When it comes to driveways, making people go with either concrete or asphalt as their preferred paving material. They have their own merits and demerits and are very suitable for construction. But which is the best material to be used in building driveways? Let us discuss about the pros, cons and materialistic properties of each of these materials to find out about that.
Appearance and Design Options
Concrete has lots of decorative options and designing prospects compared to asphalt. It can be stained or tinted with various colors to form unique and colorful patterns. Similarly, it can also be stamped into different designs. On top of this, one can easily give different kinds of finishes to a concrete.
On the other hand, asphalt has no decorative options like concrete. It just comes in standard black color. As it has to be rolled and compressed to make the surface even, there is not any way to give it unique finishes like concrete.
Weathering and Climate Compatibility
Weather is an important factor in deciding whether to choose asphalt or concrete for your driveways.
In Hotter Climatic Regions: Concrete driveways are more suitable in the regions where the weather tends to be much hotter than asphalt driveways. Driveways constructed using asphalt, are prone to cracks and grooves because the tar softens in hot temperatures quite easily.
In Colder Climatic Regions: Asphalt driveways are more suitable in this type of weather than concrete driveways. Cracks are easily formed in driveways made from concrete due to frost heave. Similarly, the salt used on roads to combat ice and snow also affects concrete negatively while on the other hand, asphalt is resistant to salt. As asphalt is dark in color, it can readily absorb heat from the sun which makes the melting of ice even faster.
Potholes and Root Growth: Concrete are more resistant to potholes and roots compared to asphalt due to their rigidity and hardness.
Changing climates: In some regions where the weather is frequent changing, concrete can be a better option compared to asphalt for driveways. This is because the edges of concrete driveways can stand up against weathering better than that of asphalt driveways.
Maintenance and Repairing
Sealing: Asphalt driveways needs to be sealed after about 8 months of their installation because they will be still soft during that time. After the first sealing, it requires to be sealed again every 4 to 5 years. In the case of concrete driveways, if they are sealed once then they do not need to be sealed for about 50 years.
Stains: Stains in concrete driveways are easily visible because of their light coloring while asphalt does not get stained as easily as concrete. However, sealing can help in reducing staining too.
Cracks: Weathering and aging will infect crack on both concrete and asphalt driveways. However, cracks on asphalt are easier to mend than the cracks on concrete. On top of that, maintenance fee is quite minimal in asphalt than in concrete.
The lifespan of the driveway really depend on the climatic conditions of the place and the foundation structure of the driveway itself. However, generally speaking, concrete driveways can last for more years than that of asphalt if maintained properly.
Constructing asphalt driveways is much more economical than constructing concrete driveways. Your average asphalt driveways usually costs about $ 3 to $ 4 per square foot while for concrete driveways can cost from $ 10 to $ 15 per square foot. However, the prices may vary a little from state to state.