Between traditional concrete, asphalt, gravel, and brick, which is the best material for paving your driveway?
While each material has its particular advantages, none of the other materials come close to brick pavers in overall superiority, says Alltrade Management. Brick surpasses all other materials in most of the critical parameters homeowners look at when choosing the driveway's paving material.
Pavers like cobblestone and travertine pale on comparison when compared to the versatility of brick. And even though concrete pavers cost less than brick, the difficulty of maintaining concrete makes it a far less desirable option than brick.
If you are considering using brick pavers for your driveway, here are some reasons why it is the right choice.
1. Brick is strong and highly durable
Brick is tougher than poured concrete and highly resistant to rapid temperature changes - from extreme cold to scorching heat. It has a high load-bearing capability.
And unlike asphalt, which is unsuitable for scorching weather and needs many months to reach its full strength, brick is ready for use upon installation. Brick also retains its color better than decorated concrete.
2. Brick is easy to install
Asphalts must be heated to around 170 degrees Celsius to install it, or it will not bond with the surface. Under certain weather conditions, it is impossible to install asphalt. And even after installation, the driveway is not ready for use until days after.
Asphalt does not become fully ready until after 18 months. This is in addition to the special equipment, materials, and skill required for its installation. Conversely, a brick driveway can be installed quickly and easily under any weather condition. And once installed, it will be ready for use.
3. Brick is flexible
Asphalt and poured concrete are inflexible, and both will crack if the earth beneath them moves or the soil starts to settle. But brick pavers will adjust themselves to minor changes in the underlying earth's shape without losing their interlocking outline. This flexibility prevents brick from cracking.
4. Brick is long-lasting
Data from the construction industry shows that brick driveways can easily last up to 25 years or more. This is despite their needing very little maintenance. To last anywhere near the lifetime of brick, asphalt must be cared-for incessantly.
5. Brick is easy to maintain
Neither asphalt nor poured concrete comes close to the relative ease with which brick driveways can be maintained. To keep asphalt in good condition, driveways must be sealed each year in its first three years of life and subsequently every 3-4 years.
If asphalt cracks or gets damaged, there is a tedious repair process involving several steps, specialized equipment, and specific skills. Poured concrete, although it needs less maintenance than asphalt, is liable to crack. Brick driveways are easy to maintain; all you need is to remove the damaged brick paver and replace it.
6. Brick is slip-resistant
Brick's naturally textured and highly abrasive surface makes it slip and skid resistant. Asphalt will melt and soften under scorching weather. In this state, vehicles driving on asphalt surfaces can skid, and the driveway can get damaged.
On the other hand, brick grips the underlying earth firmly while also providing traction for human and vehicular traffic above.
7. Brick offers many options for customization
Poured concrete and asphalt driveways are highly limiting in the range of design and customization options they present to homeowners. Conversely, brick pavers are available in various shapes - hexagonal, herringbone, diamond design, and more. They come in a range of colors, sizes, and surface finishes.
Homeowners can customize their driveways by choosing the specific shapes, colors, and laying pattern they want. They also opt for a formal or casual design that complements their landscape, overall style, and home design.
8. Brick gives more value to a property
Given that brick driveways are not common, they are more valuable. Brick's versatility and relative rarity confer unrivaled beauty to a property's driveway beyond anything available with concrete or asphalt.
Furthermore, because it does not lose its color or finish over long periods, brick is recognized as a valuable update to the functionality and aesthetics. It is a substantial investment that will cause a property's value to appreciate significantly.
9. Brick is an eco-friendly alternative
Brick pavers do not have any of the environmental concerns of asphalt. Asphalt is manufactured from petroleum products, and its production process results in the release of harmful chemicals that pollute air and water.
Exposure to coal tar has also been identified as one of the risk factors for skin and colon cancer. Brick pavers, on the other hand, are made from clay, using an environmentally-friendly process. They are non-toxic and can be recycled and reused in different ways. If you're considering adding a brick driveway or walkway to your home, give us a call at (309) 324-3800.