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Your guide to aggregates for driveways

Posted on by Emily Mitchell

If you’re planning to renovate your driveway, you might start out very optimistic, full of bold ideas and with a clear vision of what the finished product will look like.

To help our customers get their dream driveway, and to make the process as easy as possible, we have compiled this guide to all things aggregate – helping you to make the best decisions for a driveway you’ll be proud of and that will last.

What is the best aggregate for driveways?

Well, put simply, it depends on what you want the driveway to look like. From shingle to paving, concrete to grass, there are all sorts of options for material, style and size to choose from.

The three main types of aggregates for driveways that you will probably need are MOT Type 1, concrete and 10-20mm gravel.

MOT Type 1

MOT Type 1 is possibly the most commonly used construction material in the UK, forming the basis of all sorts of construction work. Used heavily for roadworks, MOT is made from crushed limestone and concrete, chosen because of its stability as a base material.

Concrete

A material that needs no introduction, concrete has endless applications in construction, and can be a vital part of driveways. Whilst some may choose to use crushed concrete as a base for construction, instead of MOT or similar materials, it is also useful as being the driveway surface itself – ready-mix concrete being finished smoothly on top to provide a no-frills alternative to decorative driveways.

Gravel

Gravel obviously comes in a massive range of shapes, sizes and material. The kind most commonly used for driveways is between 6 and 20mm in size, made up of small round stones spread over the area. The benefit of using gravel is that it is easy to lay and is low maintenance, though its tendency to spread across the garden and through the house might put some off.

How much aggregate do I need for my driveway?

Obviously this will depend on what material you use, how big an area you want to cover and a host of other variables.

A general rule of thumb, for gravel at least, is that the depth should be about two to three times the size of the gravel you’re using – usually meaning no deeper than about 30-40mm. If your gravel is too shallow you might be able to see the base layer underneath, and gaps will become very obvious as time passes. If your gravel is much deeper than 40mm you risk your driveway becoming a racetrack-style gravel trap, with your car plunging to a halt as soon as you try to pull in.

As gravel is essentially just a pile of stones, when pressure is applied, such as when you drive your car over it, all the stones slip past each other, meaning that deep layers aren’t great at supporting weight. It is possible to get types of ‘self-binding’ gravel that support weight a little better by reducing slippage, but you still wouldn’t want to drive into any deep quantity of that.

Keeping Your Driveway In Good Condition

After all the time, effort and money that it takes to get your driveway just how you wanted it, you will want to be sure that it stays in top condition for years to come.

Some types of driveway, such as paving, tarmacadam and concrete, are easy to care for and can usually simply be cleaned of moss with a pressure washer or a garden broom. If you have opted for a hard surface, the chances of weeds growing are slim, though they often find a way through any small gaps or cracks – but these can be dealt with using any available weed killer.

Gravel driveways present a slightly lower maintenance option than hard surfaces. Gravel provides better drainage than other surfaces and so won’t need to be cleaned, but will probably need regular weed killer sessions. To avoid weeds, it is best to use a sheet of landscape fabric between your driveway material and the ground – rot-proof, semi-permeable fabric that prevents your expensive materials disappearing and also prevents too much unwanted weed growth.

The use of borders, either in the form of decorative stone blocks, wood panels, road bumps or drainage dips, will prevent both gravel escaping the driveway and the garden encroaching on the area.

How can AMA Aggregates help with your driveway?

When it comes to building your ideal driveway, or even something simple and practical, there are plenty of things that you need to take into consideration. Not only will you first have to decide what it will be made of, the style and size of the driveway, but you need to think about the time it will take, the manpower required and just how you’re going to get the materials on-site.

To alleviate the stresses of driveway construction, AMA Aggregates’ services come in a range of shapes and sizes to help with any job. We provide all sorts of aggregates, from MOT Type 1, gravel and concrete mentioned above through to topsoil, sand and even plenty of environmentally friendly recycled materials. Everything we offer is available either loose or in bulk bags too, meaning we can deliver the right amount to any site, no matter how big or small it might be.

Not only do we have all the materials you could need, but our service is second to none too. With next day delivery across all the UK, we can be on site as soon as you need, armed with all the workmen you need to get your materials unloaded and into position. If you have any material left over or any waste from your job, we will handle that, taking everything away and recycling whatever we can – AMA Aggregates really does offer a complete package of driveway services!

To find out a little more about what you need for your job, what the best way to tackle your driveway is and a little extra about why AMA is the right company for you, just complete an email form online or call us now on 0845 4757 287.

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