When we think about maintaining our home, both interior and exterior, a driveway may not be the first thing on our minds. However, a driveway is an important aspect of your home, as it is one of the first things potential buyers assess when they arrive. Maintaining a driveway is important if you want to keep your house looking up-to-date and appealing.
Types of Driveway
If a driveway is done right, it is a durable and aesthetically pleasing addition to your home. There are a number of popular paving options, depending on where you live and how much you wish to spend:
Concrete driveways are a very popular choice because concrete is relatively cheap and built to last. Plus, modernization of the material means that concrete doesn’t just have to be plain gray: you can customize it to change the color and texture. With all of these benefits, it’s no surprise that concrete is a forerunner in the creation of driveways. It does have two drawbacks, however: first, it isn’t stain resistant, so if you’re carrying out car maintenance or your car has an oil leak, it will stain. Second, concrete isn’t recommended for cold climates that experience freezing temperatures often, as this can cause the concrete to crack.
Asphalt paving is a combination of sand, rock, and asphalt cement. It is common to see the standard black asphalt color, although the material can be customized to create a unique look. Asphalt is another popular choice for a driveway because it is cheap. However, it needs to be maintained more regularly than concrete as it is very prone to cracking.
Brick is more expensive than concrete or asphalt, but is still a popular choice because it can create a sophisticated look and can be customized. Brick can be arranged in an infinite number of ways, meaning that each and every brick driveway is truly unique. Plus, in terms of durability and maintenance it is a wise and solid investment for a driveway. The most common complaint about using brick for a driveway is the cost, so if you’re willing to invest extra money into this external home feature, brick may be the material for you.
Concrete, asphalt and brick driveways are the most common types of driveway, but there are others too.
Gravel is commonly used for driveways in rural areas, and is a very cheap alternative, sometimes costing less than a dollar per square foot. The main drawback is that gravel is loose, so requires frequent tidying and maintenance as weather or even normal car traffic can loosen it and make it look messy. Frequent raking and replacement every few years will keep your gravel driveway looking neat and appealing.
Cobblestone is another material that can be used. It creates a very rustic feel around the home and wears well, because it is supposed to look old and worn. The older it is, in fact, the better it looks. It doesn’t come cheap, however: cobblestone will set you back up to seventy dollars per square foot!
Grass and green are less common choices for driveways. The glass isn’t actually transparent glass, but more of a composition of glass and resin. It is an environmentally friendly choice as it is often recycled instead of being dumped on a landfill. Green driveways involve either a grid or a plastic base. Both versions intentionally allow for grass to peep through, giving a natural look. However, homeowners who choose this option have to ensure the grass is maintained, so this adds a degree of inconvenience to this form of driveway.
Maintaining a Driveway
Maintaining a driveway can be easy or difficult, depending on the type of driveway you have. Maintaining a concrete driveway, for example, involves an occasional clean and seal. Cleaning it and reseal it helps to extend its durability. The amount of times you do so depends on the weather conditions in your area and the amount of traffic the driveway is exposed to. Sealing a concrete driveway is a little bit like scotch-guarding a sofa, as it helps to protect from stain absorption.
Each type of driveway involves specific maintenance, but some tips are beneficial for all types of driveway. No matter what type of driveway you have, you should remove any stains as soon as possible, don’t use any form of deicing chemicals on the surface, avoid the traffic of large, heavy vehicles, and avoid the use of snow plows. Remembering these useful tips will allow you to make the most out of your driveway.