Does a Gravel Driveway Harm Your Car?

Winding gravel driveway

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A gravel driveway can add a bit of panache to your landscape — and they’re easier to maintain than a concrete driveway — but they aren’t always the best option. In fact, in response to the question, “Does a gravel driveway harm your car?” the answer is probably yes. It is highly possible your gravel driveway is damaging your car.

Let’s take a closer look at the characteristics of gravel driveways, how they can harm your car and how you can protect your investment for switching to concrete in the future.

Rocks in Awkward Places

If you have a gravel driveway, it’s easy to end up with gravel or larger stones in places that could cause damage to your vehicle. Rocks kicked up by your tires can scratch your paint or potentially chip your windshield or windows. Pieces of gravel that lodge themselves into your brakes might create some rattling or clunking noises — if left unchecked, this can cause premature or prolonged wear and tear.

This damage doesn’t always happen and isn’t guaranteed, but if your driveway is made up of loose gravel, it is a possibility you need to consider.

Over Hills and Under Valleys

Gravel driveways look great on a flat surface, but if your driveway is on a hill or an incline, it can be hard to keep the gravel where it’s supposed to be. Rain and snow can cause stones to drift and settle at the bottom of the hill. Driving over your gravel driveway regularly can also shake rocks loose, leaving you with a big pile of gravel that will presumably need routinely swept and monitored. If these stones are left to rest in an area you drive over every day, you’ll expose your car to more potential damage under and around your vehicle.

A Shifting Surface Equals Hard Work

What about working on your car? If you’re a DIY mechanic, you need a stable place to jack up your car so you can safely get underneath it, even if all you’re doing is changing the oil. While there are ways to make it a bit safer — putting plywood under the jack stands or pouring a separate concrete slab just for working on your car — it’s generally not a good idea to maintain and service your car on a gravel driveway. It’s not safe for your car and it’s never safe for you.

Make the Switch to Concrete

Switching to concrete can be an expensive transformation, but if you’re worried about damaging your car, the positive effects far outweigh the negative. Concrete has been used since Ancient Rome — though the formula has changed a bit in modern times, the application of concrete is a valuable and trustworthy foundation. Today, if you add a concrete driveway to your home, you’ll receive a high-strength fire-resistant addition. The concrete helps add value to your home while also helping keep your car reliable.

Gravel driveways may seem easy to maintain, but if you’re worried about chips, scratches and other damages to your vehicle, it might be time to invest in a concrete driveway. Keep your conscience clear — and your driveway clearer.

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