Limestone vs crushed concrete

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Limestone vs crushed concrete
Limestone and crushed concrete are common materials for driveways. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Whether putting down a base layer for a roadway or choosing a surface for a drive, builders have a wide range of materials to choose from. Limestone and crushed concrete are two of these. These substances are similar in some ways, but each has advantages and disadvantages compared to the other.

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Limestone

Limestone is a type of rock mainly made up of calcium carbonate. It is quarried in many locations in the UK, including in the Peak District. Limestone plays a role in a wide variety of construction products. Crushed limestone is commonly used in roadbuilding and railroad bedding. Limestone can also be used to make concrete. Limestone slabs can be used in building, and a small amount of limestone can even be found in some animal feeds.

Crushed concrete

Crushed concrete is a type of recycled material. In the past, rubble from demolished concrete buildings had to be disposed of in landfill, taking up valuable space. Concrete recyclers now take this material and crush it for use in construction. Other substances are removed from the concrete and the remaining material is reduced to small particles. Crushed concrete is used as the bottom layer of roads, as well as in other types of construction.

Advantages of crushed concrete

Crushed concrete has several qualities that make it useful as a building material. As a recycled material, it helps cut down on the use of valuable landfill space. Similarly, it offers economic savings to users; recyclers typically offer crushed concrete products at a lower cost than comparable aggregates. However, some users worry about contaminants in concrete, such as rebar or asphalt from concrete buildings. Proper recycling procedures should eliminate these risks. Crushed concrete is also more porous than other aggregates, which can cause problems in some applications.

Advantages of limestone

Limestone aggregate has a long history in the building trade, and is known for its high quality. Crushed limestone is highly durable, and its low water absorption makes it ideal for outdoor projects such as road building and drives. However, it is comparatively expensive. Additionally, limestone quarrying often takes place in areas of natural beauty. Conservationists object to expanding the area of quarrying. Limestone also tends to be more expensive in areas with no nearby quarries.

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