Which is the best long-term material for my driveway?
(Big Bear, CA, USA)
I live in a mountain area where winter brings plenty of snow and ice. I have a 1200 square foot area of drive and parking pad that I want to have paved. I do not want the more industrial look of asphalt, so have gotten bids for both concrete and interlocking pavers. I know nothing lasts forever, but being a single woman in my 60s driveway repair is something I don't want to deal with. I had decided I would prefer to do the pavers for the aesthetics and because I had been told by a neighbor it would be the easiest surface to care for. However, another neighbor said that in the winter water could get between the pavers and freeze causing extensive damage. I have read experts in construction say that could happen with concrete, too. Which surface will really bring me greatest satisfaction and cost me the least to maintain over the years? This is my last home and I live simply on a minimal income, so really can't afford to make a poor decision and am trying to be well-informed.
Thank you for your consideration.
Both surfaces you are considering work well, but are different in appearance and cost. After installation, both surfaces need to be cared as instructed by the installer. Heavy construction vehicles should not be allowed on them. Nothing heavier than a delivery truck should be allowed on it.
Concrete by nature cracks. Minor stress cracks will happen, but if installed properly should not break. Once a major crack starts or it breaks from a heavy load or settling, it could keep deteriorating at this point. Concrete can be patched and look alright afterwards. Of course, this is the cheapest of your two options.
Concrete pavers are laid dry on a compacted base of gravel and granite dust. Because of the dry laid base, water moves through them. I have never seen pavers heave in the winter because of freezing and thawing. If a paver settles, it can be removed and reinstalled on a new base. Pavers are beautiful, but are more expensive. Be sure to use a paver that is rated for vehicular use. Not all of them are.
Thanks so much for contacting me. I hope this information helps!