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
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.
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.
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.
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.