Concrete vs. Asphalt Driveways
Many homes come with a driveway, and it’s a convenient place to park cars, and provide good access to your home and garage. If your driveway needs concrete repair or concrete replacement, owners often choose between asphalt or concrete.
When it comes to making the decision, there are many factors that come into play, and more often than not, cost is the main consideration homeowners will take into account. Because it’s an important factor, cost is frequently the driving force behind any driveway decisions homeowners make. Understanding the subtleties behind these materials will help you make an informed decision.
Generally, concrete can cost up to 45% more than asphalt during install. But, if at the time of installation, the price of crude oil is high, asphalt may be more expensive, as crude oil is a major component of asphalt composition. The best way to compare prices is to get a few estimates for each material from suppliers.
Depending on climate, both asphalt and concrete can be prone to cracking. In many cases, it is more expensive to mend cracks in a concrete driveway than in one made from asphalt.
If you live in a very hot climate, you should choose a concrete driveway. Asphalt tends to get soft in the heat, which can contribute to grooves and dents in the surface of your driveway, creating safety issues. On the other hand, concrete driveways work better in warm climates than cold ones, because salt used on roadways for grip and ice melting can damage concrete, and cold-weather shrinkage can lead to cracks in the concrete.
Rate Of Repair
Some people choose concrete driveways because concrete tends to have a longer lifespan with less maintenance required, for instance, a concrete driveway can last as long as 50 years. Asphalt driveways can last around 30 years, but if they’re not properly maintained, they may start deteriorating after just a few years. Because asphalt is petroleum-based and very elastic, if left to dry out without adequate sealing, the driveway can become brittle and start to wear away. Concrete driveways can be sealed to preserve their quality, but most people associate sealing with asphalt.
Sealing your asphalt should be done every five years or so to prevent the breakdown of the oils within the material, and the first application of sealant should be applied no sooner than eight to twelve months after installation to allow the asphalt to properly cure. Asphalt that is ready for sealing will start to take on a grayish hue.
A light-colored concrete can be stained easily from fluid leaks from the underside of your car or from leaves and environmental debris. It may take power washing to remove the stain adequately, and stains are much less visible on dark asphalt, so if you will be working on your car a lot or have a large amount of debris in your area, asphalt may be a better choice.
However, asphalt can cause its own type of stains. The oils released from the asphalt can stick to the undersides of shoes and be carried indoors. If you don’t remove your shoes upon entering, these oils may eventually discolor vinyl or tile floors or get embedded into your carpeting.
What you see is what you get with asphalt. There are very few options for decorative purposes, it’s merely a simple and practical driveway material. On the other hand, concrete can be colored or stamped to provide designs and aesthetic appeal. If you desire a higher-end or decorative driveway, then concrete is the better choice for you.
Both driveway materials will do what they’re supposed to by providing a durable surface that you can park your car on. If you’re looking for low installation costs, then you may want to choose asphalt. For the utmost in durability, concrete is your best choice.