Choosing the right driveway material for your home can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it can be difficult to decide which one will best suit your needs. Two popular choices for driveways are asphalt and gravel.
Read more as we’ll explore the differences between these two materials and help you decide which one is right for your home in this article entitled asphalt vs. gravel driveway.
Asphalt is a popular choice for driveways because it is durable, easy to maintain, and looks great. It is made from a mixture of sand, gravel, and asphalt cement that is heated and then laid down in layers. Once it cools, it forms a hard, smooth surface that is resistant to wear and tear.
One of the biggest advantages of asphalt driveways is their durability. They can withstand heavy loads and are resistant to damage from weather and chemicals. They also require very little maintenance, with occasional sealcoating to protect against cracks and damage from the sun.
Another advantage of an asphalt driveway is that they are relatively easy to install. A skilled contractor can lay down a new driveway in just a few days, and once it’s complete, you can drive on it almost immediately.
However, there are some downsides to asphalt driveways. They can be expensive to install, especially if you have a long driveway. They also tend to get very hot in the summer, which can be uncomfortable for people and pets. Finally, they aren’t as aesthetically pleasing as some other options, such as concrete or pavers.
Gravel driveways are an affordable and low-maintenance option for homeowners. They consist of a layer of crushed stone, which is typically about 1-2 inches deep. The stones are held in place by a binder material, such as tar, which helps to prevent erosion and keep the stones in place.
One of the biggest advantages of gravel driveways is their affordability. They are significantly less expensive than other options, such as asphalt or concrete. They also require very little maintenance beyond occasional grading to smooth out any ruts or bumps.
Another advantage of gravel driveways is that they are porous, which helps to prevent water from pooling on the surface. This can be especially beneficial in areas with heavy rainfall, as it reduces the risk of flooding and water damage.
However, there are some downsides to gravel driveways. They tend to be less durable than other options and can become easily damaged by heavy loads or extreme weather conditions. They also require regular maintenance, including adding new stones and binder material to keep the surface level and prevent erosion.
Which One Is Right For You?
Choosing between an asphalt or gravel for your driveway ultimately comes down to your specific needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a durable, low-maintenance option with a smooth surface, asphalt may be the way to go. However, if you’re on a budget or prefer a more natural look, gravel may be the better choice.
If you still can decide on which paving material to choose, we recommend you to consult a professional paving contractor who can help you to find the right option for your driveway. They will be able to assess your needs and provide advice on which material would best suit your home, budget, and lifestyle.
Here are some factors to consider when making your decision:
Cost – Asphalt driveways tend to be more expensive than gravel driveways, but they are also more durable and require less maintenance over time.
To be specific, the average cost of the installing an asphalt driveway can range from $2 to $5 per square foot, while installing a driveway made of gravel typically costs between $1 and $3 per square foot.
Appearance – Asphalt driveways have a smooth, uniform appearance that is ideal for modern or contemporary homes. Gravel driveways have a more natural look that is well-suited to rural or rustic homes.
Durability – Asphalt driveways are more durable than gravel driveways and can withstand heavy loads and extreme weather conditions. Gravel driveways require more maintenance and may need to be replaced more frequently.
Environmental Impact – Gravel driveways are a more environmentally friendly option, as they allow water to soak into the ground instead of running off into nearby waterways. Asphalt driveways are non-porous and can contribute to stormwater runoff and pollution.
Maintenance – Asphalt requires sealing every 3-5 years, while gravel doesn’t need much maintenance beyond occasional grading.
Whether you choose an asphalt or gravel driveway, it’s important to work with a reputable contractor who can help you make an informed decision and ensure that your driveway is installed correctly.
With the right care and maintenance, either option can provide years of reliable service and enhance the beauty and value of your home.