Few people can conceive of a driveway made out of glass, but there is an increasing trend towards using this material in construction of glass driveways. Before you picture a see-through driveway of fragile window glass, or even the stronger, shatter-resistant glass found over the boards in hockey rinks, know that glass driveways are not what you might initially think.
Picture, instead, recycled materials or “tumbled” glass, glass that would otherwise be found in landfills across the world, being repurposed to provide a porous driveway surface. The glass can then be mixed with a granite, cement or resin binder to solidify the mixture and make it possible to pour it on a foundation, or be strewn over the foundation like gravel. In terms of cost, the process is very similar to using concrete, but comes with the added benefit of being more environmentally friendly by providing a new use for glass that would otherwise be discarded.
The major advantage of this type of surface is in its ability to effectively deal with rain: rather than creating immense amounts of runoff, as concrete does, grass driveways are somewhat permeable, allowing the rain to trickle down through the driveway and reach the soil beneath the foundation, in much the same way gravel does. Runoff created by concrete driveways can damage surrounding lawns by drowning the grass and creating mud, though this too can be mitigated by proper drainage systems.
Glass driveways are most suitable for those interested in creating an environmentally friendly alternative to concrete and asphalt driveways. A skilled contractor might even be able to customize the coloring somewhat by selectively choosing only glass of certain colors. It is imperative that the glass be tumbled to whittle down sharp edges and make it as harmlessly blunt to walk or drive over as gravel.
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