Asphalt vs Concrete Driveway
Asphalt vs Concrete Driveway
In cities and towns all across the country, the vast majority of home driveways are made from one of two materials – asphalt or concrete. Both materials have their own pros and cons but if you are considering building a new driveway or replacing your old one, here’s an outline of some differences between the two materials to help you make a decision.
- Cost is always high on the list when making a decision. Asphalt driveways are primarily made from a petroleum based product so their cost will rise and fall depending on the world wide price of petroleum. However, even with the fluctuating price of oil, asphalt driveways typically are 20% to 30% less expensive than concrete.
- Both materials require a solid base under them if they are going to last. A solid base means excavating down at least a foot then packing in a layer of crushed rock followed by a layer of packed sand. On top of the base asphalt is laid down, leveled then compacted. Concrete requires forms be built on top of the base and reinforcing steel installed before the concrete itself can be poured and leveled (a more time consuming process than installing an asphalt drive).
- Asphalt driveway require significantly more maintenance than concrete. Approximately 3 months after installation asphalt needs to be sealed to protect the surface and it needs to be sealed again every two to three years. While this is a relatively inexpensive job (approximately $100) it does take time and the sealer needs two to three days to dry.
- Once a new concrete driveway has been sealed, it typically doesn’t require any more maintenance than cleaning any oil drips or spills.
Suitability for climate
- Asphalt driveways hold up well in cold climates and if it does develop a crack, repairing a crack in asphalt is much easier and less expensive than in concrete.
- However, in warmer climates asphalt will tend to soften in the heat and extrude oil that can be tracked into the house making a major mess. Soft asphalt can also develop hollows or dips when vehicles are parked on it.
- Since concrete won’t heat up in the sun as much as asphalt,there are no worries about oil coming out and it’s cooler to walk on with bare feet.
- Just like the old Model T Ford, asphalt used to “come in any color you wanted as long as you wanted black”, but in recent years that has changed. Now, similar to concrete, asphalt can be tinted a number of different colors to better match your home’s exterior color scheme. Concrete has an advantage that in addition to being tintable in various colors, it can also be “stamped” so it has appearance options not available with asphalt.
Overall Life span
- A well maintained asphalt driveway will last 25 to 30 years. A well built concrete drive should last at least that long and many will last substantially longer.
If you are considering building a new driveway or replacing your old one we strongly recommend Okun Tech leading residential design and construction company specializing in developing creative yet lasting landscape environments. David Okun has over 25 years of hands-on building experience and Okun Tech is best known for unparalleled quality, attention to detail and outstanding customer service.