The important roles that your driveway and walkway play are often not appreciated enough. These two areas are the first things your guests see when they pull up and approach your home. They are also exposed to environmental elements such as the heat of the sun, the cold of snow, and the moisture during rainy days.
Most importantly, your driveway and walkway keep you and your property safe. A badly maintained walkway and driveway can lead to accidents and injuries.
Dangers of Ignoring Your Walkway and Driveway
Imagine how it will be like walking with an arm-full of grocery bags on a rainy day. You can step on a muddy puddle, slip, and fall. It is especially necessary to have a proper and well-maintained walkway when elderly or very young members of the household are already more prone to slips and falls.
Meanwhile, cracks in the driveways can be dangerous, too. If your car happens to drive over a loose material, it could damage your tires. You will end up spending more money than you expected because you have to make repairs and replacements.
In addition, if you have plans to someday sell the house, you should start taking care of your driveway and walkway as early as now. Buyers see damage to these features as a sign that the property was not well-maintained. It could end up lowering the resale value of your home, or you might struggle to find a potential buyer.
The materials used matter a lot in ensuring the longevity of your walkway and driveway.
Typically, people use crushed stone and gravel because they are the easiest to install and inexpensive. Moreover, they create a natural effect. However, they are less permanent.
Paths made of gravel will move and need to be replenished from time to time. It is also not ideal in places that see snowfall regularly because it would be impossible to keep clear.
On the other hand, concrete is more sturdy. It is estimated to last between 15 and 30 years, especially if given proper care. It is smooth, and it gives off a more modern look.
However, it is not unbreakable. It can crack when subjected to moisture and cold weather. When it breaks, it will not be easy to repair. You would need to replace the whole thing to make it look new again.
Asphalt is the better alternative for those who live where the climate is cold. It has more give compared to concrete, and it can be easily patched when it cracks.
But, there is a downside: It breaks down faster and easier than concrete. It requires repairs or replacement in five years. To give it a longer life, you would need to invest in bitumen waterproofing to ensure that your walkway and driveway will be in good condition for a longer period.
Meanwhile, cobblestones are expensive, but they can last a lifetime. In fact, cobblestones would not need to be replaced for a hundred years or more!
It is popular among those who want to give their property an old-world look. Cobblestone has been used around the world, especially in Europe, for centuries. Until today, many towns in Europe and North America maintain cobblestone streets.
Aside from its aesthetic value, cobblestone is easy to repair and replace. You only need to remove the portion with visible cracks and fragments and then replace it with a new block. The patch can be installed without looking out of place or disjointed. So, while it is the most expensive option, it can save you money in the long run.
Impact on Resale
A well-maintained driveway and walkway will improve the appeal of your home if you have the intention to sell it. Cobblestone, in particular, is popular among buyers because it is easy to repair and it creates an elegant look.
Additions will also be appreciated. A home seller who wants to add more value to the property should incorporate features that will improve the appearance and utility of the space. Elements such as plants and light fixtures will boost the appeal of the property. A parking area will also be warmly welcomed.
Most importantly, keep it clean. When buyers are visiting, picking up debris will immediately improve the appearance of the driveway and walkway. Many homeowners also use pressure washing to reveal the natural texture and tone of the material, making it look new.
Giving attention to all areas of the house will prevent costly repairs, replacements, or unwanted incidents in the future. The proper maintenance of walkways and driveways is especially important to ensure the safety of the homeowner and their loved ones.