The Pros and Cons of Different Driveway Materials

The Pros and Cons of Different Driveway Materials

Learn the pros and cons of each driveway material as well as the factors to consider before getting a driveway replacement.

Selecting the suitable material for a driveway is crucial, whether one is building a new pavement or renovating it. Pavements are often neglected when it comes to maintenance and upkeep of one’s property. This is probably because pavements are viewed as mere passageways for vehicles going to and from the garage or carport.

Some also use them as parking spots for their vehicles. Because driveways serve a practical purpose, there is more reason that driveway materials should be given careful consideration. Taking time to evaluate what driveway materials to use can help save money and time.

Factors to consider in choosing driveway materials

Factors to consider in choosing driveway materials

Driveways can add appeal to one’s home. Thus, aside from their practical purpose, pathways can make one’s property more appealing. Therefore, it is essential to carefully choose the materials to use when building a driveway. Here are some factors to consider:

· Cost

For many homeowners, the price is the most decisive factor to consider. Two aspects should be considered when deliberating on the budget: the materials’ price and the labour cost. Choose quality materials priced at competitive rates and find contractors who charge reasonable costs.

· Location and weather

Weather conditions affect the quality of the driveway. Areas experiencing extreme weather conditions should have driveways that are made with versatile materials. Things like heat, snow, and other environmental influences can also affect the lifespan of a driveway.

· Durability

Pavements are always subject to the weight of vehicles and environmental stresses. As such, it is important to use materials that will last for years, notwithstanding the outside pressures affecting the pavements.

· Maintenance

Driveways must be maintained regularly for them to last their lifetime. However, depending on the type of material used, some driveways must be maintained more than the others.

· Aesthetics

Having well-constructed pavement adds appeal to one’s property. For example, some driveways can be designed to complement the home. There are also materials that can be customised when it comes colours and designs to match the exterior of the property.

Different driveway materials: pros and cons

Different driveway materials: pros and cons

There are advantages and disadvantages for every type of pavement material. As mentioned, different factors need to be considered in determining which type of driveway is ideal for one’s home.

To help you weigh your options, here are the driveway materials commonly used in Australia with a list of their pros and cons:

1. Concrete

This is the most popular material used in a driveway. It is composed of gravel mixed with cement. Drying takes about one week before it can be used.

Pros: Concrete is a relatively affordable option when one considers its longevity. It is extremely durable, requires minimal maintenance, and is quite versatile. Concrete is available in a wide variety of colours, shapes, and textures.

Cons: While concrete does not require thorough maintenance, it can be quite expensive to repair when it becomes damaged. The whole concrete area is usually removed and replaced when the concrete walkway is damaged. It is best to schedule annual maintenance, especially sealing, to ensure longevity.

Stains from oil and fluids can also be challenging to remove, and even though there are colour options available, concrete may not always be the most attractive building material for pavements.

2. Asphalt.

This is mainly composed of sand, stones, and asphalt cement. These components are heated and mixed in installing asphalt. It is then added to a prepared base while still hot. Within 24 hours after the mixture cools and hardens, it can already be used as a passageway or park area for vehicles.

Pros: Installation is quick since asphalt cools and hardens fast. Cost-wise, asphalt is much cheaper to install than concrete. It is also more flexible and less prone to cracking than concrete.

Asphalt can shrink and expand depending on the temperature. It is not easily affected by the weather conditions, extreme pressure, and surface movement.

Cons: It is not too environment-friendly since it is a petroleum product. Moreover, while it is flexible, it does not last as long as concrete does. It also requires frequent maintenance.

3. Bitumen.

It is an oil-based binding substance popular for its adhesive and water-resistance properties. It is typically used on pathways with less traffic, making it an ideal choice for pavements. It is different from asphalt, although some may refer to bitumen and asphalt interchangeably.

Pros: Bitumen is easy to install and is practically economical. It is best to use for quick fixes or area resurfacing. It is also considered more flexible compared to other driveway materials.

Aesthetically speaking, bitumen can fit different property styles. Pigments can be added to the mixture to achieve the colour needed to match the property exterior.

Cons: Bitumen driveways are not as smooth as asphalt, and noise can often be heard when driving on it. It can also wear down tyres more quickly as compared to other materials because it is not smooth.

Bitumen likewise needs more upkeep than others. Sealing, for instance, must be done every three to five years.

4. Limestone.

Using this sedimentary rock is an excellent choice for someone who is looking for something that is both versatile and affordable.

Pros: Limestone can be used in crushed form or as paving slabs for the driveway. It lasts many years, too, and will only need to be replaced if any of the stones are removed or the slabs are damaged.

Limestone is also quite affordable and can be easily replaced. Lastly, it can withstand all types of weather conditions.

Cons: When a limestone driveway gets damaged, it can be difficult to remove or replace. Professional installers must be hired when installing driveways made of limestone.

Limestone also requires frequent maintenance. Leaves, twigs, and other debris can easily pile up on limestone driveways. If not removed, water may accumulate on it and cause damage in the future.

Consult Road Seal Australia on what driveway material is best for your home.

Consult Road Seal Australia on what driveway material is best for your home.

If you are about to install a new driveway or thinking of replacing the old one, experts at Road Seal Australia can help you with your driveway needs.

We can help you choose the appropriate driveway materials for your home. You can rely on us to give expert advice regarding the driveway you want and need. Call us today at 1800 902 202 or send us an email at You can reach out to us today to learn how we can assist you.