We investigate the problems and pitfalls of steep driveway surfaces, and why a SUDs compliant material, such as resin, proves to be the best surface for a steep driveway long-term…
The History Of Steep Driveways
Despite possessing all-round aesthetic appeal, in terms of parking practicalities, period properties leave a lot to be desired. Historic homes were constructed before cars were commonplace, meaning that most are unable to allow a drive wide enough to accommodate a modern car.
Although alternatives are available, most are unfeasible. Short, steep gardens rule out adaptations from the outset.
Even those with longer gardens often find that the gradient makes a driveway adaptation difficult and expensive, not to mention impossible.
And there’s more! Here’s a few more reasons why keeping a steep driveway safe and salient for use is a constant, uphill battle:
Disadvantages Of Steep Driveways
-Makes Reversing Challenging
Reversing is never easy at the best of times. Add a steep, sloping gradient into the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for potential disaster-particularly in icy, inclement conditions, which put significant stress on the handbrake.
There’s no denying that this lack of manoeuvrability can be maddening; and substantial surrounding landscaping does little to help matters on the visibility front.
-At The Mercy Of The Elements
Following on from the previous pointer, without targeted treatment, a steep driveway is at the mercy of the elements, making it susceptible to slippage. And it’s not only drivers and vehicles at risk; pedestrians can easily suffer the effects of limited traction as well.
Without sufficient grip, tyres slide around on the surface, causing your vehicle to spin uncontrollably-and into the path of unsuspecting pedestrians. So how should you combat this conundrum?
In colder climates, such as Scandinavia, Winter tyres are actually a legal requirement. Although the UK seems unlikely to follow suit anytime soon, it’s an option well-worth investigating, although such tyres are obviously more expensive.
-Increased Instability Of The Sub-base
Once laid, the foundations for driveways are often forgotten, until problems come to the surface-quite literally! The soil sub-base erodes and shifts over time, leading to flawed foundations that are costly and challenging to repair.
The structural integrity of the sub-base is further compromised by excess rainfall, resulting in cracks appearing on the surface, and deeper deterioration over time.
-Issues With Drainage
In recent years, the drainage capacity of driveways has come under fire from the powers that be, with SUDs compliance now a mandatory stipulation.
Although a steep gradient deflects water away from your entrance, it often accumulates at the bottom of the incline, with excess surface water gathering along of the the sides of the roadway, leading to a waterlogged landscape, plagued by puddles. To prevent this, consider installing French drains.
Surfacing Solutions For Steep Area and Best Surface For a Steep Driveway
When it comes to surfacing solutions for driveways, the choice is truly staggering. From crushed stones and gravel, to tarmac and asphalt, each material has its merits. What’s not so apparent, however, is which option works best for slopes.
Here’s a selection of the most popular choices among homeowners:
Gravel may offer a satisfying ‘crunch’ when driven on, but such satisfaction proves short-lived if installed on slopes. Continual displacements occur, as gravel instinctively rolls downhill on an incline, with an alarmingly uneven surface the inevitable end result.
For those unsteady on their feet, a concrete driveway proves problematic-particularly if it’s situated on an incline as well. Concrete is subject to the freeze/thaw phenomenon, making for a steep and slippery combo, that lacks adequate traction all round.
As an option for a steep driveway surface, tarmac is far from ideal. Not only is it challenging to lay on inclines; it also demands ongoing maintenance to keep spillages from spoiling the surface.
Best Surface For A Steep Driveway: The Final Verdict
So…you’ve explored the options, agonised over the issues, and it’s finally time to make your driveway decision. As you’re probably aware, most materials don’t work well on gradients. Gravel offers the most gripes, and other options, such as concrete and tarmac, are difficult to lay on inclines.
If only there was a more successful and streamlined solution…
Say Hello To Resin…
Unlike other materials, a resin driveway allows water to soak away naturally…and your problems in the process. Fully SUDs compliant, our resin bound driveways are perfectly permeable, requiring no planning permission to install them.
We even offer additional anti-slip options for affected areas (such as steep gradients), preventing water from pooling, whilst reducing the risk of falls. Who knew driveways could multi-task?! It’s obvious, best surface for a steep driveway is that made from resin.
Seeking out a suitable surface for slopes? Resin offers the ideal solution. Perfectly permeable, this modern material meets all the latest building requirements. Request your free site survey today by calling: 0800 1700 636.
Alternatively, you can fill our Our Online Form to request a call back.