In the Pacific Northwest, there are two driveway coverings which are the most common - gravel and pavement. Each choice comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
The chief advantages of gravel are its affordability and ease of use. Gravel is less expensive than pavement and is relatively easy and quick to install. With proper maintenance, gravel driveways can last indefinitely. Additionally, gravel comes in a wide range of colors and textures, allowing for aesthetic flexibility.
One disadvantage of gravel is that it needs to be replenished from time to time. Additionally, snow, ice, and leaf removal can be difficult. However, regular maintenance and winterizing techniques, like applying salt, can reduce these problems.
Whether you choose asphalt or concrete, pavement will have a relatively long lifespan. It can last decades with proper maintenance. However, pavement needs to be sealed regularly and is more vulnerable to heat and winter conditions. On the plus side, driving over pavement produces less dust and debris than driving over gravel.
The disadvantage of paving your driveway is the cost - which is substantially more than traditional gravel. However, at Reece Aggregates and Recycling, we offer recycled asphalt which can be a great solution for homeowners who desire a low maintenance driveway solution without the cost of paving. Give us a call to learn more about recycled asphalt.
If you're interested in having your driveway paved, our partner business, Reece Construction, Co., can help! Visit www.Reece-Construction.com to learn more.
To properly prep for a gravel driveway, you must first scrape off the topsoil. The depth of topsoil on each property varies from just a few inches to a foot or more. Once the topsoil is removed, your driveway will likely be substantially lower than the surrounding area. This is where your first layer of gravel comes in.
Use a large aggregate to bring your driveway back up to the same level as the surrounding area. We recommend using our 3" Minus Recycled Asphalt and Concrete mixture. This material binds well and is inexpensive. Make sure to roll and compact this layer as well as each subsequent layer.
Your next layer should be medium size gravel. This is the layer you will grade to the proper slope for drainage. We recommend going about 4" deep for this layer. A couple of great material choices are our 1-1/4" Minus Recycled Asphalt or 1-1/4" Minus Recycled Concrete. Both materials have fines in them to help the driveway bind together and are affordable choices.
To cap off your driveway, your final layer should be at least 3" deep. The best material for this layer is 5/8" Minus Crushed Rock. This gravel looks good and is easy to rake out.
Once your gravel driveway is installed, maintenance will help keep it functional and pleasing to the eye. Regular maintenance includes removing sticks and other debris from the driveway, re-grading the surface periodically, and adding a fresh surface layer of 5/8" Minus Crushed Rock every 12 to 24 months.