Using the appropriate driveway material when building a home or simply renovating aspects of an existing home is critical. There are essentially two paving materials for driveways to pick from, namely: asphalt and concrete. Many people ask: “Is asphalt better than concrete?”
Although these materials have several variations, they have some similarities. Both concrete and asphalt have a gravel base and are made with sand and stone. The main difference is their adhesive materials. Concrete is made of cement, while asphalt is petroleum-based.
This single difference leads to several variations between the materials. Below are ways in which asphalt and concrete driveways differ.
A concrete driveway is typically more expensive than asphalt, at around $5 per square foot for a modest installation. The cost of an asphalt driveway is about $3 per square foot.
Maintenance and Repairs
Is asphalt easier to maintain than concrete? If you opt for an asphalt driveway, you need to understand the repairs and maintenance that come with it. Typically, six months to 12 months after installing an asphalt driveway, you should seal it, and then reseal every 3 to 5 years. Sealing may not require a professional and will enhance the driveway’s life.
Concrete driveways do not need much sealing. Sealing concrete driveways preserves the finish and enhances the look; thus, most homeowners prefer this maintenance.
Degreasing concrete driveways increases maintenance costs but is often an essential step to removing fuel, chemical and oil stains that accumulate over time.
Cracks upset both concrete and asphalt driveways and always require repair. Asphalt cracks can easily be repaired and give rise to a more aesthetically pleasing outcome, while concrete cracks are more difficult to fix.
Overall, concrete is more durable. With appropriate maintenance, concrete can last for over 50 years with occasional degreasing and repairs, while asphalt will last for around 30 years.
Design and Aesthetic
You can tint, stamp, stain or etch concrete driveway to produce the desired outcome. Finishes offer alternative hues or colors to the natural grayish color of concrete.
However, asphalt needs to be rolled and compacted during installation and does not respond well to stamping, etching or finishes.
Weather and Climate
In temperate regions, concrete can crack due to freezing and thawing during winter. Moreover, road salt may erode concrete surfaces.
Asphalt softens during very hot weather and may stick to car tires, shoes and clothing.
Which Is Better? Concrete or Asphalt Driveways
In summary, the differences between concrete and asphalt are many. Below are a few things to remember to make the appropriate decision for your budget and needs.
Asphalt Driveway Characteristics
- Less costly
- It’s a softer material, thus it deteriorates easier and faster than concrete
- With appropriate maintenance, you can avoid expensive repairs
- Its durability is around 30 years
- Requires resealing and resurfacing every 3 to 5 years
Concrete Driveway Characteristics
- More durable
- Cracks in winter temperatures since it’s less flexible
- Has durability of 50 years or more
- It only requires occasional degreasing for maintenance
- Resurfacing this driveway provides more opportunities for aesthetically appealing finishes
Categorised in: Asphalt Driveway