Resurfacing your property driveway can reduce dramatically the water runoff damage. More than that, a smart design can significantly reduce water runoff and thus deterioration of the driveway.
If the surface of your driveway is old and you are taking in consideration to resurface it, first you need to appreciate how much space you need for parking. It is easy to estimate the necessary area for parking, considering the number of cars that usually will park in front of your house.
The main idea is actually, to reduce as much as possible the paved area around your property. In addition, if you use only permeable materials for your driveway you will protect the environment and will increase your home’s curb appeal.
There are many types of residential driveways such as concrete, asphalt, gravel, turf, sandstone, granite and many other types. However, the most common is asphalt driveway or blacktop driveway. An asphalt driveway occupies usually a large portion of your land and is by far the most preferred type of driveway because it is extremely durable, slip resistant, solid and low cost. Typically, an asphalt driveway can withstand intensive and repeated usage for long time. More than that, its surface is impermeable, not allowing the water from rain or melting snow to penetrate through it into the ground. The asphalt surface facilitates the rapid water flow to property sewer system.
Unfortunately, this water runoff can wash and transport many kinds of pollutants from the asphalt surface such as oils, road salts and many other chemicals that can seriously affect the quality of water and consequently the aquatic life.
And since we’re talking about this downside of an asphalt surface then perhaps we should mention two other drawbacks.
- An asphalt surface absorbs the sunlight reflecting the heat. This process is evident in summer, especially in urban areas, making the atmosphere to be more hot.
- An impervious asphalt surface limits dramatically the tree rooting space, which endanger their lives.
Limit the Asphalt Surface: The only viable solution is a minimal asphalt surface, which corresponds exactly your needs. If you are using mainly the driveway as a garage access you may not need too much wide asphalt surface. Perhaps, 8 –ft (2.4 m) wide is more than enough. Also, through a smart design you can limit the length of the driveway eliminating the excessive curves. It is imperative that your driveway to be as much as possible in a straight line between the municipal road and your garage.
Alternate Strips of Asphalt with Grass: Another smart way is to install just two asphalt strips with grass between them, instead of a large asphalt surface.
Use Permeable Materials instead of Asphalt: You can limit the impact that a driveway surface has on the environment using only permeable materials instead of asphalt such as porous asphalt, interlock pavers, loose aggregate or even concrete. However, even if these materials are environmentally friendly, you still have to consider also their other features such as suitability, durability and last but not least, their cost.