Good Reasons Not to Choose Gravel for a Driveway

If you’re looking for the right material for your new driveway, you may be tempted to choose gravel. After all, gravel is a less expensive option than many other pavement choices, and some people actually like the more rustic appearance of rocks. But before you make your final decision, we have information that may change your mind about using gravel, and we can sum it up in three words: gravel damages vehicles! Here are a few ways that it happens:

  • Gravel “takes flight.” Remember that gravel is made up of pebbles and small rocks. You know what happens when you drive down a gravel road – those pebbles and small rocks take flight as your vehicle tires churn up the surface. What you may not realize is that exactly the same thing can easily happen on a gravel driveway, and that can mean cracked windshields and mirrors, paint scratches and scrapes, and even damage to the undercarriage. This type of damage may sound minor, but replacing glass and repairing paint is expensive, not to mention repairing the undercarriage!
  • Gravel means holes. Indentations in gravel surfaces are common. And the more you drive over these indentations, the easier it is for ruts and holes to form in the surface. In fact, holes in gravel driveways can happen before you even realize it, and driving on rough uneven surfaces – even if it’s for a short distance — can wreak havoc with your vehicle. That wear and tear can compromise the suspension of your vehicle and that can add up to damaged shocks and struts.
  • Gravel collects water. Water does not run off gravel surfaces. If you have a gravel driveway, irrigation water and/or rainwater will sink below the gravel, softening the dirt underneath and creating holes where water collects. Once those holes form and water collects there, it’s virtually impossible to remove it. Remember that this is where you park your vehicle, and the longer it sits in pools of water, the greater the chances are for corrosion and rust to form.

There’s no doubt that gravel can be an attractive landscape element, and might even be adequate for short lengths of a walkway. But if you need to park and/or drive any sort of vehicle on a surface, the best choice you can make is pavement. And you may be surprised to learn how inexpensive some pavement choices are! For more information about your driveway pavement options, contact a local, reputable paving contractor.