Driveway Material Options
Asphalt, concrete or a paver driveway. Whatever you choose must match the aesthetics of your house, look neat and function safely. Other considerations to keep in mind before selecting your driveway material are the cost, durability, weather conditions in your area, maintenance requirements, snow removal, and rain water filtration needs. A shabby driveway with tire marks, oil spills or one that allows weeds to grow between can spoil the good looks of your driveway so use material that does not allow for these.
An asphalt driveway is durable, inexpensive, easy and quick to install and a good choice if these are your chief concerns. Composed of a mix of stone, bitumen and water, these driveways are easy to maintain. Shoveling snow off these is also easy. Two decorative options that are now quite popular in this material are the recycled driveways and the Chip and Tar ones. A recycled asphalt driveway involves grinding the existing driveway into gravel size pieces which are then re-laid. The oil binding present in the grounded asphalt adheres together over time to give it a firm texture. Tar and Chip driveway involves placing stone aggregate into the asphalt which gives it traction. No sealing is required though plowing snow off a Tar and Chip driveway is difficult.
Concrete driveways, like the asphalt ones, give a finished look but could crack under frost heaves. They require resealing. Innovative options are also available in concrete like stamped concrete or textured concrete. This type of concrete is versatile and you can even get a custom look to match your home. Concrete is imprinted to resemble natural stone, bricks, flagstone, slate, tile and even wood that gives you a selection of looks. Concrete can also be colored for versatility to enhance creativity. Concrete that is engraved with designs or grooves and colored also alters the plain look and dramatically changes your driveway with no added expense. Concrete driveways are good for places that have less snowfall. However, one disadvantage is that they stain easily.
A paver driveway is one that is layered with stones or bricks. Taking into account the installation costs and the material costs then paver driveways are the most costly option. However, they are not only environmentally friendly but also the best looking and make some very elegant driveways. Pavers are interlocking bricks or stones that come in a wide range of colors. They fit together easily but have sufficient gaps to allow water to seep into the ground.They should be used in places where building rules do not permit runoffs. You can choose either concrete pavers or brick pavers. Both are durable and do not crack easily. Maintenance is easy as specific bricks can be removed when damaged instead of repairing the entire driveway. Cobblestone pavers are the most durable and can last for up to a century while the brick ones will last a few decades. The one disadvantage that paver driveways have is that they do not allow for easy snow removal.
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