Concrete, a solid material devised from a blend of water, cement and aggregate that includes sand, gravel or stone) is very useful for construction. It can be used for creating pavements, buildings, floors, bridges and even driveways. As you already know, the 3Rs “reduce, reuse, and recycle” is the gospel of the century. The number of things that can be reused and recycled also keeps rising.
In these modern times, construction materials can be recycled too, even concrete. A block of recycled concrete is called crushed concrete or a recycled concrete aggregate (RCA). Hence, we will be looking at what crushed concrete is as well as the advantages and disadvantages of building your driveway with it.
What it is Crushed Concrete?
When structures like a building, road or a bridge made of concrete are demolished, its remains are often emptied in a landfill. Now understand that concrete does not decompose easily, so it remains in the landfill for a long period constituting nuisance to the land and the environment. But then came the idea of concrete recycling which was embraced. So, instead of the concrete chunks lying fallow and wasting away, it is reused.
The process involves placing large slabs of concrete into a specially designed plant that crushes and downsizes the slabs into crushed concrete at the size of gravel. Contaminants like metal pieces are also removed to ensure a good quality RCA.
Advantages of using crushed concrete on driveway
Using crushed concrete on your driveway comes with a lot of perks. Some of which includes the following;
1. Good price:
A key benefit of using crushed concrete on your driveway is the good price that comes with it. Since it is recycled, its cost is way cheaper compared to pure concrete or other construction materials. This is because its production process entails fewer time consumption, reduced natural resources and lowered processing and transport cost. Hence, allowing you to save money for other plans you have for your driveway. Another reason for the good price is, it is simpler to install than fresh concrete.
2. Good for the environment:
Another good reason to use crushed concrete on your driveway is that crushed concrete is beneficial to the environment. By its use, there will be a limited need to use natural resources thus helping curb its overexploitation. Also, landfills, where they were initially dumped, will be freed from its nuisance. In addition, fewer carbon is given off to the air during its manufacturing process of crushed concrete.
3. Easy to repair:
Crushed concrete used on the driveway can be easily repaired. In case of holes and ruts, having it fixed is not difficult to be done. It also serves to better the driveway’s drainage. The use of crushed concrete as a base layer for fixing the drainage protects it from erosion attacks. Crushed concrete can also serve other purposes while constructing your driveway.
4. Abundance of material:
One good thing about the use of crushed concrete on the driveway is that you don’t get to run out of materials. Since it is recycled concrete, there is often enough to be used for your driveway project and it is readily affordable. Also, the availability of material comes to a faster project finishing.
Disadvantages of using crushed concrete on driveway
1. Not so eye-appealing:
Although crushed concrete does a good job on your driveway with good friction, it is not as beautiful as a fresh concrete on the driveway. Notwithstanding, crushed concrete can be used on your driveway if you aren’t particular about beauty and driveway finesse.
2. Potholes Issues on the driveway:
A drawback of using crushed concrete on your driveway is potholes and rut can easily develop. Since it’s recycled, the tendency is that concrete is not as strong as it was when fresh. Thus, driveways with heavy traffic where crushed concrete was used can dent easily. Moreso when heavy vehicles are stationed at a spot.
3. Not water-permeable:
Crushed concrete does not allow water to go through it. Hence following a rainfall, water remains stagnant on the driveway’s surface. This makes the driveway prone to rut. Also, in the case of snowfall, driveways made of crushed concrete can’t be easily cleared. This is because of the unevenness of its surface. An uneven surface is not friendly to shovels or rollers.
Unlike fresh concrete whose components come in varying sizes for a different purpose, crushed concrete often comes in only the same sizes. Though not always, hence there may be a limitation on the projects it can be used for.
Other ways to use crushed concrete
1. Raised garden beds: Crushed concrete is useful to form the basal layer of a raised garden bed. A raised garden bed in turn allows the plants to grow faster as the soil becomes warmer.
2. Walkway landscape: Crushed concrete can be used to maintain a wall and put erosion in check. A good crushed concrete layering stabilizes a wall and adds beauty to it.
3. Drainage purposes: In place of gravel, crushed concrete can be used for drainage construction.
Crushed concrete installation
Installation of crushed concrete should be done by a professional. A mistake in the size or crushed concrete type suitable for your project can be hazardous. It may result in erosion and installation frustration. Some crushed concrete types include the 6A crushed concrete, the 21A gravel, the 21AA crushed asphalt, 21AA crushed concrete, 21AA natural and 22AA crushed concrete.
Conclusively, crushed concrete is good for driveways that are long and not busy with heavy vehicles and also to be a basal layer. It is good for the environment but when the area is snowy and water prone, crushed concrete is not the better alternative. Crushed concrete is also favorable for its price, its availability and how easy it is to repair. However, it has a downside of not being permeable to water, not appealing to the eye, and potholes forming easily.