After The installation of a new driveway is a big project! It needs to be well planned taking into consideration a few important things. Both Asphalt and concrete have their own advantages and disadvantages. They also have certain elements in common. Both of them are a mixture of stone and sand, installed on a good foundation. Various substances are used for binding the elements like cement for concrete and tar for asphalt. Both these materials produce excellent, durable, and attractive driveways.

Asphalt comes in black to dark gray, it can be a better choice for a streamlined approach. W=But with concrete, you have more options. You can even do a patterned or textured finish. When you select the driveway material, think about its durability, your budget, and the climate. While constructing a new driveway, there are a variety of materials to choose from like brick pavers or gravel. But asphalt and concrete are the most common choices. There are pros and cons to both.

Installing an asphalt driveway is cheaper, but a concrete driveway lasts longer. The maintenance cost for Asphalt is more, but the repair is much simpler. Improper de-icing products used during winter can harm both driveway materials. So whether you choose a concrete or asphalt driveway, it’s very important to have a strong professionally-installed foundation.

When you choose between the two driveways, climate or weather conditions of the area need to be taken into consideration. Where the summers are hot the asphalt can turn sticky or become soft as a result of the extreme heat. Then it’ll cool and harden again. These temperature fluctuations will begin to crack the asphalt.

What causes a concrete driveway to crack? Just the opposite, extreme winter weather. Also, the salt that is used for melting the ice could blemish it, leaving stains. The ice or snow normally takes longer to melt on concrete than on asphalt driveways. Asphalt is better at handling cold temperatures than concrete.

So it’s important to think about the area where you live and your budget when deciding which material to use. After the installation, the asphalt surface needs to be protected and maintained for it to last as long as possible. Within a duration of three to five years, asphalt needs to be resealed. The gas drips, engine oil, stains, rust, and more that collect on the asphalt driveways can be hidden because of its matte finish and dark surface. But even if it’s not visible, it’s still causing damage. In contrast, each and every mark on the concrete IS visible, so it requires thorough cleaning to maintain its appearance.

Asphalt or Concrete – Which is Better?

People have a lot of different opinions about which material is better for driveways. Some claim that concrete driveways are a better choice since it is made of components that are long-lasting and durable. The cost of maintenance is low, compared to the asphalt. Mary Scott, the manager of a driveway replacement company claims that concrete is best. On the other hand, Benny Stanley who is the owner of Benny Stanley Paving talks about the advantages of asphalt. It is less expensive, cheaper than concrete, and it has good binding power. The small visible holes or cracks in Asphalt driveways can be sealed. Though bigger cracks, of course, are a more involved repair. Even though both concrete and asphalt crack, because of the smooth texture of asphalt it’s less visible. Applying a new sealcoat on the surface of an asphalt driveway protects it wear from and tear.

The Cost of Installing Concrete VS. Asphalt

Asphalt driveways usually range in prices from $2 – $5 per square foot, which means around $720 – $800 for a standard size residential driveway. This is about 18 feet wide by 20 feet long for a two-car asphalt driveway. There is a stamped pattern for asphalt that comes in the shape of stones or bricks which costs $3 – $9 per square foot which comes out to be $1080 to $3042 for a regular driveway. There are also customized driveways that are concrete based, but they include decorative components. Prices for these driveways range from $15 – $25 per square foot, totaling about $5400 – $9000 for the driveway.

Below is the driveway comparison for Asphalt and concrete.

  • Asphalt driveways are less expensive beginning with two-dollars to five dollars per square foot. Whereas concrete is more expensive, it comes around three dollars to ten dollars per square foot and the price is much higher for the decorative elements.

  • With regard to the up keep, Asphalt requires more maintenance but can be done easily. Concrete needs less maintenance and the repairs for the damages are complicated.

  • With Asphalt one can drive immediately, it doesn’t require much time. But concrete takes a while to set. One has to wait for a minimum of seven days before he uses the driveway.

  • As the temperature changes, an asphalt driveway will shrink and expand, causing cracks. But concrete driveways are less affected by the weather conditions. In extreme cases, cracks emerge due to surface movement or severe pressure.

  • Holes or cracks in an asphalt driveway can be sealed or filled easily. Repairing concrete is a bigger project that requires more laborers.

  • Asphalt is durable, lasting up to 20 years. Concrete lasts longer, up to 30 years.

  • Oil leakage isn’t very noticeable on asphalt, but gas leakage can cause minor damage. In concrete, oil and gas leakage can cause visible stains.

Asphalt or Concrete – What Will You Choose?

Both driveways have their pros and cons. But when you take into consideration the installation costs, the climate where you live, and maintenance costs, you can easily find the driveway material that’s best for you!

After you choose the right driveway for you, you’ll want to get it sealed. But how long should you wait before sealing a brand new driveway? Find out in our next post!

Does your asphalt driveway need sealcoating services? We can help!