Updated: Aug 27
Different Types of Driveways
Believe it or not, there are a multitude of options available to homeowners when it comes to driveway styles. Some are more popular than others, and as is always the case, there are pros and cons to all types.
Concrete driveways are very popular among builders and homeowners -- for good reason! They are extremely durable, they last a very long time, and they are able to withstand a lot of wear and tear without requiring much maintenance over the years. The primary disadvantages of concrete driveways are that they easily become stained and discolored, and they are prone to cracking if frequently exposed to freezing temperatures. In other words, if you live in Alaska, a concrete drive might not be your best option!
Another popular driveway style is asphalt. Asphalt is an attractive option and provides a striking black entrance to your home. Perhaps its greatest advantage is its
cost. Asphalt is generally the least expensive driveway option for homeowners. Unlike concrete, though, asphalt does require some maintenance and upkeep. Asphalt is not as durable as concrete and tends to crack easily. For this reason alone, many homeowners and builders choose concrete or other driveway styles over asphalt.
Gravel or Crushed Stone Driveways:
Gravel driveways are commonly seen in rural - as opposed to urban - environments. These are popular among some homeowners simply because they are a great diy option that can be installed quickly (and somewhat easily) without breaking the bank. Unfortunately, though, because the gravel or stone is loose, homeowners have to periodically replace it. For this reason alone, many choose a concrete or asphalt style for their homes.
Other less popular driveway materials include brick, cobblestone, crushed glass, crushed basalt, and dirt. Although each has a unique look and style, they tend to be less practical and require more maintenance than the above-mentioned styles.
Something else to consider when choosing a driveway style for your home is its shape. Driveways can be straight, curvy, circular, u-shaped, and y-shaped. For obvious reasons, a straight driveway is most popular and oftentimes most practical. Depending on the shape and layout of your property and home, though, it is sometimes necessary for a builder to utilize a different shape.
When it comes to properly maintaining your driveway, it is important to periodically sweep all dirt and debris off of it (to keep stains at bay) and to keep an eye out for cracks. Most small- and medium-sized cracks are easy to repair and can be done
with a crack sealant available at your local hardware store. Larger and more involved cracks might require the expertise of home building or driveway professional. Another great tip is to apply (or call a driveway professional to apply) a driveway sealant to the top of your concrete or asphalt driveway every few years. A sealant will keep moisture from seeping into the driveway material and will thus prevent cracks and other damage over time.