Aggregates (some of the best known of which are gravel and crushed stone) can fill many roles in your yard, but they may often go unnoticed until it's time to give your landscaping a makeover. Then you may start to realize just how many things you need aggregates for. Here are a few ways to use aggregates in the hardscape elements of your yard.
1. Use aggregate as a base or foundation
If you're planning to build a long-lived hardscape structure such as a patio, a driveway, or even a concrete garden path, you'll need a strong foundation for the best longevity. Aggregates such as a gravel mix are often used for this type of application. The gravel allows water to drain away, minimizing water damage to the concrete, asphalt, or stone.
2. Use aggregate to shape the land
Building up certain areas to create contours in the land can be vital for certain types of aesthetics. And in some cases, you may need to reshape the land's contours for other reasons, such as privacy. For instance, when creating a privacy berm between your home and a busy road, you'll typically need to use aggregates to build up the berms. An aggregate such as sand can work well here.
3. Use aggregate to change the properties of a surface
Some more decorative hardscaping elements could include Zen gardens and xeriscaped areas. Both of these may often feature an aggregate such as gravel, sand, or crushed rock at the surface.
For a Zen garden, the aggregate is used to make the surface easier to rake into Zen patterns. For a xeriscaping area, the aggregate may be used to help reflect sun (to reduce water evaporation from the soil), and to help water drain away quickly while reducing erosion. These are just a couple of examples of how you can use aggregates to change the properties of a hardscaped surface.
4. Use aggregate as a component of a hard surface
Aggregates can also be used as part of a mix when constructing hardscapes with asphalt or concrete. For concrete, a gravel-dominated aggregate mixture can work well in concrete mixtures, and other types of aggregate material, such as sand and crushed rock, can also be used.
For asphalt, the binder layer (made of aggregate mixed with oil) is laid on top of the sub-base, then the hot mix (which contains aggregate as well) is poured over the top to create the final surface.
As you can see, aggregates can be an essential and even central component in a large variety of hardscaping features and elements. For more information on aggregate for sale in your area, contact your local aggregate suppliers today.