Crushed concrete is one of the most popular driveway options for homeowners nowadays, though many homeowners wonder whether having these tiny concrete pieces on the ground instead of asphalt is a good choice for their driveway.
Crushed concrete is one of the most cost-effective, eco-friendly, and versatile solutions for driveways. However, there are many homeowners that suggest the lack of durability, excess of dust, and a lack of customization can be a major concern, especially when it is compared to other popular home driveway material options.
If you’re struggling to make the decision between a crushed concrete driveway and an asphalt driveway, come with us as we explore the advantages and disadvantages of concrete driveways.
What Is Crushed Concrete?
Crushed concrete comes from demolished concrete. However, because concrete is not a biodegradable material, it either piles up in landfills for all of eternity or gets recycled for use in other residential or commercial projects, such as driveways.
When concrete is demolished, companies send it to recycling plants to be crushed even further. This process purifies the concrete and makes it suitable for use.
Some companies will make a supplement out of it to manufacture new concrete. However, it is also often sold similarly to the way you would buy regular gravel.
Is Crushed Concrete Good For Driveways?
Crushed concrete is a very popular option for driveways for several reasons. It’s very cost-effective and never cracks nor requires repairs. Of course, as with any driveway material, there are many pros and cons to consider.
Pros of A Crushed Concrete Driveway
One of the first major benefits of using crushed concrete for a driveway is that it is very cost-effective. Because crushed concrete is a material that comes from recycling, you’ll pay far less than if you were to have freshly poured concrete. Plus, crushed concrete is far more cost-effective than paying for a natural stone driveway.
One of the other major benefits of having a crushed concrete driveway is that it is very eco-friendly. As we said earlier, concrete is not biodegradable. If it does not get put to use, it ends up sitting in landfills. When you use crushed concrete for your driveway, you’re doing your part to make sure demolished concrete doesn’t sit around going unused.
This frees up precious space in landfills and reduces the production of new concrete.
Crushed concrete is also a very permeable material, though the level of permeability depends on how it is installed. When installed in a traditional manner, it allows rainwater to flow through to the ground, which reduces the heavy burden that local drain systems otherwise have to endure.
Crushed concrete is one of the most versatile materials on the market today. Many homeowners use it mixed up with other materials for paving projects.
Let’s say you know the look of fresh concrete or natural stone is attractive to you. You can utilize less expensive crushed concrete as a base for the material you do like, which can sit on top. Not only will it cost you far less than using a more expensive material exclusively, but you’ll also still get some of the permeability advantages if everything is installed correctly.
There are several variations of crushed concrete, which you can use for a wide range of uses, including surface and sub-base.
Cons of A Crushed Concrete For Driveway
One of the main concerns homeowners have with crushed concrete driveways is durability. Yes, you’ll never have to worry about cracks with crushed concrete, which is a big advantage. However, crushed concrete is a lot like gravel in that it is loose. Over time, it can spread or thin out, requiring that you continuously add more crushed concrete every time so you don’t develop ruts or bare spots in your driveway.
Crushed concrete, like gravel, can create a lot of dust. This dust can pick up in the air and get on your vehicle, which can make it dirty all the time.
Crushed concrete is certainly not the best choice for those who want an attractive or luxurious-looking driveway, as it has a very minimal style. If you have a modern home, there are much better materials out there that will suit your residential space better.
Depending on how you install your crushed concrete, it can actually have very limited permeability, which can keep water from passing through, forcing it to puddle in your driveway. When puddling starts to occur on your driveway, it becomes prone to something called rutting, which is a permanent deformation of the top layer of your paving materials.
Plus, with an irregular surface construction, it can become difficult to clean. If you live in an area where it snows often or where the leaves fall from the trees in autumn, trying to rid your driveway of this additional debris with so many moving pieces can be an absolute nightmare.
How Much Crushed Concrete Do I Need for My Driveway?
When it comes to determining the amount of materials you need for a construction job, you often use the same formula to find the measurement in cubic yards.
For example, if you’re looking at how much crushed concrete you need for your driveway. You can multiply the width by the length by the height in feet and divide that number by 27. This will give you the amount of material you need.
So, let’s say your driveway is 10 feet by 20 feet, and you need six inches of crushed concrete. You would use the formula:
10’ x 20’ x 0.5’ to get 3.76 cubic yards.
We converted the six inches into 0.5 feet to make it work with this equation.
Of course, there are a few more variables you might want to consider to be certain you’re ordering the correct amount of material.
You’ll also need to determine the size of the material that you are using. Depending on the size of the material you choose, the coverage area can change. You’ll need to give the supplier your measurements to see how much you’ll need for each type of material.
Find out how wide your driveway should be by heading over to our article:
Driveway Width – How Wide Should My Driveway Be?
Does Crushed Concrete Harden?
Over time, crushed concrete tends to harden and compact. While this creates a smooth surface that you might enjoy driving on, it can also reduce the height. To maintain your brand-new crushed concrete driveway, you may have to add a layer each year.
Is Crushed Concrete Better Than Gravel?
Compared to gravel driveways, crushed concrete is much more cost-effective, it’s very easy to repair, and it is very eco-friendly. However, compared to gravel, it can be more difficult to install and is not as permeable.
Gravel is a great choice for driveways when it comes to permeability. Remember, gravel is made up of groups of rock fragments that aren’t uniform in shape and size, which not only provides a unique look that many people like but also promotes better penetrability, allowing water to flow through naturally rather than pooling on top.
Essentially, a properly installed gravel driveway can stop mold and stains from appearing.
Gravel is also very easy to maintain, though it won’t compact as easy as crushed concrete, meaning you’ll often have to deal with a lot of dust.
We would say that the one major benefit to gravel is that there are plenty of different types of gravel, depending on your aesthetic choice. Some of the most common types of gravel include limestone, sandstone, and basalt. You’ll even find unique glow-in-the-dark gravel options, which can allow you to see into your driveway at night without the need for any lights, perfect for those with ultra-long driveways.
Crushed Concrete Driveway Cost
The cost for crushed concrete often depends on the kind of concrete that you buy, where you buy it from, and the market conditions. Most businesses either charge for crushed concrete by the yard or ton.
If you buy your crushed concrete by the ton, it will likely cost you anywhere between $6 and $14 per ton. However, if you purchase your crushed concrete by the yard, you’ll likely pay anywhere from $20 to $35 per yard.
More often than not, the more crushed concrete you are able to purchase, the better the deal you’ll get.
If you’re considering installing crushed concrete in your driveway, we highly recommend doing so. It is a cost-effective choice compared to gravel, asphalt, and traditional concrete. Plus, it’s relatively low-maintenance, won’t require repairs often, and has longevity.
With a variety of applications and advantages, crushed concrete is one of the most functional and accessible driveway materials around.
We hope that you now feel more confident regarding whether or not crushed concrete will work for your driveway needs. No matter what kinds of paving services you’re after, our team at Paving Finder is always ready to help.
Make sure to join our pro network to get in contact with the top-rated paving professional near you.