When it comes to planning a new driveway, one of the most important tasks is to decide which material you would like to use. Different types of driveway material help to offer homeowners an array of choices best suited to their personal needs. One of the most common decisions comes down to gravel vs concrete driveway. There are pros and cons to gravel and concrete driveways, so it’s important to understand the differences between the two.
Pros of a Gravel Driveway
- Price of Gravel Driveways
If you are looking for the most affordable option when choosing between a gravel or concrete driveway, gravel may provide a better option for you. Gravel driveways can sometimes be up to half the cost of other driveways alternatives like asphalt or stone.
- Maintenance of Gravel Driveways
Gravel driveways can also be a great choice if you are concerned with the upkeep of your drive. Gravel is easier to maintain than some of its counterparts, but there are tips to follow in order to ensure easy maintenance for the life of your gravel driveway. Raking your gravel periodically and making sure to fill in any dips as soon as you notice them are just a few easy ways to maintain your gravel driveway.
- Sustainability of Gravel Driveways
Another positive about gravel driveways is the fact they can sustain much longer than other driveways with proper maintenance. Gravel driveways also seem to fare a lot better than asphalt driveways when it comes to weather conditions. Living in an area with very cold temperatures may be better suited for gravel as solid material driveways can be prone to cracking.
Cons of a Gravel Driveway
- Less Aesthetic Options for Gravel Driveways
If you are looking to add personal touches to your driveway, gravel may not be the best option for you. Stone and concrete driveways may provide better design capabilities compared to gravel.
- Washout of Gravel Driveways
While gravel driveways sustain better in colder temperatures, that may not be the case if your driveway is prone to heavy rainfall or runoff. Heavy rainfall can cause the gravel to washout and leave your driveway with dips in it. This is definitely something to consider when choosing the best material for your new driveway.
Resurfacing or Replacing Your Driveway: Which is Better?
Many property owners often wonder whether resurfacing or replacing their driveway is a better option. It is important to understand the current condition of your driveway and even the material used in your driveway, like gravel or asphalt, when deciding which would offer a better solution.
There are many issues that can cause property owners to wonder if they should resurface or replace their driveway.
Issues with your driveway that may help you consider if you should resurface or replace it include:
- Drainage issues
- Uneven surfaces or crumbling
- Age of current driveway
- Fading in color or not visually appealing
- Large scale areas of damage
Is it Better to Resurface Your Driveway?
If you have a driveway that is in constant need of patching but you are not wanting to have the complete driveway replaced, resurfacing may provide a better option. Resurfacing a driveway involves removing the top layer of your current driveway and replacing it with a new top layer.
Resurfacing can make driveways appear brand new at less of the cost of a full driveway replacement. While resurfacing provides a facelift to many driveways in dire need, it can not be used to correct all issues a property owner may be facing with their driveway.
If your driveway has a few potholes or cracks, it may benefit from resurfacing. Resurfacing your driveway can also be a great choice if your driveway has lost its visual appeal. If you are wanting to freshen up your driveway, this would be a great solution.
If your driveway has extensive damage or if there are issues with the foundation, resurfacing your driveway may not be the best solution. Without correcting a faulty foundation, your driveway may continue to crack and have other signs of damage after a resurfacing.
Is it Better to Replace Your Driveway?
Replacing your entire driveway involves removing the current driveway and its foundation. Once the old driveway has been removed, it is completely replaced with a new foundation and a new driveway. This type of full driveway replacement may be necessary if your driveway has extensive potholes, cracks, or a problem with the foundation.
Age can also play a major role in deciding whether or not you should replace or resurface your driveway. If your current driveway is over 20 years old, you may consider going with a full driveway replacement.
While replacing your driveway may cost more time and money upfront, the results and money saved are well worth it in the long run. With drainage issues and other environmental issues, sometimes a full driveway replacement is needed versus a driveway resurfacing.
If you would like to speak with a driveway expert, contact Breck’s Paving today.
Depending on the current condition of your driveway and the age of your driveway can widely affect when the time comes to replace your driveway. Many external factors like weather, environment, and personal usage can all play a role in how much life you get out of your driveway. The main factors that can affect the life of your driveway include:
- Uneven Surface
- Drainage Problems
If you are looking to find out if now is a great time to replace your driveway, check out some of the tips below!
How Long Do Driveways Last?
Age matters when it comes to driveways. Depending upon the specific material used for your driveway, with proper care, some can last up to 30 years. Taking proper care of a newly installed driveway can ensure that it will be enjoyed for years to come. Filling cracks as they start, plowing with care and not using salt on your driveways are all easy ways to ensure you get the most use out of your driveway.
When to Replace Concrete Driveways
If you have a concrete driveway, it could potentially last 30 years. Yet, many factors can cut the lifespan off of your concrete driveway. With a concrete driveway, it’s important to clean it often. It is also vital that you do not use certain types of deicing chemicals on your concrete driveway when experiencing snow and ice in the winter. These chemicals can cause damage to concrete driveways, thus shortening the lifespan. If your concrete driveway has not been cared for properly over the years, it may be time to replace it.
When to Replace Asphalt Driveways
If you have an asphalt driveway, these can last from around 15-20 years. Again, many factors can have an affect on how long your specific driveway may last. The edges of your asphalt driveway can be the weakest spot and should be handled with care. Be sure not to place sharp or heavy objects like dumpsters on your asphalt or it may cause it to weaken. You should also use care to ensure certain automotive fluids are not able to leak directly onto your asphalt. This can cause asphalt to soften or dissolve. If your asphalt driveway has not been properly cared for, you may consider replacing it in the near future.
Uneven surfaces are a great reason to consider replacing your driveway. Many factors outside of proper care can cause your driveway to become uneven. Even if you take the best care of your driveway, soil erosion and poor drainage can cause your driveway to sink and become uneven. If you notice your driveway becoming uneven and not level, it is important to have a driveway expert take a look and let you know what your best options would be.
Having a cracked driveway is one of the most common reasons for a driveway replacement. Many things can lead to cracks in driveways made of concrete and asphalt. Time can naturally breakdown these products and cause driveways to crack. Other factors like freezing temperatures can also cause cracks to appear from the freezing and thawing cycle. If you are experiencing a cracked driveway, you may consider replacing your driveway as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Potholes in Driveways
Potholes can be one of the most frustrating things a homeowner or business can deal with when it comes to their drive. Potholes are not only unsightly, but they can become dangerous to homeowners and customers. Potholes can be caused by a variety of issues. Weather and drainage issues can be the root of the potholes and driving on damaged material can also cause the driveway to develop potholes. It’s very important to consult with a paving expert when you are dealing with potholes. For safety reasons alone, potholes should be inspected and repaired as soon as they appear.
Drainage Problems in Driveways
If you are experiencing drainage problems in your driveway, it is important to note that many of the issues discussed above can all be the direct result of drainage problems. If you notice water pooling on your driveway or weakened spots from previous drainage issues, it may be time to replace your drive. Homeowners and business owners should look into the drainage problem that exists and speak with a professional about how to best correct these drainage issues in order to protect their driveways.
Aesthetic/Appearance of Driveways
Sometimes, driveways just lose their beauty. If your driveway appears weathered and ragged, you may be ready for a new look. Not all driveways need a full replacement, so you may want to consider an alternative like resurfacing. If you are ready to visually improve your driveway, contact Breck’s for a quote.
There are many reasons to consider when it comes to replacing a driveway. It is also important to speak with paving experts who can offer the best solutions for the specific issues you are facing with your current driveway. Breck’s can answer any questions you have about replacing your driveway. Contact them for a quote today.
Driveways are seen as a welcome sign to guests who are coming to visit your home. When it comes to deciding on a new driveway, many people are overwhelmed with the many choices that are now available in regards to driveway material. Yet, there is one question that seems to be asked a lot more than others and that is what are the pros and cons of a gravel driveway?