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Gravel vs Concrete vs Asphalt Driveways

Are you looking for the perfect driveway for your home that is durable as well as aesthetic? Whatever the material you choose, gravel, concrete or asphalt, your main goal is to build a solid and long-lasting path for people and/or vehicles. But, which one is the best, gravel vs concrete vs asphalt driveways? Well, it all depends on the role you assign to your driveway. This article intends to answer these questions explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each type and help you choose the right one according to your needs!

 

Let’s start our discussion with the advantages of a gravel driveway over others!

 

Gravel Driveway

Gravel comes in different shapes and colors and is made of small stones from 2mm to 100mm thick. It is often used as a temporary solution for driveways as it is low in cost than asphalt and concrete. In fact, it is the cheapest outer lining for driveways in the market. In addition, a good handyman can arrange the gravel driveway and lay it on their own, which saves on the cost of installation. You can find different sized gravel in the market, such as Margo Garden Products Rainforest Gravel Bag and a gravel binder such as the Vuba Easihold Resin Binder for Gravel and repair your driveway yourself.

It is abrasive and non-slippery due to the small pebbles, ideal for places where there are heavy rains or snow. So, if adhesion is the factor you’re looking for, gravel is the right choice. You can opt for a medium gravel driveway or loose gravel. The first one is harder and angled, laid throughout the driveway, while the latter can move with time due to traffic. Just like concrete, gravel is porous and allows rainwater to penetrate through it. It can be an excellent alternative to asphalt if you want a flat driveway. However, if you want a slope, gravel can be problematic.

Concrete Driveway

Concrete is often confused with asphalt, yet the two are very distinct. It can be in the form of road, stamped, smooth or leached concrete. In addition, it is available in the form of slabs and pavers in different colors and sizes. Its distinctive feature is that the material that binds it is cement.

 

There are two types of concrete: draining concrete and deactivated concrete. Drainage concrete is slightly different from ordinary concrete because it has a much lower sand content. It is also available in different colors and is laid exactly like asphalt. The aggregate concrete is itself clearer in appearance. It arises like a classic concrete slab, but afterward, a deactivating product is applied to give it a graveled look and make it slip-resistant.

 

A concrete driveway is more durable than gravel or asphalt, which means little repair and maintenance.  In addition, it is entirely recyclable. However, when it comes to safety, it’s not a good choice as compared to the other two. Vehicles tend to slip on concrete driveways in rain or snow. Although it lasts longer than other materials, its repair costs are higher if it damages for any reason. Repairing a concrete driveway often requires the replacement of the entire concrete slab.

 

Asphalt Driveway

Asphalt is widely known for its durability and strength, due to which it is considered the best option for driveways. Its construction requires less effort than concrete and is suitable for light and heavy vehicles.  It is made of recyclable material, making it an environmentally friendly option. The material that binds it is tar that does not require much maintenance. However, in case cracks appear on your asphalt driveway, different asphalt repairer products are available online, such as Aquaphalt 6.0 Permanent Repair, Asphalt patch and pottage filler 56 lb pail, etc.

An asphalt driveway is smooth yet non-slippery. Many people prefer asphalt for private driveways being less costly than concrete and durable. Removing snow is also easier on it.

 

When it comes to your driveway, there are different types of asphalts you can choose from: waterproofing asphalt, porphyry asphalt, and sanded asphalt. The first one is not an ideal choice for your private driveway as it is generally used for bridges and other major constructions. Porphyry asphalt is comprised of different elements such as limestone, chippings, sand and tar. It is ideal for driveways and sidewalks and can also be in color. In sanded asphalt, its aggregate is visible. It is the most slip-resistant and is often used for cycle paths.

 

Once you have familiarized yourself with the different types of asphalt that exist, you will be able to freely choose the type suitable for the driveway of your home.

 

Gravel vs Concrete vs Asphalt Driveways: Which One is the Best?

As for the choice between gravel, concrete and asphalt, it all depends on your driveway’s use and your budget. All three materials have advantages and disadvantages, making one better than the other. The least expensive is the gravel, which is also compatible with different uses. It is a non-slippery, cheap and low-maintenance material, light on your pocket.

 

However, if you’re looking for more durability and strength, go for concrete or asphalt driveways. They are ideal for heavy vehicles. Among these two, asphalt is less expensive than concrete and takes less installation time. It is safer and noiseless, giving your driveway a modern look. Concrete has its advantages. Being durable and strong, it requires the least repair than the other two. However, it is not safe. It becomes slippery in rain or snow.

 

Our Final Thoughts!

The above information on ‘gravel vs concrete vs asphalt driveways’ must have helped you understand the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of the three materials. It all depends on your budget and the usage of your driveway. Gravel is the cheapest, while the other two options are durable and stronger. It’s up to you which one to choose for your driveway.