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!