Asphalt or Concrete: Which Is Right for Your Driveway?

July 28, 2020 Published by Leave your thoughts

Need to redo your driveway? You’ll want to consider whether asphalt or concrete is going to be the best option for you. These two common paving materials are similar in that they both have a gravel base, and both are composed primarily of stone and sand, but there are quite a few differences between them to take into account, including adhesive materials and ongoing maintenance requirements.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the differences between the two materials so you can decide between asphalt driveway installation or concrete driveway installation in Phoenix, AZ:

  • Cost: The first question people tend to have when comparing concrete and asphalt is which option is more expensive. In general, you can expect asphalt to be cheaper than concrete, with the latter potentially costing more than twice as much for a standard installation, and even more for unique finishes, details or stains. Of course, cost is only one of the options you should factor into your decision, but it can be a useful tiebreaker.
  • Lifespan: Asphalt isn’t quite as durable as concrete, though when properly maintained it will still last you a good 30 years or so. Concrete, however, is sturdier and generally longer lasting, capable of lasting more than 50 years when homeowners keep up with the necessary repairs and degreasing processes.
  • Maintenance: Speaking of maintenance, you can expect asphalt to require more ongoing maintenance than concrete. Asphalt should be sealed within six months to a year after installation, and then again every three to five years afterward, depending on its condition. This will help you extend the life of the pavement. You can do the sealing yourself if you wish, or hire a professional. Concrete does not require as much sealing, though it can help enhance its aesthetics and preserve any finish you put on. If you have issues with oil, fuel or chemical stains, you may need to apply degreasers to remove them. Cracks in both types of pavements should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent the problem from getting worse and to avoid pothole formation.
  • Aesthetics: With concrete, you have the option to stain, tint, stamp or etch it to get a unique appearance. Otherwise, standard concrete is quite dull—an off-white, beige sort of color. Asphalt must be rolled and compressed and is not etched, stamped or sealed, but it does result in an appealing jet-black color when fresh.
  • Climate: You should also take the climate in which you live into consideration, as asphalt and concrete will respond differently to extreme conditions. If you live in an area that gets very hot, asphalt might soften and begin to stick to tires or shoes. If you live in an area that gets very cold, concrete might crack more easily from the constant freezing and thawing cycles and get eroded by road salt.

These are just a few of the considerations to take into account when making your choice. For more information about concrete and asphalt driveway installation in Phoenix, AZ, contact Sunstar Seal Coating, Inc. today.

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