The Differences Between Concrete and Asphalt Driveways

June 21, 2021

We’re in the busy season now for pavement work, and many homeowners in Prince William County, VA will be in the market for paving contractors to repave their driveways.

When you’re looking at redoing your driveway, your primary options will be using concrete or asphalt. But what’s the difference between these materials, and which should you use?
Here’s a quick overview of some of the primary differences between the two.


The way these two materials are affected by different climates could help you make a decision. While asphalt might struggle in high heat, concrete is also likely to perform poorly when the temperature reaches extreme lows.

As the weather heats up, asphalt driveways tend to become soft and sticky. This constant cycle of softening and re-hardening can result in cracks or sagging in the asphalt. While the asphalt is soft, there’s also the possibility that vehicles could leave tire tracks behind.

Cold weather can result in concrete buckling, cracking or heaving. Constant exposure to salt for melting ice can also result in the concrete becoming stained or blotchy.


There are more options for concrete than asphalt when it comes to designs and general appearance. Asphalt will generally be a dark gray or black color (which is why it’s often referred to as “blacktop”), and concrete will be pale gray. However, concrete can be dyed or painted a wide range of colors, and can also have patterns stamped into it, or textures brushed into it for a more unique and visually appealing finish. There simply aren’t as many options available for designs with asphalt, though it does provide a very smooth, slick, streamlined appearance that many find attractive in its own right.


In general, asphalt will require more maintenance than concrete. After several months have passed following installation, the asphalt driveway will be fully cured and must be sealed to provide it with proper protection against the elements. You will then need to reseal it every several years afterward (three to five, depending on how it wears).

Concrete can be sealed as well, but it’s not a necessity in most cases like it is with asphalt. It does, however, cut down on fading and discoloration, and protects against stains. Considering concrete stains more easily than asphalt, you might wish to seal it anyway just to prolong its aesthetics.


Concrete driveways will generally last a lot longer than asphalt driveways. Concrete, when well maintained and installed properly, should last you three or four decades, while asphalt will only last 20 to 30 years. Of course, this depends on good installation and care, but you will likely be able to get more for your money out of asphalt.

Keep in mind, though, that concrete will cost more initially in most cases, so you’ll need to be prepared for a larger initial investment.

For more information about the differences between concrete and asphalt, contact an asphalt paving contractor in Prince William County, VA at Paveco Inc. We look forward to working with you.

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