A gravel driveway can be a cost-effective and quick option for homeowners looking to refresh the appearance of their home. 

But how well does it hold up over time?

Like all driveway materials, it depends on how well it is installed and maintained.

Fortunately, it’s easy to repair and replenish when it does start to lose its luster. But overall, you can expect your gravel driveway to last for 50 to 100 years with the proper maintenance and care.

The advantages of gravel

One of the benefits of a gravel driveway is that it is relatively inexpensive to install, typically around $1-$3 per square foot. It also allows for drainage, which can be beneficial in areas with heavy rainfall, as it prevents water from pooling on the surface. 

Gravel is much less vulnerable to damage from seasonal freeze-thaw cycles, which is known to cause sizable cracks in other driveway materials like concrete. This is why it’s able to last for so long. Freeze-thaw resistance is a major benefit, as repairing cracks in concrete can be costly and complicated, often requiring help from a concrete contractor. Repairing a gravel driveway, however, is usually as simple as laying down more rocks and can be done on your own.

One of its biggest benefits is that if you’re in a time crunch to get your driveway finished and operational, gravel can be driven on instantly. With concrete, you’ll need to wait about a week before driving on it. 

The disadvantages of gravel

Gravel driveways can be prone to erosion and rutting, especially with heavy use. They can also become muddy and difficult to navigate during wet weather. Additionally, gravel can be easily displaced by vehicles and foot traffic, which can lead to a need for frequent maintenance.

A gravel driveway can last for several years, but only with frequent maintenance, including regrading every year or so and replenishing the gravel. In rare cases, it may need to be completely replaced sooner than other materials if it becomes severely damaged or worn.

For example, if your driveway is laid out in such a way that you will need to turn around in it a lot, this will gouge it out rapidly and create potholes. Thankfully, all you need to do is fill them in with more gravel and dirt in order to fix them–just make sure you keep a pile of gravel on standby. Make sure to do this as soon as possible to prevent them from getting larger and deeper.

Overall, a gravel driveway can be a cost-effective and low-maintenance option for homeowners, but it does require frequent maintenance. Before deciding on the material that’s best for your driveway, consider the specific needs and usage of the driveway, as well as your local climate. 

Made your decision? Request a quote from Port Aggregates today. We offer several different driveway materials, including gravel, limestone, and concrete, and service 24 locations across Louisiana. 

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