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Since you’re here, then you know that driveways aren’t as simple as it is. Factors like benefits, installation, appearance, longevity, and maintenance cost are some things you must consider. Let’s understand why exposed aggregate driveways are your better choice.

Stay tuned, as there’ll be a quick bonus — a guide on maintaining your driveways. If you’re ready, let’s start the article by determining what exposed aggregate driveways are.

Exposed Aggregate Driveways

Revealing the aggregate process has existed since the early 1900s, and up to now, it is still a go-to trend for driveways. You can achieve an exposed-aggregate surface by removing the top layer of cement.

It is appropriate for driveways due to its skid-resistant and durable features. You can also use it on patios, pool decks, plazas, sidewalks, and even walls.

When choosing aggregate, you’ll need to consider its suitability, components, and product availability; other than that, the colour, cost, durability, hardness, gradation, method of exposure, size, and shape are also necessary factors to regard.

An exposed-aggregate surface can be composed of natural stones or manufactured materials, such as basalts, granite, gravel, limestone, pebbles, quartz, recycled coloured glass, and seashells.

The colour can range from soft pastels to earth tones or rich shades depending on what material it contains. The materials used influence how it’ll look and feel.

What Sets It Apart From Other Kinds

It’s challenging to decide when you only know what an exposed aggregate is. You need to know the benefits that’ll set it apart from others; it would help you analyse whether it is the best option you’ll have out there in the market.

For that reason, below is a list of its benefits:

1. Cost-Effective

You won’t need to pay for constant repairs as it’ll only require a low maintenance cost. You can also assure that you’ll rarely encounter problems with weeds, gaps, grout, and sand erosion. 

As this already emanates its colour, you won’t need to spend money and effort on paint. With an excellent material combination, it is a durable and sturdy surface that would be worth your money.

2. Durable

It can withstand harsh weather and the pressure from the constant activity of people and cars. It lasts for years with proper maintenance, cleaning, and sealing, so it’s perfect when you want to spend less on repairs. 

It is comparable to natural stone and hard floors. With the exposed-aggregate material combination of pebbles and rocks, you can assure that it is sturdy and will do its job.

3. Eco-Friendly

Exposed-aggregate concrete is made from natural stones, recycled materials, industrial wastes, etc., making it a more environmentally-friendly choice for driveways, patios, and other surfaces.

4. Great Traction

These surfaces have an excellent grip, which plays a vital role during rainy and snowy days. The rougher the surface, the more helpful it is for your vehicle to get a grasp.

5. Low Maintenance

It’ll only require you to occasionally clean and seal it as maintenance. Constantly cleaning and filling it every two years is necessary to prevent the accumulation of dirt that may affect the exposed-aggregate surface performance.

6. Practical Solution

It is a practical solution for preventing moss and weeds from growing on the surface, and with its slip-resistant feature, it’s perfect for winter months. You’ll need a professional’s help for a smoother and easier installation.

Installing this attractive and natural-looking surface is worth it, as it can boost the overall appearance of your property. 

7. Vast Option

There is a wide range of material compositions to choose from to create a suitable version for you. Exposed aggregates of various colours can be used to create a variety of designs or to simulate other materials.

Whether for your driveway, patio, pool deck, or sidewalk garden, you’ll be able to pick a combination of gravel and stones that’ll be sturdy yet aesthetically pleasing. It’ll make your property stand out in the best way possible without compromising the quality.

Exposing Aggregate From Concretes

There are three known ways how one can expose the aggregate from concretes, and these are the following:

1. Brushing and Washing

It is the oldest and most straightforward method for exposing the aggregate. This method doesn’t require chemicals or specially-made tools for it to work.

Splash water on the thin layer of surface mortar then scrubs it with a broom to remove a layer and expose the aggregate to an appropriate depth.=

2. Surface Retarder

Nowadays, most professionals use a chemical agent called retarder. It postpones the setting process and allows them to scrub or pressure wash away the cement paste. It is most helpful during big projects or hot climates.

3. Abrasive Blasting

After the cement dries up and hardens, an abrasive blaster can reveal the aggregate. If you wanted total assurance that the aggregate would maintain its shape and full colour, there are better choices than abrasive blasting, as this may cause partial ruptures.

Cleaning And Sealing

Finally, we got to this part! Here you’ll learn how to maintain your exposed aggregate the best way possible. Let’s first know how you can clean an aggregate:

  • It would be best if you regularly swept through your driveway or patio, where the aggregate is. It’ll help prevent the accumulation of dust and debris.
  • Rinsing with a garden hose is recommended for cleaning stubborn dirt or stains.
  • A high-pressure washer with hot water is the best way to remove oil stains.

Now, cleaning isn’t enough; resealing is necessary to ensure that your aggregate surface still has a coating that’ll help protect it.

  1. Choose a high-quality sealer that has good yellowing resistance and a thick coat.
  2. Test the sealer in an inconspicuous area first, and determine its suitability before coating all the aggregate surfaces.
  3. Apply the sealer, then leave it to dry for at least 24 hours.
  4. Reseal it once every two years.

Conclusion

Careful deliberation is necessary to pick a suitable material for your driveway, patio, or any other surface on your property. This will help eliminate unnecessary problems you might encounter in the future, such as loss of money for constant repairs and maintenance.

Hopefully, this article serves its purpose and helps you know whether the exposed aggregate is the most ideal option for your driveway.

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