The Benefits and Drawbacks of Gravel Driveways
Gravel Driveway Design
When designing the landscaping of a home, one component to consider is the driveway. In non-master-community developments, estates and rural areas, a homeowner is often responsible for the design of the driveway. There are many options to choose from including concrete, asphalt, brick/concrete pavers, porous pavers or a variety of gravel/aggregates. A driveway not only needs to be functional and support a variety of traffic but can also be a part of the initial visual impression of a home.
Gravel Driveway Benefits
Many people opt for a gravel driveway in lieu of traditional concrete, asphalt or non-porous pavers. While cost is often the driving factor, there are other benefits to this choice. Gravel Driveways are quickly and easily installed, and maintenance is minimal. Using aggregates is also a way to create beautiful, individualized landscaping. The colors and materials available are endless so creating a unique driveway can add to the aesthetics of a home. Another significant benefit is that gravel driveways are porous and will mitigate issues caused by heavy rainfall. Creating a more porous surface around a home allows for the water to drain more rapidly and recharge ground water for added environmental benefits. Many cities have begun issuing taxes on non-porous surface areas of homes to encourage homeowners to create more Green spaces.
The Challenges of Gravel Driveways
While there are numerous benefits to choosing a gravel drive, there are issues that can arise. Snow and rain can cause the gravel to move around and even sink, causing ruts and sinkholes. Regular maintenance and top dressing the driveway may be required. Snow and ice removal can also be difficult unless supported by a porous paving system. Another concern that a homeowner may have is because the surface is unstable, the type of traffic that it can support may be limited. Larger vehicles such as emergency or utility vehicles may cause rutting in the drive, while smaller wheels such as bicycles and wheelchairs may be unable to roll over the surface.
A Better Gravel Driveway
An alternative to simply using gravel over the existing soil is to use flexible plastic porous pavers. Porous Pavers are designed to allow organic material such as aggregate or grass to replace traditional hard surfaces such as concrete or asphalt. By installing these flexible porous pavers over a base course, they stabilize the surface, absorb the weight and provide H-20 loading capacity. Because the structure provides support, the gravel is stabilized and the surface becomes smooth. Small wheels can easily roll over the gravel and the weight of large vehicles weight is easily supported. They also increase the flow rate and allow for water to pass through the gravel at a faster rate.
Gravelpave2 to the Rescue
Invisible Structures, Inc. was the first to introduce pavers for gravel in 1991. Gravelpave2 is a 100% recycled plastic ring-on-grid structure designed to support unlimited traffic. With great flexibility, high compressive strength, and ADA Certification, Gravelpave2 is a practical and sustainable option for any low-speed area. Gravelpave2’s fabric backing acts as a vegetation barrier, a dust inhibitor, provides true containment and will never come off or disintegrate. A 92% void space allows for rapid stormwater drainage and filtration of environmental toxins through bioremediation. Using the US-made steel pins and washers included in every order, one person can install 430-sf of product in forty-five minutes. Our easy-to-install rolls can be trimmed with pruning shears and even slightly bent to create curves and customize layouts making it an ideal Green Solution for any driveway.
Invisible Structures is the leader in porous paving and stormwater management solutions. We provide the finest in grass porous paving, gravel porous paving, underground stormwater storage, erosion control, drainage, and access mats.
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