7 Reasons Why Concrete is Better Than Gravel for Your Driveway
While gravel could be seen as an easier DIY solution initially, concrete tends to provide a quick return on investment. Beyond the fact that a concrete driveway makes better first impressions than a gravel one, there are a treasure trove of other reasons why concrete is the better investment. In almost every metric you can compare concrete comes out as the clear winner. Let's take a closer look at seven reasons why you should choose concrete for your next driveway project.
1. More durable
While the individual rocks that make up gravel are hard and durable, they are loosely assembled into the shape of your driveway. This means they are more vulnerable to the effects of weather and the regular wear and tear that your vehicle driving over them will cause than concrete is. When you choose concrete, you don't have to worry about your car's tires spreading the aggregate around, or a rainstorm washing part of your driveway to some other location.
2. Easier regular maintenance
Nearly every part of your home requires some type of routine maintenance. Concrete may gather dirt, pollen, oil, and other contaminants that need to be washed away. Gravel will also gather those same contaminants, but is much harder to clean due to its loose nature. What’s more, when weather or general wear and tear spread loose gravel around, it needs to be fixed. Maintaining a gravel driveway requires you to regularly move the aggregate back into the shape it's supposed to be in.
3. Easier snow removal
If you live in an area that sees frequent snow, concrete offers another distinct advantage over gravel. When it snows, the flakes will find themselves falling in between the rocks that make up your gravel driveway. Trying to shovel the snow away will inevitably result in also moving the gravel around. Even if you very carefully scrape only the top layer of snow off the driveway, it will still be packed in between the rocks and result in a less stable surface to drive on. The leftover snow could then turn to ice, turning your driveway into a potential slipping hazard. With concrete, snow can be removed easily, so your driveway is always as safe as possible for your vehicle to operate on.
4. More affordable long-term
Although the upfront expense of concrete is more compared to gravel, its durability plays a key role in evaluating the overall cost of the material over the lifetime of your driveway. Even ignoring the time and labor involved in continuously putting the individual rocks of your gravel driveway back where they are supposed to be, material costs for gravel driveways are going to add up over the years. That's because, as the gravel washes away or becomes impacted into the ground, it must be replaced. The need to continually replace material in a gravel driveway makes it more of an ongoing expense than concrete is, which needs to be resurfaced or resealed much less frequently.
5. More attractive
When it comes to curb appeal, concrete easily wins. The surface provides a much more polished and refined look than gravel does. Since gravel needs constant maintenance to keep its initial appearance, the curb appeal of concrete is even more pronounced after some time has passed, and wear and tear has taken its toll on your driveway.
6. More customizable
To elevate your home’s curb appeal even further, stamped concrete can make the material look even better as it takes on a variety of different patterns, shapes, and colors. Stamped concrete can provide you with a wide range of appearances, but it doesn't stop there. While both concrete and gravel are available in a variety of aggregates with a variety of colors, gravel is much more limited. Just as you can't easily change the shape of rocks the way you can by stamping concrete, you also can't easily change the color. Stained concrete allows you to find the exact hue for your driveway that matches the vision you have for your home's appearance.
The rocks that are moved around by vehicles driving over a gravel surface, or the effects of weather washing them away don't just disappear from where they are supposed to be. They end up in other places as well. Gravel driveways are known for kicking dust and rocks into places you don't want them to be. Those places may even include the undercarriage of your car, or the treads on your tires. Concrete stays where it's put, never making other areas of your property look unattractive and never doing any damage to your vehicles.
If you are trying to make the best decisions for your home, it’s a better option not to cut corners and choose concrete for your driveway. It’s more cost-effective than gravel in the long run and gives you the opportunity to add some character to your home while increasing its curb appeal. For more information on how concrete can make your driveway the envy of the neighborhood, contact Concrete Craft today.