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How to Repair a Dirt Driveway

By Will Howard ; Updated September 21, 2017

While having a dirt driveway offers a home or land owner the benefit of low maintenance, inevitably, there are going to be times when repairs are warranted. Two of the biggest problems are potholes and ruts, which often form due to poor drainage underground or excessive use. Those accustomed to winter weather also know that snow plows can be a detriment to your driveway. Fortunately, with some effort, you can repair a dirt driveway in a reasonable manner and with minimal cost.

Step 1

Rake excess stones or debris from the rut or pothole. Use a shovel to further define the rut or pothole, firming and straightening any edges.

Step 2

Fill the rut or pothole using dirt or soil mixed with gravel. Press down and compact as you fill, using the back of the shovel or a tamper tool. Fill it to a few inches above the pothole or rut.

Step 3

Water the area, continuing to compact it as you do so. This step may require the addition of more dirt-mixed gravel. As you feel the spot firming, walk over it several times.

Step 4

Rake the spot, blending in the new mixture of dirt and gravel with the existing soil and stone of the natural driveway.

Step 5

Seal the rut or pothole by driving over it repeatedly with your car or truck. This last compacting should do the trick.


Things You Will Need

  • Gravel
  • Rake
  • Bucket
  • Shovel
  • Dirt or soil
  • Tamper tool


  • When using stone to surface your driveway or fill in holes, make sure the stones are jagged and not rounded, as this helps them pack together more tightly.
  • Different regions have different names for a crushed gravel driveway, often referring to one as simply a "dirt" driveway.


  • Be aware of how your driveway slopes. If it is constantly becoming washed out, you may want to redesign it so t it has a crown down the middle to give it better drainage.

About the Author


Will Howard has been a writer and editor of online content since 2006. He has worked as a marketing manager, editorial assistant and content editor. Howard holds a bachelor's degree in creative writing.