Tarmac, block paving and concrete driveways have always been the go-to choice for Essex homeowners, but with an increase in awareness of environmental issues, many are starting to use alternative methods.
Any part of your home can be constructed in environment-friendly ways, including the driveway. People like to have green driveways in Essex for several reasons. The most common reason to pave environment-friendly is to help replenish the groundwater by allowing it to pass through permeable driveway material instead of making it run off the top surface. Environment-friendly driveways help control runoff and prevent flooding which adds value to your property. There are many ways to pave a driveway in an environment-friendly way as there are several materials available for the same. The permeable driveway materials that we are about to list for you allow rainwater to easily penetrate the driveway and the soil below filters any chemicals from cars and other sources and prevent them from contaminating the groundwater or storm drain systems.
Traditional materials used for driveways also cause heat buildup, but natural materials pose no such challenge. The choice of the material for paving a driveway depends on the regulations in your area, what kind of style you prefer for your driveway and whether you want to do it yourself. But if you want, you can also hire professionals to design or create a green driveway for your home.
Let’s look at the materials you can use for green driveways.
You may not like to use grass for the driveway because most of us have a driveway to keep our cars off the lawn. But grass paving your driveway is a little different than preparing the grass bed for lawns. There are several layers of grass when you pave a driveway rather than a single layer, as in the case of lawns. First, you put a layer of sand; then, you put a plastic mesh with holes filled with sandy loam over the first layer. The grass grows through the mesh. The mesh is there to protect the roots of the grass and support the car as well. The holes in the second layer allow water to pass through, and sand filters any contaminants. The grass layer also checks the runoff.
Porous or permeable concrete is a good choice for a more traditional looking driveway. Such concrete is environment-friendly and helps in avoiding a runoff. The porous concrete is different from traditional concrete in the way that it has less or no sand. The crushed stones are held together by just enough cement that leaves holes, and that allows water to pass through. On the outset, you cannot tell the difference between permeable and traditional concrete block. The result is you have a traditional looking driveway that is environment-friendly and most likely to meet all regulations in your area regarding the construction and appearance of the driveway.
If you think you want a traditional looking driveway that is environment-friendly, then consider using permeable concrete pavers rather than solid surface. The traditional pavers have no permeability that prevents drainage, but these pavers allow water to pass through the gaps. When using permeable pavers for driveways, you will have to lay a foundation layer of a material like crushed stones. For a more natural look, you can allow grass to grow between the pavers or leave them plain for a more tiled look. Grass is much more preferable as it will keep the gaps between the pavers free from debris. But if you plan not to use grass, then you have to clean the gaps every year to avoid clogging. Bricks are a suitable alternative than pavers for such applications.
Gravel and Sand
Most environment-friendly of all construction materials are the stones and sand. For green driveways, you can use gravel and sand that allows best water drainage and prevent flooding. Quick to install and inexpensive, the only problem with a gravel and sand driveway is high maintenance. You will have to rake or sweep the sand and gravel pack into the place. Such driveways are usually not visually appealing. If you want a neat and tidy looking driveway, choose any of the materials above. But if you choose to go with gravel and sand driveway, use smooth stones rather than gravels to allow water to drain more effectively into the ground.
Green driveways make your property environment-friendly and make it easier to control flooding.