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You’ll drive over your home’s driveway nearly every day, as will other family members, guests and delivery trucks. If your driveway needs to be repaved, you should choose a material carefully. The size of your driveway is important, since material costs vary widely and a long driveway could be expensive to pave. You should also consider how various materials would stand up to the weather where you live and how much maintenance would be required.

Asphalt is one of the most popular choices when it comes to driveway paving materials. There are more options than many homeowners realize. Asphalt can be colored and stamped to create decorative patterns. A recycled asphalt driveway can be created by grinding and re-laying an existing asphalt surface. A tar and chip driveway can be made from asphalt with stone aggregate added to the surface. This option provides superior traction but can be difficult to plow in the winter. In addition, stones can come loose and weeds can grow through the surface. Asphalt needs to be sealed, and tar may need to be reapplied to prevent damage.

Concrete is known for its strength and durability, but it can crack if it isn’t installed properly. Concrete can be stamped to create patterns and stained or dyed to produce an array of colors. It can also be designed to resemble stone or pavers. Oil and tires can leave stains on a concrete driveway, but products are available to remove them. Concrete needs to be cleaned and sealed from time to time.

Driveway pavers can be laid in a variety of patterns for a sophisticated look. Both concrete and clay brick pavers are available in several colors and can even be made to resemble brick. The flexible joints between pavers prevent cracking. If repairs are needed, the process is simple because one area can be fixed without the need to repave the entire driveway. If weeds grow between pavers, they’ll need to be removed.

Gravel driveways can be a range of colors, depending on the region where the material originated. Proper installation is critical. Gravel driveways are often installed improperly, which causes the gravel to shift and sink and creates drainage problems. Keeping the layer of gravel shallow can prevent ruts caused by tires. Plowing a gravel driveway is challenging and should only be done by an experienced person. A gravel driveway should be re-graded yearly.

Choose the Right Material for Your Driveway
With the amount of use your driveway will get, it’s important to choose a paving material carefully. Consider the length of your driveway, the weather in your area and the amount of maintenance needed. When choosing a contractor to repave your driveway, always check references to ensure you’re hiring a qualified and reputable company.