If you are building a new home or just refreshing parts of your current place, using the right driveway material is essential. There are two main paving materials to choose from: concrete or asphalt. These materials vary in many ways, and they also have some similarities. First, both concrete and asphalt have a gravel base, and they are both made of sand and stone. The primary difference between the two is their adhesive materials. Asphalt is petroleum-based while concrete is made of cement. This variance leads to several differences in how the materials hold up over time. Here are some ways asphalt and concrete driveways differ.
The cost of asphalt driveways is typically less than concrete, costing two to four dollars per square foot. Asphalt prices tend to vary with fluctuations in crude oil prices. In contrast, a concrete driveway costs between four to six dollars per square foot for installation. Finishes, stains, and details can increase the price tag to as much as $15 per square foot.
Maintenance and Repairs
When considering an asphalt driveway, you should understand the maintenance and repairs that come with it. Generally, after six months to a year from installation, an asphalt driveway should be sealed. After that, it should be sealed every three to five years again. Doing so will extend the life of the driveway and do not require a professional. With the right materials, many homeowners can seal their driveways.
On the other hand, concrete driveways do not require as much sealing. Applying a seal to concrete driveways enhances its look and preserves its finish, so many homeowners seal it anyway. Degreasing increases maintenance costs for concrete driveways, but it is often a necessary step to remove fuel, oil, and chemical stains that build up.
Cracks can happen on both concrete and asphalt driveways and should be fixed quickly. Homeowners will notice that asphalt cracks are easier to repair and are virtually undetectable once fixed. Concrete cracks are more difficult to repair and impossible to disguise entirely.
Lifespan and Durability
Overall, asphalt is less durable than concrete. With proper maintenance though, it can last up to 30 years. Alternatively, concrete is sturdy, long-lasting, and can serve homeowners for more than 50 years with occasional repairs and degreasing.
You can tint, stain, etch, or stamp a concrete driveway to get a customized look. Finishes provide alternative colors or hues to the natural off-white, grayish tone of concrete.
Asphalt must be compressed and rolled during installation. It does not adjust well to different finishes, etching, or stamping. Some sealants contain tints or coloring, but options are generally limited to black.
Climate and Weather
Cold winters can cause concrete to crack from constant freezing and thawing, while road salt eats away at concrete surfaces. Hot climates affect asphalt driveways just as adversely since asphalt becomes soft in the hot sun and can stick to car tires, shoes, and clothing.
If you do not mind a driveway that costs more upfront but lasts longer and offers customizability, chooses a concrete driveway. It is great for homeowners who plan to stay in their current home for many years and need an option that can handle heavy use.
Overall, there are several factors to consider when choosing between a concrete or asphalt driveway. If you need help making a decision or, have your find made up, call Bortolo and Sons to get the job done.