Should you choose asphalt or concrete for your driveway, sidewalk, or parking lot? How do the prices compare? Which will make the most difference? Which will hold up better? Does one option require less maintenance?
The answer is… (drum roll, please)… it depends. How the pavement will be used, the weather where it will be put, your budget, and other things will affect whether you choose concrete or asphalt.
We made this guide to help you decide if asphalt or concrete is better for your driveway or other paving projects at home.
PAVING CHOICE CONSIDERATIONS
When choosing a paving material, there are many things to think about:
- Is your sidewalk private or open to the public?
- How many people will use your pavement every day?
- Will you be able to stop people from driving on the freshly paved area for a while?
- Will you put heavy things on your driveway?
- Where you live, is the weather usually cold or hot?
- Do you get temperatures below freezing in the winter?
- What size is the area you need to pave?
- Which is more important to you: how much it costs up front or how long it lasts?
After you’ve answered these questions, you should be able to make a good choice.
IS THE WEATHER DIFFERENT FOR ASPHALT AND CONCRETE?
The weather is the first thing to think about when choosing between a concrete or asphalt driveway.
If you live in a colder area with harsh winters and temperatures that drop below freezing, asphalt may be the best choice for your project.
EXTREME COLD CLIMATE
- Colder temperatures don’t hurt asphalt, and road salt doesn’t hurt it either.
- Since asphalt soaks up heat from the sun, snow and ice will melt faster on it than on a concrete driveway.
- Concrete tends to frost heave, expand, and shrink, which can cause damage over time.
- Salt, which is spread on roads to melt snow and ice, breaks down concrete.
VERY HOT WEATHER
- Concrete is the best material for roads in places where there is a lot of heat or sun.
- When it’s very hot, asphalt pavement softens and can become oily or sticky.
- As soon as it gets cooler at night, asphalt will harden again. The constant cycle of softening and hardening can cause it to crack and sag.
HOW DO YOU INSTALL AND MAKE REPAIRS TO CONCRETE AND ASPHALT?
Even though asphalt is cheaper and easier to install than concrete, it needs a lot of maintenance to stay in good shape.
Asphalt needs repair and maintenance quite often, but it’s easy to do and won’t cost you much money.
With asphalt maintenance, you might not even need to call a pro, and there are plenty of do-it-yourself guides online to help you out. Just check out some of our other blog posts!
On the other hand, installing concrete costs more, but it doesn’t need to be fixed as often as asphalt. But if your concrete needs to be fixed, it is often harder and more expensive to do so than asphalt.
CONCRETE OR ASPHALT: WHICH LASTS LONGER?
Both options will last for decades if they are installed correctly, kept in a moderate climate, and cared for regularly.
A driveway made of concrete should last anywhere from 30 to 40 years.
A driveway made of asphalt should last 20 to 30 years.
Even though asphalt pavement doesn’t last as long as concrete pavement, it costs less to replace.
But if you don’t take care of your driveway and don’t do the necessary maintenance, both types of driveways will fail in a few years. Browse around this site.
CAN YOU DRIVE ON ASPHALT OR CONCRETE SOONER?
If you need to drive on your new pavement quickly, asphalt is probably the way to go. A couple of days after putting down asphalt, you can drive on it.
With concrete, you’ll have to wait about a week before it’s safe to drive on.
This is an important thing to think about if there aren’t many places to park on the street near you or if you can’t wait a week for concrete to cure.
DOES ASPHALT OR CONCRETE NEED TO BE SEALED?
After the first seal, your asphalt will need to be resealed every three to five years. This is an easy job that you can do yourself, and if you want your driveway to last longer, you have to do it.
You don’t have to seal concrete driveways every couple of years, but doing so slows down how much the top layer of concrete fades. So, you can fill your concrete to make it look like it was just poured.
DOES CEMENT OR ASPHALT GET DIRTY?
Asphalt is a dark surface that hides spills like engine oil, gas drips, and even rust very well. It also wears very well.
On the other hand, the surface of concrete tends to show every spill and stain. If you choose concrete pavement, you’ll have to clean it more often to keep it looking nice.
Still not sure which option for paving is best for you? Call us! We can help you find the perfect pavement by giving you unbiased advice and direction.
At Hackensack Paving Company, we offer residential, commercial, municipal, and industrial customers high-quality asphalt paving, asphalt repair, and asphalt maintenance.
If you call (201) 514-6060 during business hours, you will get a response on the same day.