You have a lot of options to choose from when you’re shopping for a driveway on the modern market. From block paving to patterned concrete, those looking to add a drive to their home or improve the one they already have are truly spoilt for choice. Of course, though, it always helps to see your options compared to one another when you’re making an important and long-lasting decision like this.
To help with this, this article will be exploring some of the key advantages and disadvantages of all of the most popular driveway options available on the market. Not only will this give you an idea of what each of your driveway options offers, but it should also show you why resin drives are usually the best choice for most people. Let’s dive right in.
Block paving has long been one of the most popular driveway options on the market, providing an easy and affordable way to create an attractive drive that can be repaired and replaced down the line. Building a block paving drive is simple; a bed of gravel and/or sand has blocks placed on it in the desired pattern. This will usually be done with barriers around the edge, ensuring that once the final block is placed that the rest will stay in place.
The Advantages of Block Paving for Driveways
- Very affordable if the right blocks are picked, with secondhand and discount options available across the web.
- Easy to DIY and cheap to have a professional do the work.
- Can achieve beautiful patterns by choosing blocks of different colours, textures, and shapes.
- Can support huge amounts of weight, with the soft bed cushioning pressure and allowing the blocks to move slightly, rather than crumbling or snapping.
- Can repair small sections of a block paving drive by simply replacing the stones that are damaged.
The Disadvantages of Block Paving for Driveways
- These drives don’t always last as long as their counterparts, with sections sinking and dipping.
- Plants can grow between your blocks, having the potential to damage and disrupt the whole drive if you don’t take the right care.
- Can get quite expensive if you choose blocks that look like natural stone.
- Water can cause blocks to become uneven, forming puddles and pockets of water that will come out when pressure is applied to the blocks.
Used for roads across the world, it’s no secret that tarmac is a very hardy substance. Made from tar and aggregated stone, this sort of material can be poured onto your driveway, hardening to create a solid layer that will easily withstand the weight of your car. Much like block paving, you will usually have to use a barrier to keep a drive like this contained.
The Advantages of Tarmac for Driveways
- Affordable and easy to build, with most DIY and hardware stores selling the materials needed to make tarmac.
- Hardwearing with excellent chemical and oil resistance.
- Can easily form unusual shapes with moulds, with plenty of time to make adjustments if you need to make it perfect.
- A tried and tested material with loads of support and advice available online.
The Disadvantages of Tarmac for Driveways
- Hot weather can melt tarmac, leaving it sticky and having the potential to cause permanent damage.
- Cold weather can also damage tarmac, causing chunks of the dry material to freeze and fall apart.
- Tarmac is usually black, with very few colour options available that will make it look better.
- Tarmac can last for a very long time, but it will usually need semi-regular repairs to reach its full potential.
- Tarmac can easily crack when it is prepared incorrectly.
While tarmac and concrete are used in a similar way, these materials are very different. Concrete has been around for thousands of years, with water and crushed stone being used to create a long-lasting bond similar to natural sandstone. Concrete is easy to pour and control, making it possible to leaved patterned imprints on its surface when you’re using it to make a driveway.
The Advantages of Pattern-Imprinted Concrete for Driveways
- Affordable and easy to work with, with most people having the tools they need to make a concrete drive at home.
- Great slip resistance with a patterned surface adding grip and concrete’s naturally porous surface soaking oils and liquids up.
- Very resistant to temperature changes and able to withstand the weather in most countries.
- Can be coloured, shaped, and textured however you like, making it possible to make concrete look like other materials.
The Disadvantages of Pattern-Imprinted Concrete for Driveways
- Concrete is water-soluble, and this means that rain and flooding can slowly eat away at your drive if you choose this material. High levels of pollution only make this process faster.
- Oil and liquids can stain concrete, changing its colour and making it impossible to restore without laying more concrete down.
- Plants can break concrete if it is thin enough, making it easier for them to grow and damage your drive.
- Mistakes during the drying process can leave a permanent impression on your driveway (keep pets inside!).
- Concrete is prone to cracking when stress is placed on it, making it difficult to keep a driveway like this in good shape.
Resin drives have been popular for quite some time, but they haven’t been around for as long as the other options on this list. This means that they are often overlooked, despite coming with plenty of their own advantages and solving many of the disadvantages that come with other types of driveways.
Resin drives are made using small stones or aggregated rock that are suspended in solid resin. This mixture starts out as a pourable liquid with the stones inside it. Once this has been laid down, a thin layer of resin can be added to the top to make it incredibly smooth without leaving the driveway slippery.
The Advantages of Resin for Driveways
- Resin driveways are affordable and incredibly long-lasting, making them a great choice for those who want to stick to a budget without compromising on the finished product.
- Resin is waterproof, making it great in countries with heavy rainfall.
- Resin drives are resistant to heat and cold, with the resin taking extreme temperatures to freeze or melt.
- Resin is chemical and oil resistant, keeping the driveway safe from the chemicals that come with your vehicles.
- Thanks to its flexibility, resin won’t crack or break when pressure is applied to it.
- Resin drives can be styled to look exactly how you’d like them to, with colours, types of stone, and the end texture all being flexible.
- Resin is easy to clean and maintain, making it ideal for those who want a long-lasting drive.
The Disadvantages of Resin for Driveways
- It is hard to make resin look like natural stone.
- Some people do not like the appearance of resin, as it will usually look shiny.
- Moss and weeds can grow on resin, and this means that you will need to keep your driveway clean if you want it to look its best.
Why Choose a Resin Drives?
As you can see, resin drives come with very few downsides and a lot of advantages. Of course, though, this isn’t the only consideration you need to make when you are choosing the perfect driveway for you, and it’s always worth exploring the differences between your options a little deeper before making a big choice.
When compared to paving block drives, resin is much easier to maintain, install, and keep clean, though it can be easier to perform large repairs on paving blocks. Resin is quite similar to the tarmac, though it looks much better and gives you far more freedom when it comes to the style of your drive. Likewise, resin will almost always look better than a drive that has been made out of concrete.
Above all else, though, resin driveways stand out because they don’t crack, form holes, or crumble when exposed to the elements. Resin can last for decades before showing signs of wear and tear, with blazing sunshine and frigid winters doing little to impact the surface of a driveway made like this.
So, in short, resin drives look great, they’re affordable, and they will last for a very long time without the need for repairs or maintenance. This presents an excellent option for anyone looking for a new driveway, making it an easy choice when you look at all of your options.
Using Sheffield Brickwork Company
Here at the Sheffield Brickwork Company, we have a wealth of experience when it comes to resin driveways. Not only have we had the chance to work on countless drives like this in the past, but our friendly team is also ready to help with any questions you might have. You can get in touch with our dedicated experts by calling on 07751761468 or using the convenient contact forms on our website to make an inquiry. We’re always eager to give all of the help we can.