gravel driveway

Consider Resurfacing Your Driveway or Patio with Gravel

For driveways Gravel is probably the most popular material choice in the UK, and it’s clear to understand why. It’s cheap, very easy to lay, low maintenance and looks good, especially in country settings or in urban areas where it matches the prevalent stone and brick colouring of the space. There’s a great deal of choices for size, colour and texture which helps make it a great choice for resurfacing and outdoor space.

The crunch of gravel underneath a car’s wheels is pretty satisfying and can also serve as a protective measure, alerting you to unwanted visitors. There is a drawback however, you can’t apply it to a site which has any gradient to speak of.

Gravel Driveway Maintenance Information and facts

Gravel driveways will eventually bed down and become invaded by dust dirt and weed growth. This process can be delayed by periodic maintenance, usually sorting weeds, spraying weed killer, and brushing gravel that’s escaped back onto the drive area. But as time passes, whether well-maintained or not gravel driveways will become compact and the gravel will breakdown, so you will have to resurface the top layer.

Choice of Gravels for Landscaping

There is a huge level of choice in the gravel sector. The cheapest is to secure pea shingle or pea gravel from a builder’s merchant, and depending on what’s available at the lowest price in your region, it can look really good. As the price rises, the gravel will normally be more rounded, not so sharp, and better graded in terms of size and colour. So the cheapest may be a mixed bag of all kinds of stones and finishes and a wide range of sizes. The more expensive types of gravel will be consistent in size and contain a single type of stone.

There are specialist mixes out there, some not stone at all. Although they are likely to work better in a garden context than for a gravel driveway, it is possible to buy ‘stones’ created from tumbled glass in all the usual colours that wine bottles appear in, or slate mulch, which will come in grey, blue, green and purple. Whilst specialist mixes have their benefits in terms of aesthetics, they are far more expensive

Where to Use Different Types of Gravel

You need to evaluate the use that the gravel will have to deal with. For a garden path, patio or other landscaping, you can be significantly more creative with mixing colours and patterns than for a gravel driveway. Any multi-coloured layout on a drive will quickly lose its coherence as the wheels of the cars will spit the gravels all over, breaking down the barriers between the different colours.

In the vast majority of scenarios gravel is perfect for driveways, and the style of stone, colour and texture is really only limited by the size of your pocket. It’s wise to steer clear of rounded gravel for driveways though. These can be hard to walk on, because they sink too quickly and roll away underfoot. They will also be spread more easily by car tyres, and then roll further, so the risk of getting them caught up in garden devices and leading to damage is increased.


More info

If you’re considering a new driveway and would like more information take a look at Silverline Driveways in Birmingham, a well regarded local paving company covering the Midlands.

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