Upgrading a driveway can improve the overall appearance of any home or property and increase its curb appeal. However, on taking this project, a property owner may be torn with what material should be used between concrete and asphalts—the two most common materials for the driveway. Despite their differences in cost, aesthetics, durability, and maintenance, both materials are excellent choices.
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Material for Driveways
Property owners are frequently looking for ways to update and improve the exterior of their homes. One of the most popular options is adding a driveway. Driveways must be built to withstand the harshest weather conditions as well as any additional damage caused by other elements. They must be able to withstand parking weight and traffic loads, especially in the case of large and heavy vehicles. This structure is often connected to a pavement which adds aesthetic appeal as well to any property.
Because this area is subject to the most wear and tear conditions, among all building and construction materials, concrete and asphalt are the most popular choice among property owners and contractors. While both asphalt and concrete are good choices for driveways, there are some differences between the two. Both require professional contractors because average homeowners lack the necessary equipment and experience.
What is concrete?
The Constructor defined concrete as a building material made of a mix of cement, fine aggregates (sand), and coarse aggregates or modified crushed stone that is mixed with water and hardens over time. Portland cement is the most common type of cement used in the production of concrete. Concrete is used in the construction of foundations, columns, beams, slabs, and other load-bearing elements in buildings.
Because this area is subject to the most wear and tear, among all building and construction materials, concrete is the most popular choice among property owners and contractors. Concrete is known for being long-lasting and low-maintenance, and if installed and maintained properly, it can last for up to 30 years.
What is asphalt?
Madehow explained that asphalt is a heavy, dark brown to a black mineral substance that is one of several hydrocarbon mixtures known as bitumens. Asphalt is strong, versatile weather and chemical-resistant binding material that adapts to a wide range of applications. Asphalt binds crushed stone and gravel (commonly referred to as aggregate) to form firm, tough surfaces for roads, streets, and airport runways. Asphalt, also known as mineral pitch, is derived either from natural deposits such as native asphalt or brea or as a byproduct of the petroleum industry (petroleum asphalt)
Concrete vs Asphalt Driveways
Concrete and asphalt are both aggregate mixtures of sand and crushed stone. The distinction is what holds the aggregate together. Cement binds the mixture and gives it a light gray appearance in concrete. A black, viscous petroleum-based substance binds the asphalt. Both are available in a variety of colors and can be stained or stamped for a decorative effect to which is sought-after when it comes to driveway construction. These are some of the factors a homeowner should consider whether to get a blacktop or concrete driveway. Provided are some of the factors a property would likely consider before they choose which material is the way to go.
The initial cost to install such a concrete driveway is slightly higher than an asphalt driveway, however, its maintenance cost is relatively low, making such a good deal out of it. On the other hand, installation of an asphalt driveway tends to be much lower than a concrete driveway, making a property owner save driveway paving costs in using such material.
A concrete driveway is known to be more durable than asphalt driveways. Rainfall conditions in a given area can also affect how sturdy and durable these driveways may be. An asphalt driveway tends to be eroded easily with liquid substances compared to concrete, and such instances may be subject to repair if this happens frequently. The durability of the driveway should also be tested on parking conditions that it will face through the time, a better option should withstand whatever weight parked over it.
Speed of Construction
The construction of concrete driveways especially large ones often requires machinery. Another factor is that concrete driveways take time to cure. On the other hand, asphalt driveways take less time to lay and do not often require huge machines like those of concrete mixers.
Cost of Repair
Both types of driveways will last for decades if properly cared for and maintained. Asphalt driveway typically has a life span of 20 years, whereas concrete driveway has a life span of 30 to 40 years. However, there are always instances that such structures will undergo repair. The cost of any repair for such structures will depend on the complexity of the damage.
Concrete can be resurfaced to improve its appearance. Small cracks and holes can be repaired by homeowners, but the appearance may be less than ideal. Because the process is labor-intensive, major repairs can be quite costly.
One of the major pros for an asphalt driveway is that even homeowners can deal with potholes or cracks, but in such cases where large cracks and holes appear, this often requires professional help. Upon seeking help from professionals, this can incur quite a cost on the end of homeowners.
Concrete or Asphalt Matters Seek Help from Pro
While both have advantages, asphalt driveways are preferable for homeowners on a tight budget or who live in areas with temperature fluctuations. Concrete driveways provide more unique color, texture, and embellishment options, but they are prone to cracking in cold weather and are costly to repair. While concrete lasts longer, asphalt is easier and less expensive to resurface.
The decision of whether concrete or asphalt should be used as materials in the construction of a new driveway can be a tedious task a property owner may face. To ease the burden in making the crucial decision, it is recommended to seek the help of professionals. This team of pro experts is glad to offer their skills and expertise to guide every homeowner in deciding what material should be better used on such a project.
For assistance and driveway matters, feel free to contact us or call us at 616-344-5968