Are you considering having a gravel driveway? This low-cost, easy-to-maintain material is a popular choice, especially in rural areas of the country. However, like with any driveway material, there are cons to using gravel.
We’re here to break down the difference between the types of gravel to consider for your driveway along with some benefits and drawbacks of using this material in general.
Pros and Cons of a Gravel Driveway
Before discussing the types of gravel for driveway use, let’s cover some of the pros and cons of the material.
According to The Spruce, a few benefits of using gravel are:
- Cost efficiency – it’s a low-cost driveway material
- Maintenance – it’s easy to maintain and to fix potholes with extra gravel
- Drainage – it drains well
- Compact – it can be very compact
By the same turn, there are also some disadvantages of using gravel for driveways, such as:
- Hard to clean – cannot be washed or swept like concrete
- Longevity – gravel can be washed away by heavy rains and constant traffic
- Not weather-resistant – gravel is difficult to snowplow
- Cracks – weeds can grow in gravel and potholes are a common issue
The best way to mitigate these cons is by having your gravel driveway installed by professionals and maintaining it regularly.
Types of Gravel For Driveways
Now, let’s discuss a different kind of gravel for driveways. You might be surprised to learn that there are a few unique types and one may be better suited for your driveway needs than others.
Pea gravel is a well-known type of gravel that consists of small, naturally weathered pieces of stone that typically have rounded edges. This material is typically gray but is also available in multicolored mixtures. According to Hunker, pea gravel isn’t the ideal material for driveways (the rounded stones don’t lock together as well as crushed stone), though a thin layer of it can be used over a stable base for the best results.
Crushed Stone #3
Crushed stone comes in all different sizes, but #3 includes rocks up to 2 inches in diameter and is widely accepted to be the best sub-base layer for gravel driveways. Made up of irregularly shaped, crushed stones, this material allows for good drainage and tends to hold together better than pea gravel.
Jersey Shore Gravel
Similar to pea gravel, Jersey Shore gravel contains rounded rocks in shades of brown, yellow, and white. Since the pebbles are rounded, they do not compact well and may move easily under vehicles. It’s best as surfacing gravel and is popular along the eastern seaboard due to its coastal look.
Marble chips are white or gray in color and reflect sunlight, making them shimmer. It is a good surfacing material but is the most expensive type of gravel by far.
According to HomeAdvisor, Item #4 works well as a bottom layer for a driveway. It’s not pure gravel, but rather a combination of dirt, sand, and pulverized stone that’s available in different compositions and colors.
Gravel Driveway Installation with SV Enterprises
SV Enterprises can completely install gravel driveways, including grating and evening out the surface for a functional and aesthetically pleasing access road to your home. Our team always takes the time to assess your current driveway, expectations, and budget before coming up with a plan for the best gravel for the base and surface of your gravel driveway.
If you have questions about our installation services or would like to learn more about gravel driveway ideas, call us today at (847) 426-6751 or connect with us online.