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Gravel is a standard flooring option for driveways. But one of the main concerns homeowners have is if gravel can damage their vehicle tire. Tires are expensive to replace, so how to avoid punctures is a valid concern. To lessen your worries, we have taken the time to consult experts on the matter to ensure we provide you with the correct information.
It would require unusually sharp gravel to puncture your tire. And because gravel is filled with many round rocks, the possibility of you hitting a big rock with a sharp edge is very low. The gravel usually used for driveways goes through a process known as tumbling. This results in stone that is rounded, which makes it hard to puncture a tire, especially at parking speeds.
While this might happen on rare occasions, your tire can still be punctured by gravel, depending on the type of tire and other factors. Keep reading as we break down the steps to avoid damaging your tire.
Can Gravel Puncture Your Tire?
Construction gravel is a type of aggregate made up of small stones and rocks. It can be used for construction purposes, such as street paving, road building, or making concrete. Construction gravel would not damage your tires because it is made up of small stones and rocks, which are less sharp than the handpicked type of aggregate.
Handpicked aggregate can be sharp and cause damage to tires when they are driven over by vehicles. But this is less likely to happen because gravel used for driveways is semi crushed to smoothen the edges before being sold.
There are several additional factors to consider, like the height of the vehicle. Lower tire pressures can also help prevent tire punctures unless you're driving at high speed or hit a large rock hard enough to produce a compression cut/puncture. Driving gently over large pebbles can prevent sidewall damage and compression cuts.
Lastly, sharp rocks puncturing tire treads can cause flat tires, especially if the tire is at a higher inflation pressure. The risk is high immediately after driveway grading when the stones are still new.
How To Remove Rock/Gravel From Tire
While driving on sharp gravel, small rocks can become lodged in the tread of your tires. Stray rock or gravel stones stuck in your tread can also produce tension on your tires even if they are not punctured. Here is how to remove them:
Drive your car to a flat surface, place a jack beneath and ensure your tires are suspended. To make sure the gravel removes without further damage, spray your tire with water. Use a soft stick to scrape the gravel off. Hard objects like metals can puncture a hole. Remove the gravels gently until they fall out, then rinse your tire.
What Are Pinch Punches in Tires?
A pinch punch in tires is when a sharp object punctures your tire. This can happen when you hit a pothole or drive over something sharp like a nail. The air pressure in the tire goes down, and the tire starts to leak.
Pinch punches are common for people who live in areas with bad roads, but they can happen anywhere. The most common cause of a pinch punch is a screw or other sharp objects that have been driven into the tire by the force of the car's weight. A pinch punch can also occur when you drive over gravel with sharp edges.
Ways To Avoid Pinch Punches
Every time you fill up your car with air, you add pressure to the tire. The higher the pressure, the more secure the tire will be against punctures from sharp objects on the road or other hazards. Remember to keep your tire pressure at the manufacturer's recommended level for your vehicle and the driving conditions you are experiencing.
For example, suppose you drive primarily on highways. It would be best to inflate your tires to the maximum pressure. If you only drive in stop-and-go traffic, inflate your tires to slightly lower pressure.
Car tires are one of the essential parts of your car. They provide traction, stability, and safety to the driver. If they are weak, you will be at risk of an accident. The rubber compound determines a tire's life span, how well it was manufactured, and how often you use it.
The rubber in a tire becomes less elastic over time, making them more susceptible to punctures from sharp objects like gravel. To make sure your tires are safe for your car, you should change them every six years.
How To Know If Your Tire is Punctured
There are different ways to check the pressure on your tires. A tire gauge is a device that measures the amount of air pressure in a tire. The gauge has an air pump connected to it, which pumps air into the tire to measure its pressure.
This is done by inserting the nozzle of the gauge into one of your tires and pumping it until you hear a hissing sound. The hissing sound will stop when you reach the correct measurement for that tire.
You can also just put your fingers on top of each other and push down onto your tire with one hand while pressing down on the other hand's fingers with your thumb. If it feels lumpy, then it might be punctured and leaking. In this case, you need to pump your tire. Keep inflating the tire while checking the air pressure to make sure you reach the proper inflation level.
Best Tires For Gravel Driveways
Gravel roads may be safe to drive on, especially if you drive slowly, but they may cause damage to your tires. Small stones and debris on gravel roads might destroy your tires. Fortunately, modern tires are designed for driving on gravel roads without being damaged.
The best gravel road tires should be firm and offer a lot of traction overall. To help you choose the best tires, we have come up with a list of some of the best tires for a gravel driveway.
General Grabber AT2
The General Grabber AT2 tire is a good choice for drivers looking for a tire that is puncture resistant and has high endurance. This tire is made for driving on gravel but can also be driven on other surfaces. It has a tread pattern that offers excellent traction in wet and dry conditions.
It is available in different sizes, so there should be one that fits your vehicle perfectly. This tire will provide you with many miles of reliable service without getting punctured.
Goodyear Wrangler MT/R With Kevlar
The Goodyear Wrangler MT/R is an all-terrain tire that can drive on paved roads and gravel. This makes it an excellent option for drivers who want to explore different roads without worrying about a puncture. It might be more expensive than other tires, but it lasts longer and has better traction when driving on different surfaces.
Michelin Defender LTX M/S
The Michelin Defender LTX is a tire with high-speed stability. It runs on both wet and dry gravel. It is designed to resist punctures, cuts, and abrasions.
It also has an anti-pinch flat design for the sidewall to prevent the tire from being damaged when driving over sharp objects such as nails. The Michelin Defender LTX is best suited for SUVs, crossovers, and pickup trucks because it can be used in all terrains.
Gravel Alternatives For Your Driveway
Gravel does not offer the same level of traction as some materials and can cause punctures on rare occasions. If you are skeptical about using gravel for your driveway, other materials such as concrete, asphalt, or brick could be used. There are many types of driveways that you can choose from. One of the most popular is concrete.
Concrete is a great material because it is inexpensive and lasts a long time. Concrete driveways are a great option if you want a long-lasting surface that is also low maintenance. Concrete is a solid material and won't cause punctures to your car's tires, which is an advantage over other surfaces such as gravel.
Another option for your driveway is asphalt. Asphalt is cheaper than concrete, but it doesn't last as long. The third option for your driveway is bricks or cobbles. Bricks or cobbles are a great way to make your home look beautiful and classic, but they can be costly to install.
You should consider gravel for your driveway if you are looking for a durable, low-maintenance, and affordable flooring option. It is also safe for most tires since the edges are smooth. However, you should take the necessary precautions mentioned above to avoid damage to your tires by gravel. If you liked this article, also check out these two below: