Gravel Driveways: What Are the Pros and Cons?

Gravel Driveway Wicklow

Gravel Driveway Wicklow

Gravel is one of the widely used driveway materials all across Ireland. It is popular in rural places and over the years, it has also become the preferred paving solution in urban areas.

Gravel is not just used for driveways but also for roadways. It is also the material of choice for large spaces.

If you are looking for a material to use for your driveway and you are considering gravel, let us help you decide if it is the right paving solution for your property.

Below, we list down some of the advantages and disadvantages of using gravel for your drive.

The Pros of Having A Gravel Driveway

Affordability

One of the reasons why property owners go for gravel driveways is that it is easy on the pocket. This is also one of the reasons why it is highly recommended for large driveways.

Keep in mind:

Two factors affect the price of a driveway: materials and labour fees.

Gravel is affordable which greatly matters because materials make up the bulk of the expenses. Hence, with this paving solution, you can expect lower overall cost as compared to the other types of driveways.

Installing this kind of drive also requires less labour as compared to a concrete or brick driveway installation. As a result, labour cost tends to be lower.

So, if you have a limited budget or simply want to keep your costs low, a gravel driveway is a smart choice.

Easy to Install

Building a gravel driveway is not complicated and laborious. The installation process only requires the driveway to be graded before the gravel is installed.

Grading ensures that water on the drive drains properly. This process also strengthens the foundation of the driveway, consequently increasing its durability.

Since it is easy to install, this is a good option if you want to go the DIY route. However, it is still best to let professional driveway pavers build your drive to ensure proper installation and durability.

Of course, the ease of installation also allows you to use your driveway sooner. So, you don’t have to deal with the inconvenience of having ongoing construction work on your premises for days.

Durability

Another great thing about gravel driveways is that it is proven to last many years. The truth is that it can last a lifetime with regular and proper maintenance.

 Frost heaving, a common problem for other materials, is not a concern with gravel. Frost heaving happens when water goes through the material, freezes, then expands due to extreme cold weather. This causes materials like concrete to crack. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen with gravel.

In addition, damages on gravel driveways can be repaired or fixed easily and without spending a lot. For example, when it sinks due to water and weight, all you have to do is to add more gravel.

Permeability

Due to a gravel driveway’s porous nature, water drainage is not an issue. It allows water to flow into the ground unlike other materials.

Since it allows water to dissipate into the ground, a gravel driveway is very eco-friendly. Plus, the materials can be locally sourced which lessens its impact on the environment.

The Cons of Having A Gravel Driveway

Dirt and Dust Accumulation

During the summer, the dry gravel driveway may cause more dirt and dust to accumulate on the exterior part of your home. This would result in more work in terms of cleaning your house during the warm and dry months.

Appearance of Sinkholes, Puddles and Grooves

Due to water exposure and your driving habits, your gravel driveway may develop potholes and sinkholes over time.

As a result, the drive is going to have puddles which can be dangerous for your car. Also, when gravel shifts, grooves may form and these can be driving nuisances.

Fortunately, as mentioned above, these problems can be addressed easily. For example, the grooves can be levelled out by putting more gravel.

Difficulty Removing Snow

Another drawback of having a gravel driveway is that clearing snow can be difficult. Unlike solid surfaces like concrete, gravel driveways cannot be scraped clean without displacing the rocks and stones.

Furthermore, when you use a snowblower, the materials can cling to the ice and snow. Hence, you may lose a significant amount of gravel after the winter season.

Regular Maintenance

A gravel driveway is easy to maintain. However, it requires more work than concrete driveways because of the growth of weeds.

If you want your driveway to look pristine, you need to pull the weeds regularly or frequently use a weed killer. This can be a problem, especially if you have a busy schedule.

In conclusion, just like other types of driveways, a gravel drive has its pros and cons. However, with this kind of driveway, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

Furthermore, a gravel driveway is more cost-effective in the long run. You don’t have to spend a lot to install it, but you can use it for many years as long as it is installed properly and maintained regularly.

Planning to install a gravel driveway? Let our team of professional driveway pavers do the job! Call us now on 0852139591 and let us tell you why we are the right company for you.

Benefits of Having Gravel Driveways

gravel dublin

gravel dublin

There are various types of driveway materials that you can choose from like tarmac, gravel, asphalt and concrete. Of these options, one of the most commonly used is gravel.

Many homeowners deem a gravel driveway as a practical choice. This is primarily because of the numerous benefits it offers.

What exactly are the advantages of using gravel for your driveway? We have listed some of them below:

Gravel Driveway: Great Appearance and Aesthetics

The driveway is the main entry point to your home. Its appearance should complement your house for your property to have curb appeal. This is easily achievable when your surfacing solution is gravel.

One of the benefits of using this material is that it comes in different sizes and colours. You can have small pebbles or larger rock chips, depending on your preference.

In terms of colour, the most common are natural tones such as grey and brown. These pair well with home exteriors that have neutral or warm colour.

You can also find varieties of gravel in hues of yellow, red and blue. These are perfect if you want to give your driveway a splash of colour.

Simply put, with this surfacing material, your driveway can have an impressive appearance, one that’s going to add to your home exterior’s aesthetic appeal.

It Is Easy to Install

This type of material can be installed easily and quickly. Unlike concrete or asphalt, you wouldn’t need to pave it or wait for it to dry. This significantly reduces waiting time which is very convenient for homeowners like you. Shorter downtime means minimal interruptions to your day-to-day routine.

In addition, the installation process is not that complicated at all which is why some homeowners opt to go the DIY route. However, it is still best to let a professional paving company do this task to guarantee a long-lasting and beautiful driveway.

It Requires Minimal Upkeep

A gravel driveway is generally low maintenance. While it may develop dips or holes, fixing these issues rarely require special tools.

However, yearly regrading is recommended to ensure the driveway’s optimal performance. You may also need to use weed killer to maintain its pristine appearance.

A Gravel Driveway Is Very Durable

This type of driveway is proven to be the least prone to damage. Since gravel is permeable, it does not absorb or become saturated with water. As a result, it would not crack due to water absorption.

It is also weather-resistant. It holds up well to extreme conditions including frost heave. Also called frost heaving, it occurs when water underground freezes and expands in the cold weather. This causes the soil to be raised higher than normal. Thanks to gravel’s porousness, it does not incur damages when frost heaving happens.

What’s more?

According to experts, gravel driveways can last for 100 years! Of course, this is only possible for those which are properly installed and regularly maintained.

It Is Environment-Friendly

Do you love eco-friendly stuff? Then, this is the right driveway material for you! As mentioned earlier, gravel is porous. As such, rainwater goes through the gravel, directly into the ground underneath. So, groundwater is replenished.

Moreover, the water that is absorbed is first filtered by the soil. This means that impurities, chemicals and other pollutants are eliminated or minimised before mixing with the groundwater.

Lastly, since water goes into the ground, runoffs and flooding, which can pollute waterways, are minimised.

It Is Easy on the Budget

Gravel is one of the most affordable surfacing materials available in the market today. This is one of the reasons why it is the preferred material for long or expansive driveways. Moreover, since it is easy to install, the labour cost is cheaper as compared to concrete.

Given that it is durable and low maintenance, gravel is not just affordable but also cost-effective. In the long run, you are bound to spend less since it doesn’t easily get damaged.

In summary, a gravel driveway is a smart choice if you want something that’s low cost without sacrificing durability and aesthetics.

Want a gravel driveway for your Dublin home? New Style Driveways is one of Ireland’s most reputable paving contractors. Please call us now on 0852139591 to learn more about our services.