Many homes are built on hills and sloping ground. Many of these houses have downward sloped driveways. They present a particular set of challenges that need to be overcome if the homeowner is to enjoy a safe and functional driveway.
The Problems That A Steep Driveway Can Cause
Steeply sloped driveways have three problems and challenges to overcome.
Drainage: Excessive water running along the surface or that is allowed to pool will cause a freezing hazard in cold weather. If water run-off is not effectively managed, then this can cause subsidence or surface instability. The water run-off needs to be directed, as much as is possible, away from the centre and to the sides. The run-off should then be directed towards a drain.
Safety: Sloped driveways needs to provide adequate grip and traction for your vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians. The grip is generated through material selection. Where space is sufficient, it may be possible to create a flatter area for parked vehicles.
Appearance: A surface that degrades will develop cracks and holes and essentially start slipping downwards towards your home or garage. Dents and dips that form allow puddling, and this can freeze in cold weather.
Which Materials Are Best To Use?
Now we have identified the primary problems for sloped driveways; we share the best-sloped driveway solutions.
Gravel: This certainly isn’t the best material choice, but some stability and drainage can be achieved by layering the gravel with the largest stone grades at the bottom, becoming finer towards the top layer. A fabric liner is required to prevent weed growth. Plastic grids can be added to help avoid the worst effects of surface movement. However, there will ultimately be slippage (or wheel spinning) that can be dangerous when pulling on and off sloped driveways.
Asphalt and concrete: A strong base will be laid first, and then a layer of asphalt or concrete is poured. The thickness of the top layer is limited to prevent downward movement while the asphalt or concrete sets. The best approach for steep driveway solutions is to split the concrete or asphalt into sections with a gap or join that allows each segment to set independently without pushing against those further down the slope. Drainage channels are essential to protect the home, path, or road, depending on whether the pitch is towards or away from these.
Pavers: Laying paving stones is labour intensive and costly but provides a suitable solution, adding texture, which equates to grip and traction. However, pavers are often laid on a base of sand, which can become eroded with heavy rain.
Resin-bound: Resin sloped driveways consist of a mix of resin and stone aggregates. The mixture can be laid in one continuous run, and the surface itself is porous, which helps improve drainage and prevent icing. The aggregates used in these sloped driveways can be chosen to reflect the level of grip required based on the steepness of the slope. Minor declines can use a fine stone, whereas steep declines can use larger stones to create roughness and traction for your vehicle. Even the steepest resin-bound driveways will last for thirty years or more.
For advice on the right solution for your level of decline or a price for a downward sloping driveway, don’t hesitate to contact Staffordshire Driveways.