Concrete or Asphalt?

By July 29, 2019Blogs

It’s an old quandary that which material should you use for your driveway, concrete or asphalt? These two are the most popular materials used for paving driveways. Each has a distinct advantage over the other, with that being lower initial installation costs for an asphalt driveway versus a concrete driveway. Indeed, you’ll typically spend just half of the concrete price if you use asphalt. So, why do many people choose driveway concreting anyway?

Resilience and Preservation

Concrete offers high durability and, unlike asphalt, it is deficient maintenance. If a concrete driveway is appropriately placed with steel-reinforced concrete and a well-compacted sub-base and then sealed, then you can expect it to last more than 30 years even with minimal maintenance depending on the finish. On the other hand, asphalt requires resealing every three years, which is the highest number of years it will last without any maintenance. Also, you may need to add another asphalt layer in as early as five years. Asphalt stays soft until it has cured, which can take 6 to 12 months. The first sealing of asphalt is typically done 6 to 9 months after installation, doing it too soon before the asphalt has cured, can make an asphalt surface permanently soft.

Still, even fully cured asphalt will not be as durable or hard as concrete. You probably have noticed asphalt roads and driveways becoming sticky during a hot day, particularly, in a temperature of 80 degrees or above. In this scenario, a vehicle or other heavy-weight object will undoubtedly leave a permanent mark on an asphalt driveway. Therefore, if you live in a hot climate area, asphalt is not suitable for your driveway.

Appearance

Your driveway is right in front of your home so wouldn’t you want it to look nice? With asphalt, you’ll have what is also known as a blacktop driveway. Although decorative asphalt already exists, it’s relatively new, not widely available and the options are still limited compared to decorative concrete. For instance, the leading provider of decorative asphalt services offers just six types of patterns available in about a dozen shades with an option to put an accent and a cobbled or brick border. While the technology is quite innovative, it just doesn’t compare to the broader array of style techniques, design, and color options that decorative concrete offers.

Long-Term Costs

Lower upfront costs are the main reason homeowners decide to use asphalt on their driveway with up to 40 percent savings on installation costs compared to concrete. However, although you will spend less initially to install asphalt than concrete on your driveway, asphalt will not last as long as concrete. So, in the long run, you will spend more on maintaining and resurfacing an asphalt driveway than you would a concrete one. So, if you are considering resurfacing your old driveway or you’re getting a new home, concrete driveways are the best way to go. It combines durability, curb appeal, and long-term savings, so you get excellent value for your money.

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