Gravel is a common driveway feature on many properties! It’s like most homeowners opt for it by default, especially when you consider that most of them can’t explain why they choose it. But what is it about a gravel driveway that makes it so popular? Let us consider this in the post below.
What is gravel?
Gravel is a surface mixture consisting of stones, sand, and clay that is typically used for driveways. Unlike plain rocks, gravel remains compact over time to ensure you get a stable surface at all times.
Why do homeowners prefer a gravel driveway?
Gravel is generally a popular surface material because of the many benefits it offers. These include:
Easy to install and spread
One of the reasons property owners opt for gravel is because it’s very easy to install. You can simply spread the stones on the driveway site and rake them out using a broom or leaf blower until they are even across the surface of your property. This saves a lot of time and effort without leaving you with unsightly results.
Available in different colors
Another reason why many prefer this type of material is that you have plenty of choices when it comes to color. You can opt for brown, grey, or even black stones depending on the look you want for your driveway surface. This is unlike concrete that only has one or two colors available, and it’s not easy to change once installed.
Gravel driveways require very low maintenance. You won’t need to resurface them as often as you would with concrete or asphalt driveways because the stones hold up for longer periods. You can expect to save money in maintenance down the line.
Gravel driveways are known for their ability to last longer than concrete. This is because they can hold up under heavy usage and harsh weather conditions such as rain, wind, or ice-cold temperatures that would gradually wear down the surface of an alternative driveway over time.
The stones making up gravel are tiny compared to concrete. This makes it easier for them to compact over time, providing you with a relatively level surface. This also means that you won’t need to spend a lot of money resurfacing it as often.
Superior drainage system
Gravel can also be great for your driveway because it offers superior drainage over other types such as concrete and asphalt surfaces. It doesn’t allow rainwater to pool on the surface or form puddles that could damage vehicles and property. This is because the stones allow water to flow between them and drain off easily.
Easy to replenish
If you are on the lookout for a new driveway surface, gravel is one of your best options. You can quickly replenish it when necessary by ordering more stones to spread over the existing ones. It makes it easy to maintain the look of your driveway without doing too much!
What are some of its disadvantages?
While gravel may seem like a good choice on paper, it’s not always suitable for everyone. Here are some of its disadvantages:
Slippery when wet
Gravel is a poor choice if you want to install it on surfaces that receive heavy rainfall or snowfall because the stones can turn slippery and cause accidents. This means you’ll need access roads with gravel as well, which may prove too much of a hassle for some property owners.
Develops potholes easily
Gravel does not hold up well under heavy traffic such as cars, trucks, and SUVs. It develops potholes and lumps very fast because it’s not as sturdy as other materials, such as asphalt. This means you’ll have to keep on replenishing it to maintain, especially if there is heavy traffic.
Washes away easily
Gravel is also susceptible to damage from strong winds, heavy rainfall, and snowfall. It washes away easily when the surface gets wet because it does not hold up under traffic or harsh weather conditions like concrete or asphalt surfaces do.
Finally, gravel is a more natural material that looks dull and brown compared to concrete or asphalt. This means you won’t have the same pristine look as other surfaces provide over time, especially if there are cracks in the stones. This is even worse when it gets dirty because it is not easy to wash compared to concrete.
How much does a gravel driveway cost?
Gravel is one of the cheapest driveways you can build. Installing a gravel driveway depends on where you live. Some factors that may influence the actual cost are the thickness of your driveway and whether or not you are planning to resurface it.
How long will a gravel driveway last?
The life expectancy of a gravel driveway can vary depending on your location and weather conditions. The material is known to last for at least 50 years in ideal conditions, so it may be worth the cost if you plan to stay in one place for many years! The best part is that you can replenish it anytime you feel it’s deteriorating.
Give Us a Call!
Are you thinking of revamping your driveway with fresh surface material? Allwood Recyclers can provide you with what you’re looking for. We offer a wide range of suitable options for both residential and commercial properties, including gravel. Contact us to learn more about our services!