Driveways play a pivotal role in shaping the first impression of our homes. Beyond merely providing a space for our vehicles, they have an understated yet significant impact on a property’s curb appeal and functionality. With modern home improvement trends, homeowners find themselves standing at a crossroads when choosing the suitable material for their driveways. Two contenders that frequently dominate the discussion are Tarmac Driveway vs. Block Paving.
Each comes with its unique set of attributes, aesthetic versatility, and longevity prospects. As we delve into the Nuances of Block Driveway and Tarmac Driveway, we’ll help you navigate the pros and cons, ensuring you make an informed decision tailored to your home’s needs.
Tarmac Driveway vs. Block Paving – Which is Best?
Tarmac (or Asphalt): Tarmac driveways primarily consist of a combination of crushed aggregates and bitumen. The dense, liquid nature of bitumen allows the mixture to be spread easily, creating a solid, compacted surface when cooled.
Block Paving: Crafted from either Concrete or clay, each individual block is manufactured to specific standards, ensuring uniformity and strength.
Tarmac (or Asphalt): Tarmac driveways primarily consist of crushed aggregates and bitumen. The dense, liquid nature of bitumen allows the mixture to be spread quickly, creating a solid, compacted surface when cooled.
Block Paving: Due to the vast array of shapes, sizes, and colours, homeowners have extensive design flexibility. Patterns can range from simple to intricate, allowing for personalization.
Tarmac: The process is streamlined once the foundation is prepared, often taking only a day or two for a standard driveway. Setting times can vary based on weather conditions.
Block Paving: Requires meticulous placement of each block, which can extend installation time. However, this attention to detail can yield beautiful results.
Tarmac: Susceptible to oil spills and can soften in extreme heat. Over time, the surface might require treatments to restore its original sheen.
Block Paving: Regular cleaning can prevent moss and weed growth. Sanding gaps between blocks might be needed periodically to maintain structural integrity.
Durability and Strength
Tarmac: Resistant to heavy weights, making it ideal for driveways with regular vehicle traffic. Properly maintained, it can last for several decades.
Block Paving: Depending on the quality, it can withstand heavy loads. Proper installation, including edge restraints and sub-base preparation, ensures longevity.
Tarmac: Without a proper gradient, water runoff might not be optimal. This can lead to water-related issues or erosion over time.
Block Paving: The gaps between the blocks naturally aid in water drainage. Additionally, specific permeable designs are tailored to be environmentally friendly and reduce flooding risks.
Tarmac: Often favoured for its cost-effectiveness. The initial investment is lower but consider potential maintenance costs.
Block Paving: Higher initial costs are balanced by its durability and the potential for targeted repairs without redoing the entire driveway.
Repair and Replacement
Tarmac: Over time, faded patches or repair marks can stand out, somewhat diminishing the overall aesthetic.
Block Paving: One of its major advantages is the ability to replace individual blocks without disrupting the entire structure, preserving the original design.
Tarmac: The production process can be energy-intensive. However, new methods and Recycled Asphalt are making it more eco-friendly.
Block Paving: Eco-conscious options are available, including blocks made from recycled materials. The permeable designs support groundwater recharge and reduce runoff.
By understanding these enhanced distinctions, homeowners can make an informed choice that aligns with their preferences, functional needs, and budget.
Key Factors to Consider When Choosing
How Do the Two Options Fare in Terms of Weed Growth?
In the Comparison of Tarmac Driveway vs. Block Paving, Weed growth is more commonly seen in Block Paving, especially if the sand-filled joints between the blocks aren’t properly maintained. Tarmac driveways provide fewer spaces for weeds to grow, but they’re only partially immune, especially if cracks develop over time.
What About the Resale Value of My Property?
A well-maintained block paving driveway can enhance curb appeal and potentially increase the resale value of a property due to its decorative nature. Tarmac is more understated but offers a neat and tidy appearance that can also appeal to potential buyers.
The Bottom Line
In the debate between tarmac driveways and block paving, both options present their unique set of advantages. Tarmac is often lauded for its durability, ease of installation, and cost-effectiveness, making it a popular choice for those seeking a straightforward solution that stands the test of time.
However, block paving could be the ideal fit if Design flexibility and visual appeal hold more weight in your decision-making. Regardless of your choice, regular maintenance will ensure the longevity of your driveway, serving as a worthy investment for your property.