Gravel surfaces have always been a popular solution for providing an aesthetic finish to gardens and driveways. With their popularity on the increase as homeowners invest in upgrading their properties due to the global pandemic, we thought it important to share the benefits of the little known yet hugely effective gravel grids.
In one of our recent blogs we discussed some common concerns that often arise when considering gravel driveways and explored exactly what gravel grids are and how they can overcome these challenges. Here we are going to take a deeper dive into what we believe are the top benefits that gravel grids provide.
Gravel grids improve gravel stabilisation
What is gravel stabilisation we hear you say and why should you want it?
Ultimately gravel is not a solid surface, it shifts and moves as pressure is applied upon it. Gravel grids and their unique honeycomb pattern support the gravel when pressure is applied, holding it in place and reducing the shift. So what does this mean for you? Well as the gravel’s movement is restricted it:
- Provides a firmer and more stable surface reducing accessibility issue
- It reduces the amount of gravel that is shifted into roads, flowers beds and other areas which it is not intended
- It prevents unsightly and difficult to manoeuvre over potholes and mounds forming
Gravel grids reduce rainwater run-off
The world is becoming increasingly more environmentally aware as across the globe we are being hit by disturbingly extreme natural phenomena and weather conditions such as wildfires and flash floods. Rainwater run-off is something that many of us will feel some form of impact from without even realising that it is a bigger problem that we can help to prevent.
Run-off is becoming an increasing problem in towns and cities as more and more development takes place. When we experience torrential rain or prolonged rain down pours, where once a significant amount of this water would soak into the ground, picked up by the roots of plants and trees on its way to natural drainage points such as rivers and streams. Now, due to increased development and the use of non-porous surfaces such as paving slabs and tarmac, the water is unable to soak into the ground and is instead channelled into gutters and drains. The speed at which it travels is often too fast for the antiquated man-made systems to cope. This creates flooding and overflows at flashpoints. Ever stood in a foot of water as you leave your car? Or seen flooding under bridges or over roadways? These are all causes of excess rainwater run-off.
Gravel surfaces allow for a much more porous ground surface allowing rainwater to drain in a more natural and timely way helping to reduce runoff. Gravel grids which utilise anti-rooting matts and fully bonded membranes further enhance this by holding rainwater within their form, increasing the time it takes for water to flow to the water table. Along with this, gravel grids reduce the amount of sediment that is taken with the rainwater flow, in doing so reducing the impact of flooding and the spread of contamination of chemicals such as oil, petrol and fertilisers.
Whilst there are many further benefits that come from utilising gravel grids with your gravel surfaces such as longer lifetime of your gravel without need from replenishment and greater aesthetic appeal, we feel that the two core benefits outlined provide both a strong ecological and sociological reason to not only opt to use gravel grids when installing gravel surfaces but ultimately to opt for gravel surfaces over non porous options such as paving and tar.
If you are really keen on supporting the environment and reducing rainwater run-off in your local area why not think about installing a Sedum green roof?