The differences between asphalt and concrete driveways make them each unique. One isn’t necessarily better than the other. Depending on your needs, either is a good choice for a driveway. This article will give an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of both so you can decide which might be better for you.
Asphalt pictures of resin driveways are most commonly found in areas with extreme weather conditions. The reason being asphalt has a natural flexibility that prevents it from cracking in extreme cold weather. It also can stand up to deicing with salt, whereas concrete can be damaged when salt is used on it. Plus, the dark color promotes quicker melting of snow and ice by attracting the sun’s heat. The downfall, however, is during the hot weather months asphalt will heat up much higher than concrete and retain the heat longer. If conditions are right, asphalt can become soft, giving in to the weight of heavy vehicles and leaving impressions in the surface.
The biggest advantage asphalt has over concrete is the price. Asphalt driveways can be 40-60% cheaper than concrete, which is definitely an advantage for homes with long driveways. Asphalt is recommended for areas with soft or soggy soil and areas with slopes because of the asphalt’s flexibility. This flexibility also provides the benefit of withstanding damage from sudden impacts to the surface.
Maintenance with asphalt driveways requires resealing it with tar every two years or so, which is a major undertaking. However, if holes or cracks do emerge, asphalt is easier to repair by homeowners.
Concrete is generally used in warmer climate areas that do not have severe winters, mainly because the concrete can be adversely affected by deicing salts. When sodium chlorate is used to melt ice and snow, it gets into the concrete’s pores and can cause damage as the material expands and contracts during temperature changes. However, there are other types of deicers that will not harm the concrete (and are also better for your lawn), so using concrete in colder regions is not out of the question. Then certainly in the hot months concrete does its job well by retaining its natural rigidity in the heat as well as deflecting sunlight because of its lighter color.
In general, concrete will not need as much repair work as asphalt. Although cracking naturally occurs with concrete, if the driveway is laid properly with either rebar or wire mesh, cracks will be minor.
Even though concrete may be more expensive than asphalt, its lifespan is much longer, actually making the cost v. lifespan comparison of the two types comparable to each other. So although more might be spent upfront, replacing the concrete driveway will be much further down the road. Plus, concrete does not require the same amount of maintenance as does asphalt. Depending on your area, concrete driveways can go up to 10 years before requiring another sealing treatment. Plus, concrete can be stained to add beauty and color to the driveway. Staining can be done to old or new concrete and bonds with the material so it will not chip, peel or fade. Likewise, concrete can be stamped with designs like stones or bricks to add more appeal.