Steps to Repair a Washed out Dirt Driveway

From time to time inquisitive customers in need of a new driveway will ask us to outline how Dirt Dogs Excavation repairs washed-out, rutted out driveways using roadbase, crushed gravel, crushed rhyolite, crushed asphalt, etc.. For those curious people, here are the basic steps we use for driveway repair and installation:

Site Assessment & Driveway Inspection:

We’ll listen to the property owner and take their ideas and begin by thoroughly inspecting the area where you want your driveway installed or fixed.  If your driveway needs repairs we’ll figure out the extent of the damage and identify any underlying issues that might be contributing to the problem.  Sometimes its just typical wear and tear. Sometimes its a flash flood that’s caused the damage.  This summer we’ve had an extraordinary amount of rain caused damage.

Safety Precautions:

Of course we always prioritize safety by identifying and mitigating potential hazards on the site, such as unstable soil, drop offs, debris, or nearby utilities. The last thing we want to do is accidentally run into a buried utility of some sort!

Permits and Regulations:

If necessary we’ll check the local regulations and obtain any required permits for excavation or repair work if the driveway is on public ground. However, most of our work is on private roads and driveways and on rural properties or horse farms in places like Elizabeth or Parker, Douglas County, Kiowa, etc. Typically don’t need a permit to work on a driveway for a privately owned piece of property.

Project Planning, Design and Estimate:

We figure out what needs to be done, discuss the job and options available with the property owner’s needs (and budget) and  we can even provide an estimate and outline of the job including type of road base and estimated costs. We’ll also discuss and agree on drainage improvements, soil stabilization, and the type of materials needed. In some cases, for example, a problematic drainage area might need a culvert (or an earth berm) to keep water from washing out a driveway. (More on that later.) But keep in mind, most driveways – even long ones – are pretty straight forward projects for us.  Also, you might have a special need for parking spaces or even a side road into your horse property. No problem. We can handle any of that. In fact, you might want to know that we are experts at installing horse arenas and barn pads (which often need a nice driveway for easy access) so we can help with that too.

Because we’ve fixed an repaired zillions of driveways  for many years, we’re experts at fixing driveways and installing new ones  – we know what to do fix, repair and install driveways and will give you our best recommendations and best plan to deliver you a driveway you’ll love.  We’ll provide you with an estimate for the work you want done so you know what your options and costs are up front.

Materials and Equipment:

Based on the site inspection, we’ll bring in the necessary heavy machinery for the job such as: road graders, excavators, compactors, dump trucks, etc. We’ll also calculate out how many truckloads of material will need to be hauled in such as crushed gravel, road base or crushed asphalt.

Drainage Enhancements:

Water run off is a major enemy of rural driveways in Elizabeth, Parker, Castle Rock and Kiowa so we are “all about” shaping the driveway and surrounding landscape to help the driveway last over time. But in some cases we have to do more drastic measures to  address poor drainage issues (in low lying areas) by installing or upgrading drainage systems like culverts, ditches, or build up the ground to divert water away from the driveway and reduce washouts.

Excavation and Soil Preparation:

Finally the fun begins! Let’s get to work and move some dirt! Our crew will roll in the heavy equipment and excavate the damaged area, smoothing over and removing washed-out soil and debris. We will build a smooth, stable base for the new driveway that will help guide water to drain off gently to help prevent washouts and prevent erosion.

Road Base &  Grading:

We typically might have 5-10 truckloads of material dropped off for the road base. With each dump of material we’ll spread that out  add a layer (or layers) of road base or crushed asphalt to the excavation, to achieve the desired grade and slope for the driveway. We strive to grade the driveway surface until it’s a beautiful, smooth, level and well-compacted surface, paying attention to proper drainage so your driveway will be pretty as a picture and the drive in and out of your property will be a smooth, pleasant ride!


Once we’re done we’ll finish off everything nice an pretty by removing excess materials, debris, and equipment from the site and dispose of waste properly.

Erosion Control:

If you need to implement erosion control measures, such as seeding, mulching, or erosion control blankets, to protect against future erosion we can do that too.

Quality Assurance:

Once were’ done we’ll have our clients thoroughly inspect the installed or repaired driveway to ensure it meets their specified standards and obtain the  approval.

So there you have it. These are the basic steps to install or repair a driveway (give or take some things) which are used when we install or repair a worn out, washed-out driveway using road base or crushed asphalt, ensuring a durable and effective restoration. Of course there are some exceptions. If your driveway has some unusual characteristics we’ll be sure to adapt the process to those unique specific conditions and requirements and maybe add or remove a step or two – but no matter what we’ll install or fix your driveway for you better than anyone else!

New Driveway Installed a New Gravel driveway for Lola in Elizabeth

Dirt Dogs Excavation loves each of our incredible customers but we recently worked for perhaps the all sweetest of them all – Lola – a 91 year old senior citizen located in the heart of scenic Elizabeth, CO.  Lola is a gem. Witty, sharp as a tack, funny and still going strong. But driving down her driveway would rattle her dentures out of her head. Like a hundred other property owners in Elizabeth, Lola’s  driveway got ruined by the frequent washouts from the heavy rains she had this year. So of course – being so smart – she knew who to call to fix her driveway. Yep. Dirt Dogs Excavation came to the rescue!  We regraded and smoothed Lola’s driveway – removing all the driveway ruts, craters and holes. Then we brought in 125 tons of recycled asphalt and graded it perfectly smooth. Now Lola’s can drive up and down her driveway without losing her dentures. We hate to brag too much but this new driveway installation was a true work of perfection. And best of all – Lola was happy cowgirl.

True happiness is found in the simple things: a smooth trail, a faithful friend, and a job well done.

Of course if your driveway is in need of some serious repairs we encourage you to touch base with Dirt Dogs Excavation – your driveway installation experts!

Flood Damage Repair to Culverts in Elizabeth, CO

When it rains it pours! But sometimes mother nature can get carries away a bit too much. This year Colorado has experienced record rainfall totals especially on the front range of Colorado. And while it was great for eliminating drought – there were lots of dirt roads and dirt driveways that were seriously damaged and destroyed by the excess water runoff and flash floods. The photo above shows one such road that was completely washed out in a flash flood but (thanks to Dirt Dogs Excavating) was successfully (and quickly) repaired so the locals could get where they needed to go.

We installed 2, 48″ x 40′ culverts in a private driveway that got washed out by the July flood waters in Elizabeth. After installing and compacting the culverts, we installed rip-rap boulders on the sides to hold in place the back fill, then covered with topsoil and grass seed and finished the drive surface with class 6 road base.

Was it a giant muddy mess when we got there? Was the property owner upset AND stuck? Absolutely! But we’re used to handling tough jobs that include moving mud and dirt so we rolled up our sleeves and got the job done! If we say so ourselves…it came out real nice! Not to brag…but once again Dirt Dogs came to the rescue and too care of this problem.

Grading a Private Road in Falcon, Colorado

grading private road in Falcon, CO

So…there you are – driving down your own stretch of private dirt road on a beautiful sunny day in  Colorado when all of a sudden – instead of enjoying that  amazing view – you’re getting your teeth rattled out of your head – your coffee spills all over and your lug nuts pop loose on your brand new 4-wheel drive ranch truck. That ain’t no good way to go partner! In fact, it’s completely unacceptable. But…there is hope because that’s when you realize  its way past time to give Dirt Dogs Excavating a call.  Have no doubt! We are your local road grading experts! Our trusty crew and powerful motorgraders can fix that washed out, washboarded, miserable road so you can get back to riding that road like a king and enjoying your drive again…while  drinking your coffee too!

As the  photo above shows…its truly a thing of beauty to see a washed out, bumpy, head bangin’ gravel (road base) road made smooth again. And you know who to call don’t you??

When the boys at Dirt Dogs roll in we will take that totally destroyed dirt road and make it look and drive like a brand new road! We pull the dirt and road base back out of those ditches, re-crown the road so the water drains off again,  cutout the ruts and fix those horrible washed out areas so once again you can invite  your friends and family out to your gentelman’s ranch without the embarrassment and shame of living on such a beat up and destroyed road. Which will make your sweet home sweet home the envy of all your friends and family members. Now who doesn’t want that?!

Our powerful Motorgrader was able to resurrect this road – which was about a mile long – in about 9 hours. We can do roughly a mile a day.

If you’ve got washed out, non-county maintained roads that need professional road grading and expert help – tell your HOA to give us a ring! We can come out once or twice a year and keep that road in shape. Of course, requirements for maintenance on non-county roads  like this vary considerably due to factors such as weather and  traffic. But we’re flexible. You can contact Dirt Dogs Excavation for a quote any time you need professional road grading for your rural Colorado neighborhood!


Walking Paths Grading for open space in Castle Rock

Castle Rock path grading
path grading
Dirt Dogs Excavating provided professional road grading services for a walking trail which is a dirt path in the Castle Rock Gateway Mesa open space trail. The trail offers Colorado locals a great outdoor recreation opportunity to go jogging, bike riding, hiking or even riding horses. Sorry…no motorcycles allowed! While you’re hiking around in the summer you might see red-tailed hawks, various creatures – like rabbits, deer, elk, antelope, bobcats, snakes and lizards – and an assortment of Colorado native flowers. But your main focus will be on the beautifully groomed trail upon which you are gallivanting upon. As you admire that super smooth surface feel free to shout our name out to passers-by that DIRT DOGS made this trail!!! Of course they will applaud and cheer too because this roadbase path is a thing of beauty!
tail dirt road grading in Castle Rock
This trail is about a 1/2 a mile of walking paths we installed at the gateway Mesa open space in Castle Rock, Colorado.
For this wide open,  scenic tail we installed about 1500 tons of class 6 granite road base to make a 12 foot wide by 6 inch thick walking surface. This trail will also double as a service road for vehicle traffic back to A Cell Tower that hangs over the edge of the Canyon. So if you live in the area you can celebrate the fact that your phone services is largely perfect because we’re helping those Cell Tower techs reach their destination easily.
If you’re in need of an expert road grading and earth moving company we aren’t shy! Just give Dirt Dogs a call and we’ll be happy to build your own trail or path or driveway for you too!

A Brief History of Road Graders

We love road graders and I know you do too! And because Dirt Dogs Excavation lives and breathes the dust of road graders and tractors we thought we should share some of fascinating information about the history of road graders to help expand the appreciation level and love for this incredible invention which is often overlooked.

Global sales of graders is estimated to be $4.27 billion. But the grader business wasn’t always that big. In fact it started out as small spin-off from the horse and buggy business! The photo above shows an example of one of the earliest models – a horse-drawn grader.

Modern road graders are seriously powerful machines used for earth moving, road work and installing driveways so they deserve a little thought and respect. To that end…here’s our short history of road graders.

A Brief History of the Road Grader

The first road grader, also known as a motor grader or simply a grader, was invented in the late 19th century. A guy named Richard Austin in 1885 invented the first grader which he humbly named after himself…the “Austin No. 1 Grader“.  (Its shown in the photo up above.) Richard was a blacksmith from Chicago, Illinois, who designed  that horse-drawn contraption for the purpose grading and leveling dirt roads. It featured an adjustable blade and a wheeled frame, allowing it to effectively smooth and shape road surfaces.

The Austin No. 1 Grader was considered a significant innovation at the time, providing a more efficient and mechanized method for road construction and maintenance. It provided the overall “grader-blade” concept and laid the foundation for subsequent advancements in road grading technology.

Graders have undergone significant improvements and have transitioned from being horse-drawn to being powered by engines.  Thus the “motor grader” was born.

old road grader

The 1920s and 1930s saw significant improvements in motor grader technology. Companies such as Caterpillar, Allis-Chalmers, and Galion began producing motor graders with internal combustion engines, which greatly enhanced their performance and versatility. During this period, road graders gained popularity and were increasingly used in road construction projects.

During WWII road graders helped us win the war!

During World War II, road graders played a crucial role in military operations and infrastructure development. Here are a few ways road graders were used during that time:

  • Construction and Maintenance of Airfields: Road graders were extensively used in the construction and maintenance of airfields for military aircraft. They helped prepare the ground by leveling and grading the terrain, removing obstructions, and compacting the soil to create smooth and functional runways.
  • Road Construction and Repair: Road graders were employed to construct and repair roads and highways in various theaters of war. They helped in clearing debris, filling in potholes, and grading roads to facilitate the movement of military vehicles, equipment, and supplies. Road graders were vital in ensuring that transportation routes remained accessible and reliable for troops and logistics.
  • Construction of Temporary Camps and Bases: Road graders were used in the construction of temporary military camps, bases, and depots. They helped prepare the sites by leveling the ground, grading areas for tents and structures, and creating access roads and parking areas.
  • Field Engineering: Road graders were utilized by military engineers for various field engineering tasks. They assisted in creating defensive positions, leveling ground for installations such as artillery emplacements and anti-aircraft gun sites, and constructing temporary bridges and crossings.
  • Supply Line Maintenance: Road graders played a role in maintaining supply lines by repairing and improving roads and routes used for transporting troops, equipment, and supplies. They helped keep the roads in operational condition, ensuring efficient logistics and communication throughout the war.

Yes indeed, road graders have quite a remarkable history!

Just a couple other factoids…

Caterpillar Inc. is an American corporation that’s famous worldwide for its construction vehicles – and it’s currently the world’s leading motor grader manufacturer. It also makes the largest grader in the world…the CAT 24.
–  fuel tank capacity of 240 gallons
– 54 ft
– 151,000 lbs

You might also enjoy watching the video below about the 10 largest motor graders in the world.

If you need help with your dirt road or driveway or any kind of earth moving project in Colorado – keep us in mind! Dirt Dogs Excavation has their own road grader (below) for excavating work as well as smoothing out dirt roads and driveways all across the Front Range of Colorado.

Installing a School Running Track in Arvada, CO

Dirt Dogs can handle any kind of earth moving and grading project. Recently we took this worn-out school track surface and restored it to the original old school scoria footing. Scoria is a volcanic rock/sand like product that the old running tracks used to be made of. They still use scoria on warning tracks in professional baseball fields too.

We enjoyed working at a school and making grading this running track so it was perfectly smooth and level. Dirt Dogs hates to brag but you’ll be hard pressed to find a prettier running track than the one we just finished!

After the job was done we took our whole crew and did a footrace around the track 4 times to see if we could break the 4 minute mile – like in our younger days. Unfortunately we’ve slowed down quite a bit due to our preference to ride around all day in tractors and trucks instead of running around like a bunch of kids.

Bottom line. If your school needs some earth moved and graded for a football field, baseball field, parking lot or track surface – just give us a call! We’ll do such a great job that you’ll want to give us an A+ when we’re done!

Commercial Parking Lot Grading – Parker, CO

Dirt Dogs Excavating recently completed preparation and expert grading work for a commercial parking lot in Parker, Colorado. This parking lot runs around 7,000 sq ft. and needed a fine touch to grade the surface smoothly and perfectly around the whole area and right up to the curbs and walls. If you study this photo closely you’ll notice that this parking lot is picture perfect example on how to properly prepare a parking lot for a hot asphalt mix that will soon be laid over the top. While many people don’t think much about parking lots – we do! A parking lot that funnels rain into a building can spell disaster for the property owner.  When we road grade a driveway or parking lot Dirt Dogs makes sure that any run off from snow melt or rain will drain smoothly away from the building. And we try to ensure a super-smooth surface that people will appreciate even though they probably won’t write a book about their parking lot experience.

So in conclusion, Dirt Dogs is an expert in driveways and parking lots and the road grading machines that we operate daily. If you need a new parking lot or driveway – get in touch and we’ll help you out.

We hate to brag but yes…those are some beautiful parking lot photos!

For extra credit reading we’ve included this valuable information for people curious about parking lots…

Why are Parking Lots Important?

First of all…imagine if DIA didn’t have a parking lot. Yep. DIA is miserable as it is but with no parking lot it would be way worse! Enough said. Parking lots are VERY important!
So…back to the question – why are parking lots important?

  • Convenience: Parking lots provide a convenient place for people to park their vehicles when they need to visit a particular location. Without parking lots, people would have to park on the street or out in the weeds which can be inconvenient and sometimes unsafe.
  • Accessibility: If people couldn’t park by your business then you probably wouldn’t have any business. So parking lots are a great way to bring customers in – nice and close – so they can shop and splurge on whatever you’ve got to sell to them. Importantly, parking lots make it easier for people with disabilities or mobility issues to access buildings and businesses. Many parking lots have designated spaces for people with disabilities, which are closer to the building entrance and have wider spaces for wheelchair access.
  • Revenue generation: If you own a chunk of land in downtown Denver you could get rich off your parking lot by scalping high prices off folks. So, in those cases, parking lots can be a source of revenue for businesses or municipalities that own them by charging exorbitant fees for parking, which generate income. Now, if you’re in Parker or Elizabeth, Colorado nobody is going pay money to park so you can forget about this concept unless you start seeing skyscrapers popping up everywhere.
  • Traffic management: A good parking lot is well marked with lines that help people figure out how to park in a nice orderly manner. Parking lots can help manage traffic flow in busy areas. By providing designated parking areas, drivers can avoid congestion on the roads and reduce the risk of accidents. Most of all people like seeing a parking lot so they know where they’re supposed to park.
  • Safety: Parking lots can be designed with safety features such as lighting, security cameras, and emergency call boxes. This can make people feel safer when parking their vehicles and walking to their destination. Some parking lots in China have special surveillance technology too spy on their people but out in Parker and Elizabeth, CO we aren’t that crazy so we just like our parking lots to be a safe place to come and go.Overall, when parking lots are installed properly they provide convenience, accessibility, and safety for people who need to park their vehicles near your business. And Dirt Dogs Excavation is the best company to call when you need a new parking lot.

This is what happens when you have a poorly designed parking lot….

If you’ve made it this far…then you’ve probably had this question…

When was the first parking lot invented?

According to parking lot historians…the first known multi-story parking lot which was in fact a commercial parking garage was built in 1918 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. However, the concept of parking areas for vehicles dates back much earlier. Not quite to the Stone Age because no one needed to park back then. Pay attention now…in fact, the first public parking lot in the United States was created in 1904 in Boston, Massachusetts. It was a simple dirt lot that charged five cents per hour for parking. Prior to that, people would park their horses and carriages in designated areas, but the concept of a parking lot specifically designed for automobiles was a new invention back then. If that inventor had patented his idea and took a dollar for every parking lot ever created he would be…. dead…That’s right. Because no matter how rich you get you can still only live so long. OK…class is over. Thanks for paying attention!

Dirt Dogs is here to help you get the best parking lot or driveway or earth moved however you need AND sometimes we even educate along the way! But we all know you can’t teach an old dog new tricks so if you’re one of those old dogs…you’ll probably forget about everything you just read here. No matter. Have a great day – but don’t forget about Dirt Dogs Excavation and give us a call when you need earth moving expertise.

Residential and Commercial Driveway Installation Experts

road base driveway installation
road base driveway installation

Dirt Dogs Excavation is proud to be your residential and commercial driveway installation experts for Elizabeth, CO and surrounding areas. We are experts at installing and renovating the long driveways that service our neighbors out here in the beautiful horse country of Colorado.

Our Driveway Installation Services include:

  • Class 6 granite road base
  • Recycled materials. Asphalt, concrete, brick.
  • Colors black, gray, red, earth tones, brown- purple.
  • Cost effective and durable.
  • Grading, crowning and drainage.
  • New and refurbished driveways.
  • Drive surfaces and parking lots.
  • Residential and commercial driveways.

Below are a few photos of some of our projects we’ve done as a Driveway Installer.

crushed rhyolite road base driveway
crushed rhyolite road base driveway

The photo above shows one of our crushed rhyolite road base driveways.

Recycled-Asphalt-Driveway renovation

The photo above shows one of our recycled asphalt driveways we installed.


Crushed-Granite Driveway

The photo above shows one of our crushed granite driveways we installed.

Class 6 recycled concrete

This is a beautiful driveway made out of Class 6 recycled concrete.


Oakland-Red Roadbase for Driveway

Aren’t those driveways pretty! Keep in mind when we take special care in excavating the ground to account for drainage. We love helping people get a brand new or renovated driveway installed.  We invite you to call us when its time to fix up your old driveway or get a new one. We service all these areas:

Elizabeth, CO
Parker, CO
Douglas County, CO
Kiowa, CO
Larkspur, CO
Castle Rock, CO
Colorado Springs, CO
Monument, CO
El Paso County, CO
Denver, CO
and more!!

New Foundation Excavation in Parker, CO

Dirt Dogs  Excavating is hard at work finishing up another foundation excavation project for a new home in Parker, Colorado. We really are the hands-down local foundation excavation experts! This beauty of a foundation is about 1500 ft². In case you’re curious, we’ve moved a mountain of dirt and dug hundreds of foundations over our many years in business AND we’re busy year round. So don’t be afraid to call us in the winter! As you can see in this photo we have a couple tractors hard at work under the beautiful blue Colorado skies in March. We make sure the foundations we dig are precise and picture perfect to make it easier for the concrete crew to come in and do their job. Typically we’ll come back in to add a driveway, do the finish grade once the foundation is poured and most of the house is underway. We work just about all year long – unless there’s a blizzard or its pouring cats and dogs. It should be mentioned that if you need some earth moved or a new foundation for and addition or new home…give us a ring!