With the changing environment, people are becoming more conscientious of the materials they use and dispose of. Using just anything is no longer acceptable; there is a push for eco-friendly or "green" construction in commercial properties and residential homes. Every part of a property can be eco-friendly in its design and construction—down to the driveway. Here is what you should know about eco-friendly driveways and some design ideas to consider.
Why is Sustainability in Driveways Important?
Traditional driveway materials like concrete and asphalt may seem harmless, but they aren't the best for the environment. Traditionally, these materials are impermeable and prevent water from absorbing into the soil. This can lead to flooding, erosion, an overwhelmed sewage system, worsened pollution, and more.
Materials like concrete and asphalt can also pose environmental issues. The production of concrete and asphalt produces carbon emissions and other forms of pollution; asphalt is also a product of oil and petroleum byproducts that aren't eco-friendly.
What Makes Driveways Eco-Friendly?
For a driveway to be eco-friendly, it must work hand-in-hand with nature. The materials used for the driveway should not prevent the natural flow and reabsorption of water runoff into the ground. This takes some pressure off storm drain systems and water treatment plants and eliminates the pollutants collected by water runoff. Eco-friendly driveway materials also have an additional benefit: they can increase the value of your home.
How Do Eco-Friendly Driveway Ideas Add Value?
While the initial cost of a new, eco-friendly driveway is more than a more traditional asphalt driveway, it is a worthwhile investment as it helps boost the value of your home in many ways, including:
Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal
First impressions are essential; the driveway is typically the first feature visitors will see when it comes to your home. Discolored, broken concrete or asphalt slabs are anything but welcoming and can take away from your property's overall appearance. Choosing eco-friendly driveway materials shows you care about the appearance of your home and are willing to invest in the curb appeal to create a beautiful, welcoming exterior.
Increased Property Value
A clean, undamaged driveway isn't just good for curb appeal; it also helps increase the value of your home. A well-maintained and functional driveway is one of the significant features real estate professionals will look for when appraising the value of a home, and many homebuyers are willing to pay more for a nice driveway. Going with eco-friendly driveway options can further increase your home's value, with homebuyers showing more preference towards environmentally-friendly and sustainable building materials.
Minimize Maintenance Requirements
Materials like slab concrete and asphalt require extra maintenance after installation, including regular resealing to protect them from the damaging effects of the elements. If they become damaged, then repairs are necessary. Materials like eco-friendly driveway pavers do not have these issues. There is no need to seal or worry about cracking or breaking. If a paver does break, it is easy to replace without having to redo the whole driveway.
Eco-friendly materials also add value because they help ensure proper drainage. They allow water runoff to filter through them back into the ground, where it can enter the water table. This helps prevent flooding around the property and minimizes the strain on the storm drain system and water treatment plants.
Eco-Friendly Driveway Options to Consider
Here are some of the most eco-friendly driveway options to consider:
1. Grass Driveways
Of the available options, a grass driveway is one of the simplest; it is how most driveways start. Grass alone will deteriorate over time, but it's a good, affordable option, especially for drier, milder climates. You could also add two strips of paving for car tiles to follow in order to protect the driveway.
Grass driveways are an affordable option that will provide sufficient drainage while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing appearance as long as you maintain the grass.
2. Loose Stone or Gravel Driveways
Another -driveway solution to consider is a loose stone or gravel driveway. Gravel is one of the most permeable materials available and has been used for centuries to pave roads that support a wide variety of traffic.
3. Plastic Grid Systems
Plastic grid systems are made using recycled plastic materials. They are laid on the driveway area to provide a harder, more stable surface for cars and people. Grids are a long-lasting option that is versatile, easy to install, and virtually maintenance-free. You can fill the grids with various materials, including sand, gravel, soil, and grass.
4. Permeable Pavers
Permeable pavers are one of the most popular eco-friendly driveway solutions. Driveway pavers use plastic grid systems, and you can find them in various materials, including brick, concrete, and cobblestone. For truly sustainable and eco-friendly driveways, there is Aspire Pavers, a company that offers interlocking permeable pavers made from up to 95% recycled materials.
Aspire Pavers are lightweight, easy to install, and extremely durable. They are resistant to stains, scratches, and cracking, for a long-lasting material with a 10-year limited warranty. They have a variety of colors, which you can mix and match to create countless driveway designs.
Creating an Eco-Friendly Driveway with Aspire Pavers
Driveways are an important part of the home: they are one of the first things visitors will see when they pull up to your home, and they also provide a safe space for you to park your vehicle. While many driveways use concrete or asphalt slabs, eco-friendly driveways provide a more durable and sustainable option.
Contact Aspire Pavers today for help designing your new driveway!