A concrete driveway is a paved surface that is commonly found in residential areas. It is a mini road that gives property access by car. It usually spans from the access road to the garage where the car is usually parked. It is made of concrete, which is a mixture of cement, water, and aggregate. The concrete is poured into formwork and then left to cure. After it cures, it is then covered with a sealant to protect it from the elements.
There are a variety of types of concrete driveways that can be used depending on what is desired. The following are 11 of the best driveway types, each has its unique benefits and should be considered based on the specific needs of the project.
Poured concrete; Poured concrete is the most common type, and it’s a good choice if you want a durable driveway that will last for many years. They are constructed by casting a mixture of concrete into formwork and letting it set. The best types of concrete driveways are poured concrete. They are the most durable and long-lasting type of driveway, and they can be customized to fit any home style. They require minimal maintenance, and they look great when finished.
Exposed aggregate; Exposed aggregate is a type of concrete that has small rocks or pebbles embedded on top of it, which gives it a unique appearance of a pebble-like wall finish. This kind of driveway has a rough kind of texture which means it might cause injury in case someone slips and falls. Its rough texture also means it’s prone to gathering dust, dirt, and debris. It is also likely to inhabit weeds that might grow from the gathering dirt. All this implies a higher maintenance cost for this type of driveway.
Gravel driveways: Gravel driveways are made up of small aggregate poured along the length of the driveway. No other binding agent is added. This type of driveway is cheap and easy to construct since it simply involves pouring aggregate. It is very popular because it looks natural and allows water to drain easily since it is porous. Gravel is also low-maintenance, which is great if you aren’t too worried about aesthetics.
Cobblestone pavers: Cobblestone streets and sidewalks are old-fashioned, but they can be beautiful additions to a home if done correctly. It is constructed from small brick-shaped stones that are fitted and bound by mortar. They are very durable and easy to install and maintain. They also give a home that vintage classy old-school look.
Tar and chip; Tar and chip is a less common type of driveway that consists of a layer of tar or asphalt over top of a layer of stones. It has a rough texture similar to the exposed concrete driveway however since the binding agent (tar) is poured on top of the stones, this type of driveway has better drainage properties compared to exposed concrete driveways.
Interlocking pavers; Interlocking pavers are made up of small blocks that fit together like puzzle pieces, and they’re a popular choice for driveways because they’re easy to install and maintain. pavers are usually made by casting concrete into molds. The interlocking pavers are bound by mortar. Pavers might be a little costly to install but they are a durable type of concrete driveway. However, the downside is that when the mortar in between pavers wears out and forms gaps, water and debris can gather in such gaps which might damage the driveway through processes like frost action. Gaps between pavers can also facilitate the growth of weeds which might further damage the driveway.
Asphalt paved; This type of driveway is constructed using bituminous concrete. Bituminous concrete consists of a blend of aggregate all bound by bitumen which is a by-product of petroleum refining. Bitumen is a dark sticky substance when heated which binds the aggregate and forms a hard solid substance when dry. It is one of the most common substances used for constructing paved roads. It is a unique kind of concrete that doesn’t contain cement.
Stamped concrete; This is poured concrete that is enhanced with patterns and designs to beautify the driveway. Most stamped concrete driveways mimic other types of concrete driveways in terms of appearance. That is; they can be designed with patterns that mimic the appearance of interlocking pavers or even cobblestone pavers. They are easy to install and are flexible to aesthetic adjustments and customized designs.
In conclusion, the choice of a type of concrete driveway depends on several factors including Installation and Maintainance costs, design and aesthetic requirements, durability, and expected load among others. A homeowner should weigh all those factors before zeroing down on to a particular type of concrete driveway.