One of the most popular materials used for driveways and paths is one of the simplest; gravel.
Gravel offers a cost effective option for many homeowners but can be attractive nonetheless. In addition, gravel can be installed quickly and has a long lifespan, up to 100 years on some cases.
As the surface allows water to pass through into the ground, gravel paths and driveways can help reduce the threat of flooding.
So what are your options when considering which gravel to use?
• Pea Gravel – known also as pea shingle, this is a quartz-based aggregate. Inexpensive and versatile, pea gravel offers excellent drainage helping prevent erosion and weed growth. It is easy to maintain but does require containing with an edging material during installation.
• Self-Binding Gravel – unlike other types of gravel, this material contains quantities of dust which give it its self-binding quality. The dust knits the gravel together making it less susceptible to scuffing. It is amongst the cheapest materials available and is frequently used in parks.
• Hoggin – this is a naturally occurring blend of gravel, silt and clay. When compacted it provides a very stable surface while allowing water to drain through it. Hoggin costs much less than tarmac or concrete but is nowhere near as durable.
• Coal Ash & Cinders – this kind of gravel is created as a by-product of coal-fired power stations. They provide as good a surface as other gravels but are only available as black or charcoal colour.