If your old driveway is in need of updating, you need to decide whether to stick with the paving material you have or go for something different. Asphalt and concrete are the traditional choices you have to pick from if you do plan on making a change. Both are similar in a lot of ways but have key differences you need to consider before making your decision. Aesthetics, climate, maintenance, cost, and restrictions are some factors weigh.
Both materials need thick gravel bases before they can be applied and they both take time to cure before use. Although, asphalt takes just a few hours to set while concrete takes about a week. Both are made of sand and stone but use different adhesives to bind together. Asphalt adhesive is tar while the concrete adhesive is made of cement. These are the main factors you should consider when choosing between asphalt or concrete:
Some homeowners prefer the appearance of asphalt because it looks like an extension of the road. Others like a white driveway or a coloured one to match the exterior of their home better, so they pick concrete for that reason. Concrete is also an easier material to work with if you want a different finish. It is easy to tint in an array of colours and can be stamped with various designs. You can customize concrete more than you can asphalt. The choices for asphalt are limiting since it must be rolled and compressed.
Living in Burnaby, your driveway will experience varying degrees of temperature. Concrete tends to crack from frost in freezing winters and ice salt can create pits that leave blotches. Alternatively, the tar in asphalt softens in the high heat of summer and can deform as a result. Your paver can help you make an informed decision about which material is right for your local climate before you make your final decision.
An asphalt driveway will need to be sealed about six months to a year after it was installed. After that, it will need to be re-sealed every three to five years. Sealing asphalt routinely will extend the life of your driveway and can make it last up to 30 years.
Concrete does not necessarily need to be sealed and can last up to 50 years. Sealing can help make concrete look better and retain its finish, though. Concrete stains easier than asphalt does but sealant can help prevent that. You will need a degreaser to remove oil-based stains from concrete.
Both asphalt and concrete are susceptible to cracking, but asphalt cracks are more straightforward to repair. Concrete repairs are more evident because of weather damage and cost more to fix.
Asphalt is cheaper to install than concrete is at around $2.50 to $4 per square foot. Crude oil price fluctuations cause asphalt costs to fluctuate as well, but prices generally remain within that rage. Concrete, on the other hand, costs between $4 to $6 per square foot for a basic installation. Prices go up from that point depending on if you add finishes or detailing. Stained concrete driveways with a smooth finish can cost as much as $15 per square foot.