After a long and a tiring day outside, everybody looks forward to going home, a place of relaxation for body and soul. The last thing one needs is a driveway that’s not only an eyesore but also can be a potential danger for others. Driveways should reflect that wonderful transition home. They are one of the most important aspects of every household. Apart from being the essential attribute of the landscaping design and the first impression of your house they are also the most frequently used space of the front yard. Which means that driveways not only should be attractive and complementary to the house but also be durable, cost saving, easy to repair and vehicle directed. Choosing the right kind of driveway material is the key to a peaceful and comfortable life.
When planning a driveway, it’s very important to take into account soil characteristics, the width, the layout of the driveway and the landscape design. It’s wise to choose the material of the driveway based on the above mentioned aspects. Now let’s find out what possible materials are there to choose from that will be durable, will hold up to tire marks or other hazards and also be attractive.
There are 4 driveway materials that are used in driveway constructions
- Concrete driveways,
- Asphalt Driveways,
- Paver Driveways,
- Gravel driveways.
Concrete driveways are the most popular nowadays: they’re versatile and durable, easy to maintain plus the stamping and coloring make it easier to recreate the look of natural stone, brick or pavers by a fraction of the cost. Custom designs can also be created by it and give the house a unique entrance. However, they are prone to cracking overtime and it’s easy to leave tire or oil marks on your driveway and the construction process can be quite challenging. Aside from those above mentioned shortcomings it’s the most solid material available on the market also low maintenance and lasts up to 40 years.
The second option, the asphalt driveway is made with stone aggregate, water, bitumen and a very sticky form of petroleum. It used to be the most durable and cost saving material to use but recently due to the rise of the price for oil the blacktop repairs have become expensive. Another thing to consider is, asphalt calls for regular upkeep every 2 years or so and last about 20 years. There are 2 different types of asphalts offered on the market,
- Tar and Chip asphalt
Recycled asphalt is exactly what it sounds like, the material used in the product is actually used asphalt ground into gravel. It usually costs less than a new one but the durability of the recycled asphalt is lower than the hot asphalt.
The second option is Tar and chip driveway which resembles the look of the gravel but with the solidity of an asphalt. Apart from those two there’s another way to make your asphalt driveway eye catching. For most it may seems like there are no options available to make the asphalt driveway less boring but it’s a common misconception. Nowadays with modern technology paints, it’s possible to color your driveway in your desired layout.
Paver driveways give the house a more sophisticated look. There are a wide variety of colors, shapes and textures to choose from as well as a couple of material options for the actual interlocking pavers such as
- Concrete pavers,
- Clay pavers,
- Natural Stone pavers.
While Concrete and natural stone pavers are more durable compared to the clay tiles they also can be quite pricey. Lifespan for paver driveways is 20 years, it’s true they are less durable than asphalt and concrete driveways but the maintenance of the tiled driveway is easier of them all. On spot damage can be easily cured by replacing a single tile.
The last but not least is the gravel driveway which is considered the cheapest of them all, if installed the right way and maintained properly it can last a lifetime. But there are some things to consider before stopping on this option. First of all, it creates dust, loose rocks can be found everywhere, in the garage, in the house on the front loan etc. The climate also needs to be taken into account, if the area is known by its extreme windy or rainy climate then the durability of the gravel driveway is under question. Weeding also will be quite a difficult task to accomplish and if there’s a possibility of snowing in the area it will be definitely a trouble shoveling it from the driveway.
With these factors on how to choose the perfect driveway material in mind it’s very important to construct a high quality, and a suitable driveway for the local climate. Once the surface of the driveway is compromised water, moss and dirt can impact the overall look of the driveway and also be a potential cause of danger to people. Taking into account that each of the driveway materials has its own pros and cons there’s not a certain kind that will last a lifetime without needing maintenance and repair. So the rational decision is finding the best reliable and reputable company to construct the possible long lasting driveway for you that will save up a lot of time and money.