Asphalt Vs Concrete: What To Choose?
Most people tend to be unwavering in their decisions when it comes to the best paving option for their driveways. Some believe that asphalt is the best option, while others are loyalists of concrete. What you need to understand is that both options have their merits and demerits. Therefore, one needs to understand the merits and drawbacks of these two options to make a good decision.
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First, both asphalt and concrete are a mixture of stone and sand. However, two different adhesives hold the two components together (cement for concrete and tar for asphalt). Now, the features of tar and cement are what make the difference between asphalt and concrete.
Typically, both concrete and asphalt are durable materials and can create very attractive driveways. However, there’s more to choose between any of these two materials than just selecting the cheaper option. In this post, we shall discuss the major differences between asphalt and concrete, and help you to make a better decision.
Let’s delve in!
Generally, concrete has better aesthetics than asphalt. And why is this? In their basic forms, concrete has a pale gray appearance, while asphalt has a dark gray or black appearance—and that’s why most people call it blacktop.
However, concrete allows tinting or staining, meaning you can choose any color that you like. But that’s not the case with asphalt. You can brush concrete or stamp patterns into it to create a textured surface. So, you should choose concrete if you want to match the color scheme of your home, create some interest in the major entryway of your home, or showcase some creativity. Asphalt, on the other hand, is the best choice for anyone who wants to create a streamlined appearance, which matches the neighborhood streets.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on your driveway paving project, consider asphalt. Typically, asphalt paving costs less than asphalt. The Florida asphalt paving contractor ABC Paving says that a concrete driveway can cost you twice the price of installing an asphalt driveway.
But, when you consider the costs, in the long run, installing a concrete driveway will save a lot of money. Generally, asphalt driveways require more repairs and maintenance, and this can cost you more money in the future.
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Durability and general maintenance
Although asphalt driveways have an average life of 20 years, concrete driveways carry the day. The average lifespan of a concrete driveway is around 40 years. And, when it comes to maintenance, asphalt requires more maintenance, even though it’s cheaper to maintain asphalt than concrete.
If asphalt requires replacement or maintenance, it’s only the top layer that needs repaving or servicing. Since the bottom layers are considered permanent, you don’t need to replace them during your regular maintenance routines. However, that’s not the case with concrete driveways, since they need a lot of work in case of repairs. When repairing or repaving a concrete driveway, you will need to begin from scratch, and repave the entire driveway. This is not only time-consuming, but it’s very costly.
Also, the weather is a major determining factor of how long your driveway should last. If you live in an area with hot temperatures, consider installing a concrete driveway. Unlike asphalt, concrete isn’t affected by hot weather, meaning it doesn’t get sticky when hot or crack when it cools. On the other hand, concrete tends to expand in cold temperatures, and this can lead to costly damages to your pavement. That makes asphalt the best option for areas with cold temperatures.
Asphalt is one of the most environmentally friendly paving materials because it’s recyclable. When repaving your driveway, the old asphalt is removed, ground, and then reused. However, that’s not the case with concrete, as it has to be removed and disposed of. If the disposal isn’t done in an environmentally approved facility, it ends up in a dumpsite or other locations, thus polluting the environment.
Some types of asphalt, like permeable or porous asphalt, help with water drainage, as they allow water to saturate through your driveway into the soil beneath the driveway. Concrete, on the other hand, allows water to run off from your property into nearby streams.
Generally, it takes a shorter time to install an asphalt driveway than a concrete one. Besides, asphalt requires a few hours to cure before you can use it. Concrete, on the other hand, takes several days to cure, although it’s advisable to wait for at least seven days before you can drive on it. Otherwise, you risk leaving tire marks on your concrete driveway.
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These are the major factors to consider when choosing a paving option for your driveway. However, the longevity and appearance of your driveway not only depend on the materials but also the quality of work done by the contractor. With that said, the initial cost of installation, as well as repair and maintenance requirements of your driveways are major factors to consider. Besides, you must also consider the climate of your area, load limits, as well as other personal specifications before choosing your paving material.
Asphalt Vs Concrete: What To Choose?