When it comes to driveway materials, slag is one most people don’t know about. Steel slag is produced as a byproduct of smelting within steel mills and is comprised of the left-over elements of this process, such as silicon dioxide, elemental metals, metal oxides, and metal sulfide.
Usually found in the form of small chips, slag is somewhat glassy in appearance and durable enough to handle vehicle traffic with relative ease. For this reason, many choose it as an alternative to traditional aggregates like gravel when building their driveways, as well as other pavement projects.
There’s more than one way to implement a slag driveway, however. In case you’re interested in building a slag driveway for your home, let’s take a look at how you can optimize it by lengthening its lifespan and reducing maintenance needs throughout its lifetime.
The process of installing a slag driveway is nearly identical to that of gravel and other aggregates. The driveway area will need to be excavated to the desired depth, with slag being used to fill it in afterward.
Some people like to go with pure slag, and no barriers or stabilization. This can be sufficient in some cases, especially if your driveway isn’t used very often or is only used for lightweight vehicles like dirt bikes and bicycles.
However, if you have heavier vehicles like motorcycles, cars, or trucks, you’re going to run into some problems with a slag driveway. For starters, that kind of weight being moved around across a loose, slag driveway is guaranteed to spread the slag. Once the slag begins to spread, your tires can erode the soil beneath, causing ruts.
This will make your driveway uneven and could result in mud holes and even bigger ruts when exposed to rain. Unstabilized slag can also be somewhat difficult to turn your wheels in, and can end up migrating into the soil on all sides of your driveway. This is known as “spread” and is a common problem in unstabilized driveways.
Unstabilized aggregate like slag is not ideal for the average driveway, but you can eliminate almost all of the problems that occur with slag by stabilizing it with permeable pavers. The TRUEGRID PRO LITE and TRUEGRID PRO PLUS systems, for example, are the most effective products for stabilizing slag.
Made from 100% recycled plastic, these pavers are durable enough to withstand the weight and friction of any vehicle for up to 60 years without breaking down or requiring maintenance. They work by providing a perfectly level layer of stabilization over the top of your slag driveway.
Once the pavers have been installed over your filled-in slag driveway, more slag is then poured over the top and pressed into the pockets within the pavers, weighing it down and preventing the pavers from moving. This top layer of trapped slag also serves to accentuate the color of your driveway, with the black pavers becoming less visible.
Because of the filter fabriclaid at the very bottom of your driveway before any slag is poured in, a permeable slag driveway built with TRUEGRID pavers won’t allow your slag to migrate into the soil below. This keeps a slag driveway from sagging and allows it to more easily support the weight of any vehicle you drive on it.
One of the best things about TRUEGRID PRO LITE and TRUEGRID PRO PLUS pavers is that they are much more eco-friendly than almost any other paving product on the market. Because these pavers prevent any slag on the surface from being loosened and moved around, you’re able to get more creative with your driveway designs as well.
If you’re just looking to implement slag into part of your driveway but not all of it, TRUEGRID pavers are the best method for locking it into place and allowing you full artistic control without worrying about migration and spreading.
Stabilizing a slag driveway is crucial to preventing it from spreading out, rutting, flooding, and degenerating in a variety of ways. If you’re looking to build a sturdy, durable, eco-friendly, and affordable driveway that will serve you faithfully for up to 50 years, TRUEGRID is the answer.
By implementing either the TRUEGRID PRO LITE or TRUEGRID PRO PLUS system, you can rest assured that your slag will stay locked firmly into place, wherever you choose to use it. Especially If you’ve got a long or steep driveway, you’ll benefit from the affordability and durability of TRUEGRID pavers.
Able to be installed in less than a day, your new slag driveway will be ready to use immediately, and for a fraction of the cost of asphalt or concrete.
If you’re ready to build a slag driveway the right way, don’t hesitate to contact a pavement professional at TRUEGRID today.