A low-maintenance driveway is the ideal; you have a secure, safe, non-slip place to park and keep your car overnight, without the endless de-weeding, re-grouting and replacing worn concrete or edging strips every year.
Today we’ll look at a range of the most popular low-maintenance options and those driveway materials that – if fitted professionally – take very little time or effort to keep in great condition.
Low Maintenance Driveway ideas
1. Resin Driveways
As an epoxy resin specialist, this would always be our number one choice! Although we’d suggest an occasional sweep, the benefit of resin is that it naturally resists all kinds of mess, from weed growth to moss and slippery algae.
Resin is tough enough to be pressure washed for the easiest possible clean down, and you don’t need to worry about puddles and surface water. The epoxy driveway is porous, which means the water naturally flows down to the water table.
Driveways finished with seamless epoxy are one of the best options for curb appeal, aesthetics and cleaning. However, your drive must be installed by a resin driveway expert to ensure it has the right durability.
A resin drive is also popular because the material is built to withstand environmental factors that could otherwise diminish the effect, including temperature durability and the option of adding a UV-resistant binder to ensure the colour of the aggregate remains fresh.
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Related Reading: How much does a resin driveway cost?
2. Block Paved Drives
Block paving is sometimes perceived as a high-maintenance driveway due to weed growth between the blocks and the higher costs than asphalt or gravel drives. But, if your drive is correctly sealed with the proper installation and joints, it is less likely to need regular weeding.
It is more expensive than some other driveway options, though the benefit is that if you start to see any wear or tear, it is easier to restore a block paved drive than if you have a crack in concrete, for example.
One block can usually be replaced and re-sealed rather than tearing up all of the surfacing material. Block paving also looks smart and is relatively flexible, with blocks cut to fit shapes and angles.
Brick blocks can generally cope well with rain or frost, provide adequate grip for your tyres, and should last up to 25 years.
3. Tarmac Driveways
Tarmac may not be the most visually stunning drive. Still, if you wish to prioritise practicality over appearance, it could be an option – tarmac is durable and is not susceptible to temperature changes.
Cleaning tarmac is also fairly easy. A driveway fitter can normally replace a small section if it becomes damaged – tarmac-based driveways don’t normally need to be fully sealed, and the material is less hazardous in snow or ice.
The downside to tarmac is that the finish isn’t to everyone’s taste, and you cannot customise it – the positive is that it is a cheap, tough and easy maintenance drive.
Tarmac can last a good 20 years or potentially longer. It isn’t naturally porous, so you must ensure a suitable sub-base and base that allows for proper water drainage to comply with the relevant regulations.
4. Imprinted Concrete
Concrete driveways made from imprinted slabs are much lower maintenance than poured concrete. The difference from traditional concrete slabs is that you are less likely to have weeds growing between the paving joints.
Pattern imprinted slabs normally only have weeds appear through the joints in the centre, but you’ll need to dig them out or use a de-weeding spray periodically.
Like many of these low-maintenance driveway ideas, the longevity and appearance of your driveway rely on the skills of your installer. As long as the imprinted concrete has been sealed, you should only need a pressure wash a few times a year.
The drive will need to be swept but should remain in good condition with an eye-catching patterned design.
A similar option is to choose crushed concrete, created from raw materials generated as a waste by-product from demolitions, which is a more eco-conscious alternative.
5. Gravel Driveways
Gravel drives are another option that isn’t normally considered very low maintenance. However, a well-installed and laid gravel drive can be low cost and, provided the drive is porous, can commonly be fitted without formal planning consent.
The trick is to ensure your installer uses a professional-grade weed membrane underneath the gravel to stop invasive plants from reaching upward through the stones.
Weeding gravel can be fiddly, but provided you pull plants up as soon as they appear, they should come away easily, as long as the gravel is otherwise clear of debris.
The benefit of a gravel drive is that if it starts to have patches, you can add more gravel over the top to refresh the appearance. Homeowners can use gravel driveways alongside an eco grid, which means the soil can breathe, although you’ll need to use a good quality sealant.
Crushed stone gravel is one of the better options for eco-friendly credentials and provides a suitably solid surface to hold the weight of a car.
6. Why Choose a Low-Maintenance Driveway?
Driveways have to work hard – some options can command a great deal of patience, upkeep, time and potentially cost depending on the cleaning materials, sealants and tools you need to keep your driveway looking its best.
Natural stone and gravel tend to be the most intensive driveways to maintain. As we have explained above, a lot depends on the quality of the tradesperson or firm that fits your driveway.
Preparatory work, correct material applications, and attention to the sub-base condition are just as important as the driveway material if you want a truly low-maintenance drive that won’t be a pain to look after.
Why go for a low-maintenance drive? It’s not a difficult equation since an easy care drive means you can focus on the other tasks on your list or spend your weekends enjoying your home rather than facing another onslaught of weeds.
Choosing resin or block paving can mean getting an exceptional driveway appearance, with all the practicalities of a drive that is low maintenance and won’t require ongoing attention aside from an occasional sweep and hose down.