If you’re a property owner, it’s likely that you will have to replace or repair a driveway at some stage. This could be for practical reasons, because you want a change or a mixture of both.

There are several different driveway materials out there, which makes it hard to choose which one to use. Each driveway material has its own benefits and drawbacks so it is important to do your homework and make an informed choice.

If you want to surface your driveway and need to find out more about different surfacing options, you are in the right place. Keep reading for more information about 5 great materials you can use to surface your driveway.

Gravel

Gravel is a common driveway surfacing material and looks good on lots of different driveways. Gravel driveways are often installed in rural areas, as they complement older properties and green areas. However, they can also look good in more built-up areas.

A big benefit of gravel is that it’s fairly cheap. This means that fitting and repairing a gravel driveway is relatively inexpensive. Repairing a gravel driveway is also simple – all you need to do is use a rake to even out your driveway every so often and fill in any holes as and when they show up.

Another advantage of gravel is that it’s available in many different shades, sizes and shapes. So if you fancy coordinating your driveway with your home, using gravel is a good way to do this.

One of the few problems with gravel is that it’s not ideal for sloped driveways. As it is loose it will move from the top to the bottom, making your driveway look uneven and scruffy.

Resin bonded

A resin bonded driveway is a good choice if you like the look of gravel but don’t want the possible mess. Resin bonded driveways are made by coating a layer of resin to a base, usually made of concrete or asphalt, then a layer of aggregate. The aggregate sticks to the resin and makes a driveway that looks like gravel but doesn’t have any loose stone.

A great advantage to resin bonded driveways is that, like gravel driveways, they are available in many different colours. You can also use lots of different types of aggregate, including crushed stone and gravel. So you can make a unique driveway that suits your home.

A disadvantage to resin bonded driveways is that the resin can detach from the base if the driveway hasn’t been fitted properly or the base is structurally unstable. To avoid this issue, make sure you use a quality tradesperson who you trust.

Asphalt

Asphalt is another driveway surfacing material you should think about. It’s generally known as Tarmac, which is a very similar branded product. It can look great on any driveway and is an affordable, practical option.

One of the advantages of asphalt is that it’s long-lasting. An asphalt driveway that has been fitted and maintained correctly can last about 35 years. It is also flexible, so is usually capable of withstanding very hot and cold temperature.

That said, despite its flexibility asphalt can still get damaged by severe weather. To maintain it you should sweep and wash it regularly and coat it with a sealer once every 2-5 years.

Block paving

Block paving is a popular choice of driveway surfacing material. It is generally ideal as it is long-lasting and low-maintenance. Block paving is also simple to repair as if any part of your driveway gets broken, you only have to remove and replace the damaged pavers.

A significant reason why block paving is so popular is because it’s available in so many different materials, shades, sizes and shapes. You can use block paving to create attractive designs and make a unique driveway.

A disadvantage to block paving is that it’s fairly expensive. If you’re looking for a low-cost option it is best to go for a cheaper material, like concrete or gravel.

Concrete

Concrete is another common driveway material, especially in built-up areas. This is because it is long-lasting and low maintenance. Concrete driveways can easily last over 30 years and do not need more than the occasional sweep, clean and coating of sealant.

Like block paving, concrete is a great choice if you want to make a unique driveway. You can colour concrete and make imprinted patterns in it. You can even make concrete look like other materials, such as slate and cobbles. This is convenient if you would like a natural stone driveway but do not want to spend more money on one.

However, concrete does have disadvantages. It can break under intense pressure or in extreme weather and is hard to repair without making a messy, patchy look. It’s also expensive compared to gravel and asphalt.

So now you should know a bit more about various driveway surfacing options and be able to make an educated decision on which one you are going to use.

If you’re searching for a contractor to fit your driveway, we can help. Complete our online form and we’ll put you in contact with up to 4 tradespeople in your local area.