The primary advantage of installing a gravel driveway is its low cost. The installation process for a gravel driveway is also much simpler. But, there are some downsides to using gravel as your driveway material too. Like any other material, it has its pros and cons.
Here is a pros and cons list for a gravel driveway vs. a paved asphalt driveway:
- Affordable (typically $1-$5 per square foot)
- Easy to install – does not require heavy machinery and compaction
- Unique look and increased curb appeal
- Snow removal – As you can imagine, plowing a rocky surface is not easy and some gravel is likely to get plowed up.
- Raking – Raking leaves is also challenging on this type of surface and leaf blowers may be powerful enough to blow away loose gravel.
- Regular replacement – While a gravel driveway is fairly low maintenance, replacing broken material regularly is important as sharp edges have the potential to puncture tires, or cause injury to exposed skin. Also, fresh material keeps your gravel driveway looking beautiful.
Required Maintenance –
- Replacing sharp/broken stones regularly to maintain curb appeal and avoid damages.
- Fixing dips, holes, or gaps cannot be done by racking stones from other areas of the driveway into the deficit, because this will create another weak spot.
- Add a fresh layer of gravel/crushed stone each year to keep things fresh.
Asphalt Paved Driveway:
- Durability – Lasts 25-30 years if installed correctly and maintained properly.
- Cheap and easy maintenance
- Versatile – Asphalt allows for varying construction and thickness capabilities allowing this material to meet the needs of all different types of asphalt projects.
- Eco-friendly – Asphalt is able to be recycled many times over, giving it several lives and making it very “green”.
- Cost Effective – As far as paved surfaces go, asphalt is one of the most cost effective
- The need for regular maintenance to preserve your asphalt
- Water and winter elements are very damaging to asphalt.
Required Maintenance –
- Asphalt maintenances like crack filling, pothole patching, sealcoating, and line striping are necessary on a regular basis. While an asphalt driveway may require more maintenance than a gravel driveway, these maintenance practices are extremely cost effective and go a long way in preserving your asphalt.
When it comes to choosing the right material for your driveway, consider what your needs are first, then evaluate the pros and cons for each. Concrete, concrete pavers, asphalt, and gravel all have pros and cons. Depending on your needs and wants, certain materials will be a better fit for your project than others. A gravel driveway may just be the perfect material for your style of home and your needs! When it comes to parking lot paving, asphalt is almost always the best choice because of its cost, durability, and versatility. For all parking lot paving and asphalt repair and maintenance needs, contact EastCoat Pavement Services for your free consultation!