As public consciousness of environmental problems grows, people are increasingly turning their thoughts to how they can use recycled materials in their daily lives and home projects. One area where many homeowners are making eco-friendly changes is in driveway materials. Crushed concrete, a recycled material, is enjoying a rise in popularity right now thanks to its environmentally friendly nature, but its benefits don’t stop there. Here is a look at what crushed concrete is made of and six great reasons you may want to use it in your driveway.
What Is Crushed Concrete?
Crushed concrete is a material made out of the asphalt waste of other building projects. Normally, when concrete construction projects such as sidewalks, parking lots or roads are torn down, the material is thrown in a landfill, where it can sit endlessly because it is biodegradable. However, these days, it is increasingly being repurposed to make driveways.
Most of the material is recycled from structures that have been demolished and is crushed to the desired size. Contaminants such as metals are removed, and it is typically screened and cleaned before it is used to create recycled concrete. It can also be crushed and sold in the form of loose gravel.
6 Benefits Of Recycled Concrete
Here are six compelling reasons this driveway material is so popular among homeowners.
Traditional stone harvesting is a process that uses natural resources and relies on mechanical processing, all of which can take their toll on the environment. However, recycling leftover concrete uses minimal processing and does not require much in the way of natural resources. In addition to conserving landfill space and resources, it minimizes the carbon emissions that are generated in manufacturing concrete.
Depending on how a recycled concrete driveway is installed, it can be very permeable, helping with the flow of stormwater and reducing the burden placed on local storm systems. Some homeowners combine it with other materials to gain some of its benefits while getting the precise look they desire. For example, some people might use crushed concrete for the driveway’s base and then install a different surface material on top, such as natural stones or fresh concrete, for aesthetic reasons. This allows them to enjoy an affordable and permeable base and bring the project’s overall cost and carbon footprint down.
Crushed concrete is as dependable and solid as new concrete, which means that the driveways it creates are durable and can stand the test of time. In fact, the material is often used to create foundations for roadways and highways.
Moreover, it can stand up to extreme weather and can last indefinitely with minimal maintenance. Regular concrete slabs, in contrast, can crack and deteriorate over time in the face of changing temperatures.
Driveways can be expensive, but crushed concrete allows homeowners to get a sustainable and durable driveway at a reasonable price. Recycled concrete driveways are significantly more affordable than traditional concrete, asphalt and gravel driveways. Moreover, the fact that recycled concrete is produced and transported in bulk quantities brings down its retail price even further.
Driveways made of recycled concrete are far easier to maintain or repair than other materials, particularly for those who wish to carry out the work themselves. Holes and ruts are very easy to fix and do not normally require the services of professionals. They also offer superior drainage compared to similar materials, which can help to keep the driveway dry and reduce erosion.
Easy To Find
Another benefit of choosing a recycled concrete driveway is that the material is very commonplace. Its wide availability and usage in several different industries mean there is a significant supply of the material, making it unlikely that you will run out during construction or will be unable to find it when repair work or maintenance is needed.
How Are Recycled Driveways Installed?
Once the area where the driveway will be placed has been marked off and excavated, landscaping fabric should be used to line the area to prevent weeds from infiltrating the driveway in the future. Geotextiles are a type of permeable mesh fabric that can offer protection, filtration and reinforcement beneath the driveway.
Next, a base layer of larger crushed concrete should be poured to cover the entire area around three to four inches deep. This layer must then be tamped down to create a smooth and even surface. Then, the crushed concrete forming the driveway itself is poured evenly on top of the base layer.
Once the crushed concrete driveway has been created, it is important to compact it to ensure it is safe and stable. Compaction avoids large depressions or spots where loose materials could be washed away or shift and create a hazardous situation. Smaller driveways can simply be driven across a few times to compact them, while bigger driveways can be compacted more efficiently using a roller. Then, the material can be raked to create a slight peak in the middle to assist with drainage when it rains.
Many homeowners choose to edge their driveway to make it more attractive and keep crushed concrete from making its way out of the driveway area. Larger crushed concrete is the perfect material for creating an edging or retaining wall.
How To Order Recycled Concrete
When ordering crushed concrete, it is best to work with the supplier to determine the right materials and quantity as purchasing the wrong size or type could lead to erosion or drainage issues. You will need to consider the size of the area that will be covered as well as the depth and the number of layers. Crushed concrete may be sold by the cubic yard or cubic ton, and your supplier can help you make the necessary calculations.
Reach Out To The Recycled Concrete Specialists
Recycled concrete is an affordable and environmentally friendly material that can provide you with a long-lasting driveway with easy upkeep. At Dirt Connections, we can help every step of the way, from prepping the job site to excavating, pouring the driveway and compacting it. We also offer crushed concrete delivery throughout the Northern Virginia area.
Dirt Connections was started with one goal in mind: providing quality residential and commercial construction services to clients on time and on budget. Reach out for more information on how we can support your next project.
For your convenience our estimates are free and by appointment. Call 703-940-9949 for a free estimate today!