Are you using a stony, weed-covered patch of property as a driveway? If you’re looking for an upgrade, the options aren’t limitless, but you do have at least three: do you go with inexpensive gravel, medium asphalt, or pricier concrete driveway? Like a lot of things in life, you get what you pay for with driveways. The choice of material you make could determine what you’re paying for, and how much you’ll be paying in the long run.
The Good and the Bad of a Gravel Driveway
Gravel is a common driveway material because it’s simple: it’s easy to put down, it’s cheap, and many people find that the only maintenance required is to fill it out now and again. There are several different types of gravel to choose from, so you can select a colour that works with your landscaping and home exterior.
You might regret gravel when winter comes, though. Removing snow from a gravel driveway is difficult, and shovelling or blowing snow off will also take many pieces of gravel off the surface. They can land on your lawn or garden, and picking them out can be a huge hassle. The summer problems include a wind kicking up dust, and in intense precipitation, the surface can give slightly if the ground below isn’t hard, causing vehicles to sink into the driveway.
The A’s and F’s of an Asphalt Driveway
Unlike gravel, asphalt is the inexpensive option that won’t blow away or get picked up by your shovel. This sticky, black substance can also be set for cheap, giving you a solid surface quickly.
This isn’t to say that asphalt is as solid as a driveway could be. The material is inexpensive and it can show after some time. A driveway made from asphalt needs to be maintained regularly to prevent cracking and potholes that can damage your vehicle, and this means using crack repair and sealant that can be expensive in the long run. Don’t be surprised to see weeds bursting through after a couple of years. Black is your only option with asphalt, too, and this can get hot in the summer. Don’t rule out a concrete driveway in favour of a popular option.
The Pros and Cons of a Concrete Driveway
Concrete is the most durable material you could use for a driveway, and while it’s more expensive than gravel or asphalt, you won’t spend a lot of extra money on maintenance. Depending on how well it’s built and how regularly it’s kept up, a concrete driveway can last up to fifty years before it needs expensive repairs. Maintenance can be as simple as a hose and a scrub brush, but it’s not something you should skimp on – Canadian winters and road salt can be harsh on concrete, too!
Concrete is a mixture of cement, crushed rock known as “aggregate”, and water. When it’s laid, concrete goes through a chemical process that hardens the material. The chemical process works best on a roughly 20-degree day, with the surface kept damp. While the final product is solid in and of itself, you can have it sealed for extra protection and to give it a flatter surface you might appreciate in winter.
A concrete driveway speaks for itself: it makes for a superior driveway to either gravel or asphalt. It not only provides a more solid surface, it can be designed and coloured to your specifications. While it might be more expensive, it’s an investment that you won’t regret in the coming years! Browse Fiorino’s concrete solutions and get a free quote now.