Steep Driveways: The Best and Worse Materials to use

Steep driveways, for those of us that have them, can be the bane of our lives. Not only are they tough to reverse up and down, but they are susceptible to slippage. That means you or your car could go moving down the driveway in icy or snowy conditions.

So what issues have you had because of your steep driveway? I’m prepared to bet that you have had at least one of these issues:

Makes reversing challenging

Steep driveways are challenging to reverse up or down. Even without harsh weather, a steep slope is not the ideal surface to manoeuvre on.

Sub-base instability

The sub-base is the structure of the driveway, and lots of people forget about this up until they have issues. In steep driveways, the soil sub-base will erode and shift faster than on a level driveway, and it costs a lot of money to repair this issue.

When it rains, the excessive amount of water on a steeper driveway means that fractures will appear on the surface with time.

Issues with drainage

Naturally, a steep driveway will keep rainwater far from your home. However it may wind up collecting at the bottom of the driveway and onto the road, which can cause problems for you and other roadway users. You can set up a French drain, which is a trench with a perforated pipe to permit water to drain, at the end of the driveway.

So steep driveways can show a challenge, however if you’ve got one, you need to make the very best out of it. So exactly what’s the best product to use? We’ll go through some of the materials and whether you should consider or avoid.

The very best and worst materials for steep driveways


steep driveways gravel

Gravel is not ideal for steep driveways

Concrete is an excellent smooth surface area for driving a car onto, however on a steep slope it can prove an issue in the winter. Expect it to get icy and really slippery in the colder months, making it incredibly challenging (and hazardous) to walk on in addition to drive on.
Verdict: avoid


Tarmac is a low-cost option for a driveway, but for steep driveways it’s more difficult. A driveway expert will most likely charge more to lay a tarmac driveway as it’s more challenging to lay on slopes.
Verdict: consider


This one ought to be common sense. While gravel is an excellent option for your driveway if you want to make sure that you can hear who is approaching your home, it’s far from ideal for steep driveways. The gravel will continue to roll down the slope, ultimately leaving you with an irregular and undesirable surface.
Verdict: avoid


Resin bound driveways are permeable, which means that water drains well. Resin bound driveways typically appear like gravel, except the gravel won’t roll away! There are also alternatives to make it non-slip, making it ideal for steep driveways.
Verdict: consider

So there are a couple of choices to think about for your steep driveway. The very best thing to do is to get some quotes from driveway businesses who can provide you with some recommendations on which material fits your driveway best.


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