Surface Options for Steep Driveways

By Evan Gove , last updated January 31, 2012

If you have a particularly steep driveway that gets slippery in the wintertime, there are several different surfacing options available to make your driveway less slick and look great at the same time. Driveways are an important part of landscaping which often gets overlooked, but you can design yours to meet your needs.


Concrete driveways are relatively affordable and easy to maintain. Concrete is a popular driveway surface because of its durability and look. Concrete can be dyed many different colors to add some flavor to your yard. Concrete can also be stamped to look like bricks or stones, which makes a driveway more visually appealing. Concrete is more common in the south however because cold temperatures cause the ground to freeze and expand, cracking the concrete.


Asphalt is another popular driveway surface because it is more resistant to cracking than concrete. Asphalt driveways are made with oil, making it resistant to water damage and cracks. You can also buy sealant for asphalt driveways which covers cracks and keeps the driveway looking its best. However, asphalt driveways tend to absorb heat because of their black color, making your yard hotter.

Tar and Chip

For a steep driveway, the best surface option available is a tar and chip driveway. Made from a mixture of gravel and asphalt, tar and chip driveways are fairly inexpensive and provide excellent traction. First the driveway is smoothed over and a thin layer of gravel is applied. Then hot liquid asphalt is poured over the gravel evenly. Loose stone is then spread across the asphalt and rolled in to create a bumpy surface. The gravel imbedded in the asphalt provides cars with traction, so steep driveways become less slippery in the wintertime.

Tar and chip driveways are half the cost of pure asphalt driveways and they look more visually appealing as well. With a variety of stone size and colors available, you can pick the perfect color complement to your home and garden.

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