requirements for your driveway that are based on conditions and standards.

For residential driveways, the exact thickness can vary. However, it is usually between 100mm and 200mm. The gravel must be compacted to ensure a stable foundation.

When planning your concrete driveway, always consult a professional in the area or one of Apexx Enterprise LLC. They can give you advice that is tailored to your particular circumstances, and make sure the work meets local standards and requirements.

This post was written by a professional at Apexx Enterprise LLC. Adam Ortega founded the company Apexx Enterprise LLC, in 2016 at only 20 years old. Mr. Ortega has become a licensed general concrete contractors Oro Valley AZ like his father and grandfather before him. Apexx Enterprise LLC is licensed, bonded, and insured and it is available for review at the Better Business Bureau. Apexx Enterprise LLC has won many achievements within the Home Advisor platform and we have multiple reviews as well. Their Mission Statement – “Our crew at Apexx Enterprise will perform the highest quality construction services for our customers. We aim to achieve our mission through total service satisfaction and by delivering our services while maintaining the highest levels of professionalism, integrity, and honesty.”

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