As someone who’s looking to improve the rolled curb at the end of your driveway, you may have heard about DIY driveway ramp install kits. These kits allow you to install a ramp made out of a cold patch asphalt between the road and your driveway.
Are driveway ramp install kits a good solution, though? The answer is no. In fact, driveway ramp install kits are quite problematic. Here are 4 reasons why:
1. Driveway Ramp Install Kits Don’t Deliver Much Value for Your Money
Almost all of the driveway ramp install kits being sold online basically just contain:
- Cold patch asphalt
- Basic tools
- A set of instructions
Paying an inflated price for a kit is pretty pointless when you can get all that stuff at any big box hardware store. For example, you can get a 50-pound bag of cold patch asphalt for $20 at Home Depot. Cold patch asphalt is easy to form and shape, and it can look pretty good if you know what you're doing. You don’t need to pay for a set of instructions when you can just find a tutorial online for free.
2. Cold Patch Asphalt is Not a Permanent Material
Even though creating a cold patch asphalt ramp can be easy and inexpensive, it’s not a long-term driveway or rolled curb solution. Cold patch asphalt is designed primarily to be flexible, even at a low temperature. While this flexibility makes cold patch asphalt perfect for fixing a pothole in the dead of winter, it also makes the material weak. Over time, cold patch asphalt will break apart (usually one little piece at a time). Cold patch asphalt is not designed to support tons of vehicle weight driving over it on a regular basis for a long period of time.
When a city uses it to fix a pothole, it's usually just a temporary repair. Later, a road crew can dig all the cold patch asphalt out of the hole, thoroughly clean it out, and then pour hot mix asphalt (which is about 300 degrees Fahrenheit when poured) to make permanent repairs.
3. Building a Ramp From Cold Patch Asphalt is Time Consuming
Building a cold patch asphalt ramp takes a lot of time and effort. Even the people selling the kits say it will take a few hours to complete.
What these kit sellers don’t say is that the ramp is pretty easy to damage. For example, if a delivery truck or a street sweeper drives across it, some small pieces will break off.
This means that once you install your own ramp using one of these kits, there's ongoing maintenance work you're going to have to do. There’s really no point in spending hours installing the ramp, and then more hours on repairs anytime a delivery truck or street sweeper drives across the ramp. A cold patch asphalt ramp may be cheap upfront, but it’s going to take up a lot of your time in the long run. Depending on how much you value your time, it’s not really a good investment.
4. There are Better Options
Actually, even a plank of scrap wood would work better as a ramp (although we don’t recommend it). There are some other options you can explore, like:
Although better than cold patch asphalt ramps, concrete ramps come with their own set of issues, and some cities even have an ordinance against them. They also degrade pretty fast, so you wouldn’t be getting much value out of one.
By far, BRIDJIT is the best option. A BRIDJIT curb ramp is made of recycled rubber, so it can support a lot of weight over a long period of time and it won’t degrade. It’s also designed with a full-length waterway on the bottom to allow water to flow underneath. A BRIDJIT curb ramp doesn’t interfere with curb drainage or vehicles driving along the curb.
While a BRIDJIT curb ramp costs a little bit more than a cold patch asphalt ramp, it stands strong and delivers a lot more value in the long run.
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