Pros and Cons: Asphalt vs. Concrete Driveway

Pros and Cons: Asphalt vs. Concrete Driveway

Having a driveway used to be seen as a luxury. However, with the rapid increase in the population and number of vehicles on the road, a driveway is becoming more of a necessity, than a luxury!

This makes it essential that you not just have a driveway but that you have one which has curb appeal and does the job properly.

The first substances that come to mind are usually asphalt and concrete. Both of these have been used for years to create driveways. The installation method is straightforward and remarkably similar for each type of surface.

You’ll need to dig down several inches to create a structure strong enough to support vehicles. The area is then filled with hard core and concrete or asphalt is aid smoothly on top.

But which one is better?

  • Cost

It’s generally cheaper to lay asphalt that concrete. This is partly due to the preparation process and also connected with the effort involved in getting it level.

But, both surfaces should be installed by a registered professional. There are plenty of un-reputable companies who will do the job for less but won’t give you the finish you want.

Asphalt wins!

  • Long Lasting

Properly laid asphalt should last between 12 – 35 years, this more than justifies the investment!

However, concrete can last just as long making this a draw.

  • Repairs

You may find that you need to repair your asphalt regularly but these repairs are usually small and easy to deal with.

In contrast concrete will not need to be repaired very often, but when it does the process is more costly and time consuming.

It’s difficult to say which one wins at this as it will depend on the cost and inconvenience caused.

  • Speed

Asphalt can be cured and ready to use in just a couple of hours; this is fast!

In contrast concrete can take between a few days and a whole week to set hard enough to be driven on safely. Do it too soon and you risk damaging the whole structure.

Another win for asphalt!

  • Environment

Asphalt does not allow the water to soak through into the soil below, depriving a large area of the nutrients it needs. In addition the water is directed to the drains which can cause issues in heavy rain. Concrete also has the same issues but there are now porous paving options which are a much better solution for the environment.

Concrete has the same issue although it is now possible to get a porous concrete. This allows the water through, helping the environment.

A win for concrete!

  • Cracking

Asphalt is prone to cracking as it shrinks and expands according to the temperature.  Repairs can be done easily but it is an additional maintenance issue.

Concrete will only crack if the surface moves or it is subject to extreme pressure. This makes t the easier solution; once laid it can simply stay in place.

Another win for concrete!

The truth is both materials are good at what they do and both can look attractive. The real decision will need to be which you prefer. Although, you should consider a porous surface to help look after the planet.

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