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I have a ceiling system under my deck so that no water gets to anything under there. I'd like to store my riding lawnmower under there. The surface of the ground isn't wet, but I wanted to put something down over the dirt, to park it on.

I can't afford to put concrete in, but I was thinking of putting in gravel.

If I understand correctly, some types of gravel drain water and some don't. Should I make sure to get a type that drains well?

What kind should I choose and why?

edit: I should probably ask about stone dust. Should I consider using it instead of gravel?

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4 Answers 4

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Since you say you have a ceiling system and no direct rain in this protected area, I would think you want a material that will pack down firmly so wheels of equipment and walking won't depress into the material too much. I have used 3/8" stone dust, which is a by-product of the stone crushing process mixed with 3/8" pea stone. This material is heavy, forms grade and packs well. You could also use a clean "packing gravel" which is a very coarse sand used under concrete slabs etc. Another good solution is to use a garage mat over the base to park heavy objects on. These mats are available at many box stores and auto supply places. Another good reason to use a parking mat is that oil or fuel spills can be cleaned up before they seep into the soil. You can also sweep it clean occasionally so it looks neat as well. Good Luck

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Gravel is just a collection of small rocks, so water will just run through it. If the area under the deck is already dry, and the ground is graded so that it slopes away from the house and water doesn't pool there, you should be fine.

See the question Type of gravel to use to "pave" areas over dirt/grass and its answer for information about the use of some different gravel types.

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I was thinking of using a gravel mixture of made up of various sizes, with some being so small (dust size) that the surface would be solid and impermeable. That's why I was asking. I thought there would be a "best" mix to use (due to drainage properties), like possibly stone dust of some kind. I edited my question to ask if stone dust ought to be considered. –  ChrisC70 Mar 27 '11 at 3:26
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For this purpose I would lay down a pair of pressure treated planks, maybe 2" x 10".

Make them long enough to hold all 4 tires, and wide enough that it's easy to get the tires on the planks.

Make sure you park so the tires don't hang off an edge, but are fully supported.

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Wouldn't they have moisture in them? And I was thinking that I'd want my tires to be on something as dry as possible (I know my interior concrete garage floor has some moisture in it, even if it's too little to make any difference). –  ChrisC70 Mar 27 '11 at 3:23
    
@user2092: This is what RVers do to protect their expensive tires from ground rot. –  Jay Bazuzi Mar 27 '11 at 15:28
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the dust will be impermeable. of course, if it has particle size of 0.2mm or smaller (like clay), so don't use dust. maybe a combination of the two planks and some permeable gravel (over 1cm size) for drainage.

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