Asphalt vs Concrete Driveway – Which is Better?

Asphalt vs Concrete Driveway – Which is Better?

June 5, 2022

There are many driveway repair options available today. Many homeowners may be resolute about what to choose when it comes to paving a driveway. Should you choose asphalt or concrete? Many swear that asphalt is the best, while others lean more toward concrete. Both materials have their distinct benefits, so it may take a lot of persuading to make a strong case for one over the other. Read on to find out the main differences between concrete and asphalt.

Asphalt vs Concrete

You may find it difficult to choose asphalt or concrete if you are having your driveway repaired. Here are some of the main differences between the two.

Costs

When it comes to asphalt driveways costs, asphalt tends to be cheaper than concrete. You will probably pay anywhere between $2 and $4 per square foot for a new asphalt driveway. However, prices can be higher depending on oil prices. On the other hand, concrete driveways cost anywhere between $5 and $7 per square foot. If you decide to add anything additional such as stamping or staining, you can expect to pay more.

Installation is only one thing to worry about when it comes to cost. When it comes to life expectancy, concrete is probably the most economical option since it consists of lower maintenance costs and has a longer life expectancy. Additionally, concrete driveways can improve the curb appeal of any home and increase its value.

Installation & Curing

Concrete and asphalt driveways need to be installed over a subgrade that is well-compacted. Both driveways require similar preps. Placement times are similar as well. It typically takes about a day to cure following subgrade prep. Asphalt does have one advantage over concrete and that is that it can be driven on sooner following installation. This is typically within a couple of days. Concrete driveways need to cure for at least 7 days before vehicles can drive on them.

Life Expectancy

Concrete driveways offer more of an advantage over asphalt driveways when it comes to life expectancy. Typically, asphalt driveways will only last you between 15 and 20 years. Concrete driveways will last you at least 40 years, if not longer.

However, you should remember that in order for a concrete driveway to reach its full life expectancy, it should always be installed correctly.

Options for Decorations

Concrete driveways have more of an advantage when it comes to decorative options. Even the most basic decorations can increase the curb appeal of any home. Asphalt driveways don’t have as many options for customization. Concrete driveways can be stained, texturized, stamped, stenciled, or colored to achieve a variety of looks.

Maintenance

Both concrete and asphalt driveways require frequent cleaning and maintenance to keep them looking good. This will also protect them from wear and tear. Asphalt driveway installers will probably recommend that you have the driveway seal coated every three to five years to help preserve the oils in the material. This will also prevent cracking.

Concrete doesn’t have to be sealed to perform well. However, if you add any decorative options to your driveway, you may want to consider having it sealed every several years to enhance the color and reduce surface abrasion.

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