Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Options For Paving Your Driveway by Nasreen Haque

Gravel or dirt driveways have their charms, but they also have many downsides. They get muddy, develop holes, and are hard to keep free of ice. Therefore, many people decide to pave their driveways. There are several options for paving your driveway. Here are a few of the most popular types of paving materials, along with some of their benefits and drawbacks.

Asphalt Paving Asphalt is a very popular driveway surface in some areas. Paving your driveway with asphalt will give you a nice hard black surface to drive on. It's also good for children's activities like roller skating, where the gaps in concrete could cause falls. Its main downside is that it has to be regularly resealed in order to keep looking good and to prevent cracks. Proper installation of asphalt also requires some highly specialized equipment. Therefore, most asphalt paving is done by professionals. The resealing, on the other hand, is commonly a do-it-yourself job.

Concrete Paving

It is a lot easier for a do-it-yourselfer to install concrete paving than it is for one to put in asphalt. Concrete doesn't require extreme heating, and it's easier to work with once poured. When new, concrete looks very good. It can also last a long time without structural defects if it's installed properly. The downside is that it's easy for it to accumulate stains. Sealant can help, but keeping it looking nice will still require taking care to avoid getting stains onto it.

Installing concrete paving for your driveway is simple in the mental aspect, but a lot of physical work. Like with any kind of paving, the surface must first be graded and a bed of specialized sand and rock laid down. The concrete is then poured on top of the bed, smoothed out, and scored to form blocks. This scoring prevents it from cracking due to weather-related expansion and contraction. While it cures, it has to be re-wet several times to prevent it from drying out too quickly. This can be done as a DIY project, or a contractor can be hired.

Brick or Faux-Brick Pavers The biggest upside to these is the fact that they look extremely good and rich. Laid properly, they can also take a lot of abuse. The con of these is that they aren't very good for riding trikes on or as a surface for playing with rolling toys. For households without young children, however, this won't be an issue. Installation requires the same bed preparation as any other driveway, but after that, putting pavers or bricks down is a simple job. Some types of pavers even come as a "system" that includes the spacers that allow a do-it-yourselfer to achieve the same look you'd get from a professional mason. Of course, if you don't want to do the work yourself, you can find a service to do it for you.

As you can see, there are several options for paving your driveway. All of them are quite suitable when installed and maintained correctly. Therefore, the biggest deciding factor for choosing a surface is usually a matter of taste.

About the Author

More information on driveway paving is available at the Clearance Paving website.

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