Gravel driveways are a cost-effective and environmentally sound way to add class and value to your property. Gravel is widely available across the UK and comes in so many different colours and sizes that there is sure to be one that will complement your home.
Isn’t it a bit messy?
Traditional methods of driveway installation are hardly any more sophisticated than smoothing out the ground and dumping a load of gravel on top ready to be distributed across the area.
This has several disadvantages:
- Without a raised border gravel can spill over into flower beds and lawns. Gravel strewn lawns become almost impossible to mow safely as there is a high risk of throwing gravel up into the air.
- Over time gravel is removed from the driveway. Some can be saved by sweeping it back into place but a lot will get dragged away by car wheels. This means you need to keep topping up your driveway.
- Drives that are allowed to become bare develop potholes and ponding areas. This in turn leads to further degradation of the surface and the driveway enters a vicious cycle of decay.
- Gravel driveways are only really suitable for flat approaches as the gravel tends to collect at the bottom of slopes.
And whilst gravel driveways look the part, traditionally installed ones are difficult to walk on and almost impossible for buggy and wheelchair users to push across.
If only there was a way to glue it all together…
One way is to literally glue the gravel together with resin. Resin bound driveways can become slippery and bonded driveways are not permeable which can result in soggy gardens.
The other way is to use recycled driveway grids hold the gravel in place giving you the timeless look of a classic gravel driveway for a fraction of the maintenance overhead. Made from 100% recycled UV stable polypropylene and TPE driveway grids are perhaps the greenest way to install a gravel driveway.
Traditional gravel driveways require regular maintenance to keep them looking good. Not so with driveway grids. They are quick to lay and once each chamber has been filled with gravel you can enjoy your driveway knowing that it’s not going anywhere! This also reduces the long-term cost of replacing lost gravel on an annual basis.
As the grids are simply there to prevent horizontal movement of the gravel you also get the environmental benefits of providing a water permeable surface which allows surface water to soak away into the soil naturally. Alternative materials, such as concrete, bonded resin or even block paving reduce the amount of water that can vanish into the soil resulting in drains backing up in heavy rain and potentially flooding into your garage or hallway.
Allowing water to drain away doesn’t mean that weeds can take hold either. A weed proof membrane is installed before the grids are placed which means any seeds that attempt to germinate will be unable to form proper roots and can be removed easily.
The surface is also extremely stable. The grids provide a solid surface which makes walking easier and safer. It also means that it’s easier to push buggies, bikes and wheelchairs across the driveway as the wheels don’t clog up with mounds of stones.
Finally, you can even use driveway grids to install gravel drives on gentle slopes that a traditionally installed gravel driveway would fail on. The pockets in the grids prevent downwards migration of the aggregate and the rough surface provides much appreciated grip.