Decomposed granite driveway is one of the most economical and permeable pavements. It is made from rocks that have been allowed to weather and break into smaller pieces. A decomposed granite driveway has many advantages, and the installation process is easy, swift, and affordable.
Decomposed granite (also known as DG) driveway has a natural, rustic appearance, and it is available in several colors, allowing for stylistic flexibility that fits your choice. It’s relatively easy to install and has a gritty texture for excellent traction underfoot. Compared to other materials, decomposed granite has a fine texture and is made up of aggregated granite that has the consistency of sand and is as large as 1/4″. It is highly porous and environmentally beneficial that stormwater can flow through, effectively preventing driveway flooding and reducing the need for additional drainage.
Decomposed granite is a flexible substance that suppresses weed development, maintains equal soil moisture, and enhances outdoor spaces. Understanding the pros and cons of decomposed granite driveway is important before embarking on your next hardscape project. In this article, our experts have curated a comprehensive guide to help you understand what decomposed granite driveway is, the cost, and how long it last.
What is Decomposed Granite
Decomposed granite is a type of rock that readily separates into smaller pieces. It has a longer life span, delicate texture, and a natural look. It is made of aggregate granite, which, compared to other paving materials, is soft, delicate, and can still be crushed into gravel-sized particles or grus.
Can Decomposed Granite Be Used For A Driveway?
One of the principles of life includes the beauty that comes from ashes. The same applies to our driveways, walkways, and other outdoor areas. Decomposed granites can be used to pave these areas into a magnificent landscape. Also, it has proven to be less expensive and more natural than standard granite or other paving materials.
Decomposed granite driveway pros and cons
It is normal to doubt the durability and effectiveness of decomposed granite, considering it is made from ordinary granite. However, this paving material has been able to prove itself over time. The pros and cons of a decomposed granite driveway will help you decide if you want one installed or not.
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Pros Of Decomposed Granite Driveways
It Comes in Many Colors
If you are looking at installing an aesthetically satisfying landscape pavement, look no further. Decomposed granite comes in different colors including tan, grey, and brown.
Installation Cost is Low
Compared to other paving materials in the market, decomposed granite is affordable and has a low installation cost. After the initial purchase, installation, and stabilization, you can enjoy your driveway for a long time before you worry about turning it up.
Decomposed Granite Is Durable When Stabilized
The major downside of decomposed granite driveways occurs when granite is installed without stabilization. It degrades quickly under impact compaction. But, when it is stabilized, it is durable and long-lasting.
Decomposed Granite Encourages Drainage
Unlike other landscaping products, decomposed granite is porous and allows water drainage. With a decomposed granite driveway, you won’t have to worry about water pooling up on your driveway and causing any significant problems.
It is Eco-friendly and Sustainable
Besides its fantastic looks and versatility, decomposed granite fall among the most natural kind of paving material. This landscaping product is hundred per cent eco-friendly and durable.
Decomposed Granite is Easy To Maintain
You can loosen up and enjoy your landscape paving without worries about maintenance and cost. If your decomposed granite spreads out or is too weathered in a particle area, you can pack it up and replace it with new granite.
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Cons Of Decomposed Granite Driveways
Here are some of the major downsides of a decomposed granite driveway;
Unstabilized Granite has a Short Lifespan
When granite is installed without stabilized pavers, its lifespan will be short. Decomposed granite driveways are only durable when installed properly, and the paving material is stabilized excellently.
Loosed Granites Spreads Out
Installing granite without stabilizing it will only cause it to spread out fast. Loose granite will migrate and leave your driveway easily.
It Promotes Weed Growth
Installing decomposed granites without adequate stabilizing will slow down water drainage and cause the driveway to be moist. This will create a habitation for weeds and other plants to grow on your driveway.
Decomposed granite driveway cost
The typical price range for decomposed granite is between $40-$50 per cubic yard. No matter the size of your driveway, decomposed granite cost won’t be too much to bear. This paving material is not just affordable; it is incredibly soft, natural, and has a fine texture that makes it stand out amongst other paving materials.
Step-By-Step Guide On How To Install Your Decomposed Granite Driveway
Decomposed granite driveways are different from other driveways you are familiar with. If you are ready to install it all by yourself or want to hire a professional to do the work, it is good to know what you are getting into. Below is a comprehensive guide to installing your DG driveway.
1. Ensure The Area Is Flat And Allows Drainage
When you install granite on your driveway, ensure that the area is away from any drainage because decomposed granite can easily spread and be washed away by rain or heavy floods.
2. Define The Construction Area
To ensure that your granite area is consistent, you must define the construction area. Doing this will make the job easy for you. You can define the area with chalk, granite, paintbrush, or spray. Doing this will make the job easy for you.
3. Dig The Area
Now, you can’t lay your granite on a flat surface. Depending on the construction project, you will need to achieve good depth. For areas with heavy traffic, 4 inches can provide good support, and if the area is too soft or sandy, you can dig deeper ( 6 inches or more).
4. Level The Area
The next step is to level the dug area. This can be done with a rake. When leveling with a rake, make sure you flatten the surface. You can use a tool or plate compactor to compress the soil.
5. Install Landscape Fabric
Landscape fabric helps to prevent weed growth and ensures that you have a clean driveway free from plants. After Installing your landscape fabric, apply a 1-inch deep layer of sand over it. This isn’t a critical step, but it’s important if you want a nice driveway.
6. Install Plastic Edging
On both sides of the driveway, Insert plastic edging. The edging is meant to hold your granite together and prevent them from spreading. Also, plastic edging is important if your driveway has a draining system. The plastic edge will prevent the DG from washing away.
7. Top The Driveway With Stabilized Granite
Calculate how much granite you need to cover your driveway by measuring the dug area’s length, width, and depth. Spread granite on the leveled area using a shovel, hand, or wheelbarrow. It’s recommended that you use granite up to 1.5 inches thick. Because stabilized granite has already been treated, it will effortlessly stick together when you start spreading it. Using a rake, don’t forget to smoothen out the entire driveway.
8. Soak the Granite Water
Now the final step is to ensure that water reaches every single stone. Connect a hose to a source of water and wet the entire driveway. It will look like a mess at the end of the day, and everywhere will look muddy, but it’s only absorbing and sticking together. Allow to dry, and you are ready to start using your driveway.
Frequent Questions About Decomposed Granite Driveway
- Does water drain through decomposed granite?
DG provides excellent drainage for water. Water can get through decomposed granite and be absorbed. You don’t have to worry about gathering puddles; decomposed granite drains water effectively.
- Will decomposed granite wash away?
Install plastic edging on both sides of the driveway. Plastic edging helps secure your driveway and prevent decomposed granite from washing away. Also, ensure that plastic edging or steel is installed around any driveway drainage. This will prevent your DG from flowing into the drainage system and being washed off your driveway.
- How do you keep decomposed granite in place?
Granite can be pretreated or installed with stabilized pavers or resins. A stabilized paver will keep your granite in place and prevent it from spreading and eventually washing away. You can use a Gator stone bond, a simple one-coat application to keep your DG in place.
- What is the difference between crushed granite and decomposed granite?
Crushed and decomposed granite are made from the same component. However, crushed granite has sharp edges and shapes, making it more expensive in the market than DG. At the same time, DG is more economical, eco-friendly, and valuable than crushed granite.
Your driveway needs to be clean and aesthetically pleasing, which you can get with properly installed decomposed granite. It is perfect for your driveway if you want something natural and eco-friendly. It is also less expensive and low-maintenance compared to other paving materials.