There are two primary materials considered when constructing driveways and the choice for either will depend on the knowledge of strengths, weaknesses, and extremes of the two. Durability and cost tend to inform the choice of most building materials in the civil engineering industry. However, for concrete and asphalt driveways, the selection spans from the ease of use to intrinsic material properties based on the specifications of qualified personnel in materials. They may be similar in that they are both made of stone and sand; however, their variability is still pervasive based on the industry requirements.
The first difference owes to their durability and lifespan. Asphalt has less strength in comparison to concrete, as it can last for thirty years in conditions of proper management. Concrete, on the other hand, offers a relatively longer option of fifty and above years where there are degreasing and options for repair.
The second aspect is maintenance and repairs associated with the driveways after installation. For Asphalt, there is a need for sealing which should continue after every three to five years. Though gradual, it does not require hiring expertise as homeowners can do this themselves. In case of cracks, the asphalt component is easy to fix producing an aesthetically appealing surface. In concrete driveways, they do not require continuous sealing but often require degreasers in removing oil and chemical stains that constantly build up increasing the expense. In concrete systems, cracks are always difficult to fix when they appear, making resurfacing impossible.
vs. Asphalt Driveway
A difference also arises from the cost of installation; Concrete driveways are more expensive than asphalt ones. Construct an asphalt driveway costs $2 to $ 4 per square feet. Moreover, the fluctuation in prices of crude oil tends to affect the cost, thus can be lower. For concrete, a square ft costs between $4 and $6. With finishes and stains, the value can skyrocket to $15.
Additionally, the design of Asphalt to suit aesthetic needs is limited compared to concrete, which provides an extensive avenue for most finishes. Concrete blends well with alternative colors and allows for staining, stamping, etching or tinting, offering an array of aesthetical alternatives.
Asphalt, however, has limited options mainly to black and does not lend to most finish.
We also have a response to climatic patterns, which may compromise the integrity of either driveway for its activities. For example, for cold winters, there is continuous freezing and thawing; thus, concrete is susceptible to cracks. For Asphalt, however, the hot climate affects it in that it can become soft in the hot sun and stick to clothing, car tires and shoes. This response to a different climatic condition should, therefore, inform the choice of driveway suitable for your region.
Finally, we have the time for driveway use after placement, in Asphalt; the driveway can permit use within a few days of installation, thus providing flexibility in usage. Concrete, on the other hand, requires more time for a week or two for the curing process before it can allow use. For more information, you can consult our website where there are intricacies in the selection of concrete and Asphalt in your driveway.