The curb and the gutter it forms is thought by many people to be simply a decorative border. It does, however, have a purpose. A pretty important one in fact. If your curb and gutter system is improperly installed or neglected, you are liable to suffer the consequences. 

This article will discuss the purpose of the curb and gutter, and what might happen if you don’t keep it properly maintained.

What Is It?

The curb and gutter is a raised ridge that can be found installed around the edges of concrete surfaces. It is typically made out of concrete, stone, or masonry blocks, and it is typically installed first, before the rest of the surface. It essentially forms a barrier for water and directs toward a drain. It also serves to protect the weak edge of an asphalt surface. Plus it looks nice.

Why You Need To Maintain It

  • Protects the edges of weak asphalt: Generally asphalt is not all that strong. The edges of any asphalt surface are prone to cracking and erosion. The curb and the gutter it forms at the edge of an asphalt surface add an element of structural integrity preventing damage.
  • Prevents erosion: Any concrete surface is prone to erode over time. As the rain falls it gradually washes away the earth under the surface as well as the surface itself. You can prolong the life of your concrete or asphalt surface by working to prevent this erosion as much as possible. The drainage system formed by the curb and the gutter separates the asphalt from the earth and directs the water towards a drain, preventing it from washing away the soil, and keeping your surface intact. If this drainage route is clogged or otherwise compromised, it can result in pools of water. Standing water is the enemy of concrete and asphalt, leading to cracks in the surface, and ultimately deterioration. We all know that here in Marysville, WA, the weather is wet, making the gutter system all that much more important. 
  • Defines edges: In short, the curb keeps vehicles where they are supposed to be. The raised border of the curb is easily recognizable by motorists marking a clear and apparent boundary indicating where road is. The curb lets everyone know where cars belong, and where they don’t. If this boundary is compromised, for example by leaves and debris, you are potentially leaving your landscaping or property open to damage by irresponsible drivers. Furthermore, a curb which is obscured may result in a driver accidentally driving over it and damaging their vehicle, and potentially causing harm to themselves.
  • Improves aesthetics and curb appeal: This is what most people think is the purpose of curbs; to look nice! Asphalt that is not bordered by curb can be uneven, and just look plain ugly in cases. The simple installation of a concrete curb can clearly define the boundary of your property, and even boost the value of your home!

Asphalt needs a thick concrete border to protect it from water, soil, and erosion. The curb and gutter is important to the longevity and function of your concrete or asphalt surface. With a proper curb and gutter system installed, your investment will last longer and look better. Call a professional at Pacific Concrete Patio and Driveway to ask about having a curb installed on your property.