The material you use for your driveway can have a major impact on not only the way it looks but also its function and durability. There are several factors to weigh when deciding which type of material to use on a residential driveway.

This guide will help you choose the best driveway material for your home. Here are the pros and cons for two of the most common driveway surfaces: gravel and asphalt.

Gravel Driveways

Pros

Easy to Budget

Gravel is among the most affordable surface material options – especially for homes with long driveways. Although you will need to top-dress the gravel material every few years.

Many Styles

Depending on your home’s style, gravel can often bring out the beauty of your exterior landscape more so than other materials. Whether you like a modern or more rustic feel, gravel can come in an assortment of styles.

Quick Installation

It is one of the easiest driveway materials when it comes to installation, laying a gravel driveway and allowing it to settle takes less than a week. Once installed, you can use it immediately.

Cons

Snow Removal Disturbs Rocks

One major drawback to choosing a gravel driveway, especially living in Canada, is the challenge faced with snow and ice removal. Often, using salt or sand is the only solution to make the surface slip-free and clear for vehicles.

Ruts and Sinkholes Could Form

Gravel driveways that are used often might be prone to developing ruts. Ruts are holes or gaps in the surface that need to be filled to keep the area smooth and looking good.

It Can Get Messy

Driving down a gravel driveway can cause debris, dust, and dirt to fly around – especially during the dry summer months. That might cause the outside of your home to become dirty and require cleaning more often.

Asphalt Driveways

Pros

Economical

Homeowners appreciate the sleek appearance of asphalt driveways that comes at a lower cost than concrete or paved surfaces. Asphalt driveways typically cost between $2-5 per sq foot to install, which is more than gravel, but much less than other sleek surface options.

Flexible in Extreme Weather

Because of its smooth, binding surface, asphalt is easier to maintain and holds up better against all kinds of weather.

Long Lifespan

With proper maintenance, an asphalt driveway can last between 12-35 years depending on climate, installation, usage and other factors. Like most elements in your home, the better you take care of it, the longer it will last.

Cons

Style Limitations

If style and color are a significant factor for your landscape, an asphalt-paved driveway will have its limits. Although it does complement the color scheme of most homes, black is the only option available for asphalt.

Requires Maintenance

It is recommended that homeowners clean their driveway with a broom and power washer at least twice a year to remove debris and dirt. Seal coating of pavement is needed every two to five years, while cracks and holes should be repaired as soon as possible, so they don’t worsen.

Can Damage in Extreme Heat

Fluctuations in temperature, particularly extreme heat, can cause asphalt driveway damage.

When asphalt heats, it becomes pliable and soft, which causes warping and indentations.

Gravel driveways are a highly affordable option while paved driveways provide a durable, flat surface that is simple to shovel in winter and convenient to park on year-round. Think about the pros and cons of each surface before you make a decision about which material to pick. For trained experts to help you make an informed decision, contact West York paving.


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