Gravel Paving: The Pros And Cons Of A Gravel Driveway
In some areas, gravel paving for driveways is very popular, while in other areas, they are almost impossible to find. In many rural areas, for example, gravel is the go-to material for both roadways and driveways. For homes, it is not uncommon to have gravel paving leading to the garage. For long driveways, this type of material is less expensive than other driveway materials, and it can last for a long time with regular maintenance.
Having Gravel Paving for Your Driveway
Gravel refers to any loose stone or rock that is smaller than cobble but larger than sand. This means it can range from 2.5 inches down to 1/10 inch in diameter. However, the driveway that is used for driveways is usually a processed product, which consists of clay, sand, and rocks. This mixture has an advantage over plain rocks; it compacts much better in order to make a stable surface. Also, while stone paving or coarse gravel paving is done in order to allow water to flow through it, most of these driveways are designed in a way to make them shed water.
Maintaining Your Driveway and Keeping it Up to Par
These types of driveways will require regular maintenance in order to ensure they last for a long time. Regular maintenance will make it so that you do not have to have it replaced, which is never fun. They will also need to be regraded; the number of times you regrade them will all depend on how much traffic the driveway receives and the local climate.
When dips or potholes occur, those should be filled right away in order to prevent them from getting deeper. You can repair the potholes with hand tools, but when it comes time to regrading it, heavy equipment will be needed.
One of the biggest issues with having this type of driveway is the fact that it can be more difficult to plow. You will not be able to scrape the surface clean as you could with solid materials, because this will cause the gravel to become displaced. Even if you are careful, over the course of winter, the material will become displaced with a snowblower.
How Long will the Driveway Last?
With proper maintenance and care, these driveways can last up to 100 years. The beauty behind this is that they can be repaired as time goes by. Whereas wear and damage to concrete and asphalt driveways can be hard to remedy. You also have to consider the fact that this material is less likely to receive damage when the ground freezes and thaws (this is something that can crack most other driveway materials).
In the end, you also have to consider the cost of this material for a driveway. The cost can vary, depending on where you are from; it can range from under $1 per square foot to over $4 per square foot. In the end, even if you had to pay $4 per square foot, the cost is worth it when you consider the fact that it can last 100 years as long as you take care of it.