Constructing or remodeling the driveway to your home is an important project. The quality of the driveway is crucial for the safety of your car and the safety of your family as well. While there are many types of driveway materials, you need to be careful when choosing which one to use. The best thing we can do is talk about their pros and cons and figure out together the best options.
Improve your driveway with the right type of materials
The choice of driveway materials is very important, especially if you wish to improve your driveway and increase the value of your home. The materials we will take a look at today are:
- clay brick;
Let’s take a look at each of these options separately and see what their pros and cons are.
Asphalt is made out of asphalt cement, rock, and sand. A good thing about it is that it feels like concrete, but it can cost you less. Furthermore, it is a petroleum product, so it is more flexible than concrete. This means it will not crack under elements as concrete does. That makes asphalt maintenance more simple.
The downside is that an asphalt driveway needs to be sealed every few years. Also, it can get quite hot during the summer. And it is the least environmental-friendly material.
Concrete is the best example of durable and versatile material. It is made out of different types of stone aggregate, which are held together by a lime-based binder and water. When done the right way, it provides a smooth and durable surface. You can paint it in any color you want, and it also moves water freely, and it does not get that hot on sunny days.
The downside is that it can be expensive, and it is not considered the most popular building material. That is due to the fact that, once the concrete dries out, it becomes very hard to work with. If you need to change something, cutting through concrete will not be a cheap project. It is also not as environmental-friendly as some other materials.
Gravel is the best material option for a budget driveway. It is cheaper than concrete and asphalt, and it is ideal for long driveways that require a lot of material. It is also more compact than plain rock, which means it will be easier to create a solid surface.
The downside is that you will need to regrade it every one to two years. That all depends on the amount of traffic and the type of vehicles that pass through. We asked the moving professionals from City Movers, and their experience with gravel is not that great. Large moving trucks passing over poorly constructed gravel roads can speed up the deterioration of the top surface. However, if you are building it just for a car, that could be a good affordable option. Keep in mind that a well-constructed gravel driveway can last for up to 100 years, depending on the weather conditions and the amount of traffic. If we consider that asphalt can last for up to 20 years and concrete up to 50, gravel seems like the best long-term option. Furthermore, it is a more eco-friendly option than the first two.
Clay brick is a standard material for driveways intended for normal use in moderate weather. It provides a smooth surface and a lifespan of about 25 years.
The downside is that a clay brick driveway requires regular maintenance. Pressure washing is necessary at least twice a year. Furthermore, it is good advice to reseal the surface after every washing. This is required to prevent the clay from peeling or flaking.
While clay is not the most environmental-friendly material, you can increase the eco-friendliness by gaping it with dirt or sand.
A very popular option for seaside homes, the seashell is one of the best eco-friendly materials. The driveway is created out of clam, oyster, and scallop seashells, crushed into smaller pieces, and packed to create a solid surface. It definitely gives one of the more beautiful looks.
A huge con is that the driveway will last around five years. This material is easier to damage, and heavy weather will make it deteriorate faster. That means you will have to redo the top surface more often. Also, adequately collected seashell material is not that easy to find. You have to ask yourself, where are the shells coming from? Are they waste from the seafood industry, or do they come directly from the sea just for this purpose?
Paving stone is a fantastic option for driveway material if you can afford it. It is more expensive than other types of driveway materials, but with a good reason. A paved stone driveway can last for a century if done the right way. It is made out of granite or flagstone, requiring almost no maintenance. If you live in a colder climate, you can also install a heating system beneath it to keep the driveway safe from freezing or being snowed away. Furthermore, stone is one of the better eco-friendly materials to consider.
As mentioned at the beginning, its downside is the price. If you want a stone driveway, you will have to pay more money.
Consult with your contractor
Whatever your wish is, always hire a quality driveway contractor, and consult with them. They know the area, the soil, and the weather conditions. Listen to their advice, and you won’t make a mistake. Furthermore, you will get the most bang for your buck.
Types of driveway materials explained
Hopefully, you now know more about the various types of driveway materials and their advantages and disadvantages. We always suggest putting functionality in front of aesthetics. With that in mind, calculate your budget, and build the most quality driveway you can. After all, the idea is to have a well-built driveway that will also protect your vehicle for a more extended period of time.