If you're not happy with your home's curb appeal or the state of your backyard, it might be time for a little renovation. Exposed aggregate can add a stylish twist to your home landscaping in these two areas. It's a little more difficult to handle than regular cement. Unless you are an avid DIY type, you might want to contract the work out to professionals like Dromana Concrete Products.
About Exposed Aggregate
When you mix cement with an aggregate, which is a mixture of sand, gravel and stone, you get concrete. That concrete is better able to stand up to the traffic patterns on sidewalks, patios, even driveways. The aggregate usually remains unseen. It is typically covered by a thick layer of cement to creating a smooth finish.
Paving with exposed aggregate is catching on. To create the exposed look, that top layer of cement is sometimes scraped off to reveal the aggregate. Or, the contractor may decide to add more aggregate, pressing it into the still wet concrete. Exposed aggregate not only creates increased visual interest, it makes those surfaces easier to walk or drive on.
Two Areas Where Exposed Aggregate Can Improve Your Landscaping
Driveways and Walkways
An attractive driveway can do a lot for your home's curb appeal. An exposed aggregate driveway, with it varying textures and colours is a lot more interesting than a slab of gray cement. It's also possible to request that certain coloured stones be used in the aggregate to better match your overall home décor.
Exposed aggregate driveways are also safer. When a driveway is poured, it's usually done in sections. In between each section is a tiny seam that allows for the driveway to expand and contract. That line also gives a bit of traction for people and cars. An exposed aggregate driveway is poured in a similar way, but the exposed gravel and stones provide traction over the entire driveway, which makes it safer. Another benefit of the exposed aggregate is it makes it harder for water to pool on your driveway, decreasing the 'splash effect'.
If you include the pathway between your driveway and your front door in the exposed aggregate pour, you'll have the same traction and water sloughing benefits. Blending your driveway with that pathway also gives your home a more cohesive and eye-pleasing curb appeal.
Backyard Pathways and Patios
Looking at your backyard space, you may also want to use exposed aggregate for your garden pathways. Match those pathways with those in the front of the house, or, for something different, with your backyard patio's surface. Exposed aggregate works well for patios because the surface is easier to walk on when wet.
You might consider using smooth stones in the aggregate, or leaving a little more cement on the top of the pour. This makes the patio more comfortable to walk on in bare feet. Your contractor can also add different coloured stones to match the overall look of your patio.