Driveways see a lot of use and suffer a lot of abuse–from bearing the weight of vehicles going up and down each day, putting up with oil spills and invading roots, to braving harsh outdoor elements such as downpours, blistering heat, ice, and snow.
At the same time, driveways are expected to create an inviting first impression. So, if you’re planning to build a new driveway from scratch or replace your old one, the durability of the material you use should be a key consideration.
A good driveway surface should last decades, maintain integrity during harsh weather and provide long-lasting aesthetic features while requiring very little maintenance. Here are five driveway materials that last the longest.
When laid properly, cobblestone pavers can last up to a century. They are natural cut stones sourced from quarries around the world. These paving stones come in an enormous array of design choices. Their texture gives driveways a charming appearance that’ll last for an entire lifetime.
Another great thing about cobblestone driveways is that they require minimal maintenance and are virtually indestructible. Unfortunately, they have a hefty price tag, costing between $20 to $70 per square foot, depending on the type of stone the paver is made of.
Concrete is one of the most popular driveway materials. It’s an exceedingly durable surface that can withstand more wear and tear than other choices. You can expect your poured concrete driveway to last 25 to 50 years when well installed and well cared for.
Concrete provides a smooth, stable, and secure foundation that holds up well in any climate. When exposed to the hot sun, it stays relatively cool and is not highly porous, meaning it readily moves water. For maintenance, concrete only requires an occasional pressure wash every couple of months and sealing every four or five years. A plain gray concrete driveway will cost you $4 to $7 per square foot.
Brick driveways add classic beauty to your home and come in an array of rich colors and placement patterns. They are made of clay that is cast in forms, then heat cured. In normal usage and moderate weather, a well-installed brick driveway will last more than 25 years. If you live in a region with a mild climate, your brick driveway may even last longer.
Since they are attractive and highly practical, brick driveways come with a steeper upfront price for the materials and installation. Expect to part with $10 and $30 per square foot on average. The plus side is that when a brick is damaged, it can be easily removed and replaced.
Asphalt is a favorite driveway option for many homeowners in the US. It’s a combination of sand, rock, and asphalt cement. Many people love it because it’s affordable, quick to install, and can last long if well-constructed. You can expect your asphalt driveway to last between 12 and 20 years.
Though incredibly durable, an asphalt driveway has to be sealed every 3 to 4 years. An asphalt surface works best if you have a large driveway to cover, thanks to its economic benefits. It handles freeze-thaw cycles better than concrete or pavers, is easy to plow snow, and offers excellent traction. If you prefer this option, you’ll spend $2 to $5 per square foot.
Interlocking pavers are usually made of concrete and designed to interlock with other pavers of the same type. No motor is required to lay them; you just need sand to lock them into place. They are easy to install and offer excellent durability. You can expect interlocking concrete pavers to last upwards of 40 years.
Interlocking pavers come in unique patterns and color combinations to create a warm and pleasing welcome. Some are even designed to emulate brick or natural stone. Upkeep is simple, and it handles the freeze and thaw cycles well. They typically cost $10 to $25 per square foot.
The Quality of Installation Affects the Driveway’s Longevity
Concrete, cobblestone, asphalt, brick, and interlocking pavers are the most durable driveway installation options available today. Apart from their lengthy lifespans, these materials also hold up well in any climate, require minimal maintenance, offer a smooth drive, and elevate your home’s first impression.
To get the maximum lifespan out of the material you pick, always seek professional contractors that can deliver a durable driveway installation. If you have any questions regarding the project, our experts are available to answer any questions you may have.