Five Star Asphalt
Main Differences in Asphalt and Concrete
If you’re building a new home or simply refreshing aspects of your current home, using the right driveway material is essential. For driveways, there are two essential paving materials to choose from: concrete and asphalt.
What are the differences between asphalt and concrete driveways?
Though these materials vary in man Five Star Asphalty ways, they also have some similarities. First, both asphalt and concrete driveways have a gravel base. They are both made with stone and sand. The primary difference involves their adhesive materials. Asphalt is petroleum-based while concrete is made of cement.
This simple variance leads to a variety of differences between the materials. Here are five ways asphalt and concrete driveways differ.
1. Cost Differences Between Asphalt and Concrete Driveways
The cost of an asphalt driveway is typically cheaper than concrete, costing $2.00 to $4.00 per square foot. Asphalt prices tend to fluctuate with fluctuations in crude oil prices. In contrast, a concrete driveway costs between $4.00 and $6.00 per square foot for a standard installation. Finishes, details, and stains can increase the price tag to as much as $15.00 per square foot.
2. Maintenance and Repairs on Asphalt and Concrete Driveways
When you consider an asphalt driveway, you should understand the maintenance and repairs that accompany it. Generally, six months to a year after installation, an asphalt driveway should be sealed—and then sealed again every three to five years. This will extend the life of the driveway and does not require a professional. With the right materials, many homeowners seal their own driveways.
However, concrete driveways don’t require as much sealing. Applying a seal to concrete driveways will enhance the look and preserve the finish, so many homeowners opt for this maintenance. Degreasers increase maintenance costs for concrete driveways, but they are often a necessary step to remove oil, fuel and chemical stains that build up over time.
Cracks affect both asphalt and concrete driveways and should always be repaired. Homeowners will find that asphalt cracks are easier to fix and result in more aesthetically pleasing repairs. While concrete cracks, on the other hand, are harder to repair and impossible to resurface.
3. Asphalt vs. Concrete Differences in Lifespan and Durability
Overall, the difference between asphalt and concrete driveways is that asphalt is less durable than concrete. With proper maintenance, it can last 30 years. Alternatively, concrete provides a sturdy, long-lasting option and can last homeowners 50+ years with occasional repairs and degreasing.
4. Aesthetic and Design of Asphalt vs. Concrete Driveways
When it comes to the look of your driveway, pavement material plays an important role. You can stain, tint, etch or stamp a concrete driveway to get the desired look. Finishes provide alternative colors or hues to the natural off-white, grayish color of concrete.
Asphalt, however, must be rolled and compressed during installation. It does not lend itself well to finishes, stamping or etching. Some sealants contain tints or coloring, but options are generally limited to black.
5. Asphalt vs. Concrete Differences When It Comes to Climate and Weather
Homeowners living in very cold or hot regions should consider how climate and weather patterns affect their pavement decisions between asphalt and concrete driveways. In cold winters, concrete may crack from constant freezing and thawing, while road salt eats away at concrete surfaces. Hot climates affect asphalt driveways in negative ways, as well. Asphalt softens in the hot sun and can stick to shoes, clothing, and car tires.
To recap, there are many differences between asphalt and concrete driveways. Here are a few takeaways to remember as you continue to make the best decision for your needs and budget.