Concrete Vs. Asphalt: Which is Best for Driveways?

Most residential and commercial properties come with a driveway. It is exposed to tremendous use with both foot and vehicular traffic. It is also exposed to ever-changing climate and temperature. These alone are good enough reasons to make sure that the driveway material used could hold up. The most common are asphalt and concrete driveways. Both have their own pros and cons. Let’s compare their good points and see which one is the more logical choice.

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Cost

Both are quite affordable compared to other paving materials. However, the cost will depend on several things. While the cost of a concrete driveway is a bit more than asphalt, the latter’s price is dependent on the price of crude oil, which is one of the components of asphalt.

Installation

Asphalt is more tricky to install. First, the installer must wear proper safety gear since he will be dealing with hot, melted asphalt. This gives off unpleasant fumes so it is highly advised to keep family and pets away while installation is ongoing. Asphalt is also a lot more sensitive to temperature. If the weather is too hot, it may take time to dry. If the weather is too cold, it might set prematurely.

Concrete is a lot easier to install. However, it is crucial to let a pro handle it to determine the proper ratio of cement and water. Too little or too much water could yield weak and unappealing concrete driveways.

Maintenance

Although concrete tends to cost more than asphalt, it is highly preferred by most driveway owners because of its longevity and low-maintenance attributes. This, of course, depends if it is properly installed and maintained. Concrete needs to be sealed to prevent freeze-thaw and deicing salt damage. Asphalt can be sealed, too, but only after eight to twelve months after installation, whereas concrete can be sealed after 28 days.

Both can be repaired but concrete has a wider selection of solutions to choose from. Concrete driveway repair options include resurfacing, refinishing, and resealing.

Aesthetics

With asphalt, what you see is what you get. There aren’t really many options when it comes to design. Concrete, on the other hand, provides a wide range of decorative options so driveway owners can fully customize the look of theirs. An overlay can be stamped with a pattern that imitates the look of high-end paving materials like stone, brick, pavers, and more. It can also be recolored in various hues with concrete stains, dyes, and other coloring methods.