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Your walkway or the driveway is usually the first thing that people notice when they come to your home. A driveway has the power to add immense personality to a beautiful house. Imagine having a gorgeous house with aesthetically pleasing interiors, but it starts with a broken, cracked and stained driveway. Your guests will be left underwhelmed and unimpressed even before they get a chance to step inside your home.
Elevate the curb appeal of your house by building a complimentary driveway leading up to your house. There are numerous building materials to choose from. Regardless of what material you choose, it’s crucial that you stay on top of its maintenance and repair work. If you notice any cracks or potholes, tend to them immediately. This will keep the driveway attractive and also ensure its long life. Let us look at different types of building materials for driveways, along with their pros and cons.
Gravel is the one of the most affordable materials for paving the driveway and it’s extremely easy to lay it. All you need to do is pour the crushed stone onto the driveway, rake it out properly into the road formation and compact it with a steamroller. If there is any repair work that needs to be done, you just need more gravel, shovel and a rake. It’s an inexpensive option for homes with long driveways too. It’s quite easy to maintain and since it’s permeable, it’s considered an eco-friendly product that allows replenishment of ground water.
Gravel installation is very quick and takes the least amount of time. It takes less than a week for the gravel to settle in the driveway after it has been laid. You can use it immediately after installation. However, get the installation done by an experienced grade operator to minimize maintenance requirements. Gravel has the ability to adapt to any kind of décor or style you want. It can add a rustic charm or lend a modern feel to your exteriors.
Despite the numerous positives, gravel does have a few cons. Weeds can form quickly and rains or heavy storm can easily disturb the gravel, causing uneven pits through the driveway. Snow removal proves to be quite challenging during the winters, making the driveway slippery and wet at all times. The only solution is putting salt or sand over the snow to make the driveway slip-free. Excess pressure at certain areas, like that caused by running or tire treads, can cause gaps and potholes in the surface, which need constant maintenance and care. Lastly, it can get quite dirty as driving down the gravel driveway causes dust and debris to fly around. This becomes worse during the dry, summer months and may require frequent cleaning.
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Though concrete is durable and categorizes as a good building material, it doesn’t make a good choice for building driveways. It’s porous, making it possible for water to get stored in cracks etc. It further leads to problems of staining and mold formation, making it visually unappealing as well as dangerous. Replacing concrete with asphalt is a common and an ideal construction practice. Asphalt is cheaper and more durable when compared to concrete. It can last 12 to 35 years depending on various factors such as climate, maintenance, installation, usage etc. Additionally, it’s very attractive to look at and offers a great resale value if you’re looking to sell the house.
On the negative side, there are limitations to the styles that you can adopt. If you want to incorporate color and unique style into the driveway, asphalt is not the way to go. It offers just black color, which usually compliments most houses. It has the potential to get damaged during extreme heat and fluctuating temperatures. When asphalt heats, it becomes soft, which can cause indentations and marks on the driveway. It requires diligent maintenance routines to ensure its longevity. Cleaning and power washing at least twice a year is recommended to remove debris and dirt. Seal coating is required every two to five years. Cracks and holes should be repaired as soon as they appear.
These offer a unique and sophisticated look to your house. The rocks you use don’t necessarily have to be pulled from the ground or have to be natural blocks of stone; they can also be those that are mixed with cement and sand. They look really expensive but are quite affordable.
It’s really easy to maintain and repair paving stones. They don’t suffer from cracking that easily and even if there is significant damage to the stone, you just have to replace the damaged stone with a new one instead of having to replace the entire driveway. If you’re looking to add class to your driveway, paving stones are the way to go.
With a driveway that reflects your personality and lifestyle, you can form a great first impression on the guests when they arrive and leave behind a lasting impact on their minds as they exit. Whether you choose to install asphalt driveways, gravel or driveways made of paving stones, you can be assured of adding character and indelible personality to your property. So, choose wisely and make your home picture perfect!
Looking to update your driveway? Read “Costs Of Driveway Paving” and be sure to budget accordingly.