October 11, 2021

Concrete vs Asphalt Driveways – What’s the Difference?

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Concrete vs Asphalt Driveways - What's the Difference?

Concrete and asphalt driveways have been around for a long time. Both materials have their pros and cons. But concrete is gaining popularity over asphalt because it is stronger, more affordable, requires less maintenance, and virtually lasts forever.

Today, concrete is used to make sidewalks, patios, foundations, and other structures. But it is also a great option as a driveway material. This is because of the range of colors available in concrete stamps or concrete dyes. There are many different looks you can achieve with concrete that are not possible with asphalt.

Plus, concrete costs much less to install than asphalt. Installing concrete driveways typically pays for itself within seven years. They last much longer than asphalt driveways at only a slightly higher initial installation cost.

Visual

One of the biggest reasons concrete driveways are becoming more popular is because of the stamped or stained look. Examples are wood grain, flagstone, tile, brick, and many other patterns. Stamped concrete has even become a cheaper alternative to natural stone pavers. This form of concrete uses less material than pouring it into solid molds to create the real stone. Plus, it is much lighter than natural stones. In this way, transport and installation are easier.

Stamped concrete also comes in multiple colors to mimic almost any surface. With concrete, you can choose from different shades of grays, browns, reds, and tans. It all depends on your preference for color.

Extreme Temperatures (High Heat and Extreme Cold)

Asphalt driveways are not made to endure extreme heat or cold. As concrete is made from cement, is very strong, and can withstand all types of weather. For instance, concrete does not expand or contract when exposed to hot or cold temperatures. Cracks are less likely to form in it as compared to asphalt.

Concrete becomes more stable under intense stress while asphalt begins to soften and melt at high temperatures. When it gets very cold outside, concrete does not get brittle like other materials including asphalt do. With proper maintenance, concrete driveways should last before you have any significant issues with cracking or chipping.

Sealing

Sealing concrete protects it from spills, stains, and dirt. It also helps keep weeds down. It is different from sealing asphalt because concrete driveways absorb liquids more easily. You can apply concrete sealer automatically or by hand.

Color options

Concrete colors are limitless! The concrete surface will always look the same because it does not require regular reapplication to maintain its color. Asphalt can fade over time due to regular exposure to UV rays in sunlight. This causes the color of the asphalt to change gradually until you have to repaint it with a new coating of dark asphalt-based paint every four years or so.

Stains

Concrete can also have stains because of more resistance. But asphalt cannot take them very well. For concrete dye stains, they are applied directly to concrete surfaces. It can get extremely difficult to remove concrete stains from asphalt. This is because the stains penetrate the surface and become part of it. Asphalt concrete is not porous and concrete dyes do not penetrate it very well.

Repairs

There are concrete patching kits that come with concrete dye to help you match the color. Asphalt does not allow for this type of repair unless you replace it. Also, concrete is easier and cheaper to repair in the event of a crack or chip. Asphalt must have complete removal and replacement. You can pour concrete over concrete to fix driveways with this material. So, concrete colors and stains can easily camouflage any cracks or chips that can appear.

When it comes to repairs, there is much less guesswork when you have a concrete driveway. The repairs are instant and the products do not cost very much. It does not take much time or money at all. With asphalt, you have to determine if the damage is only on the surface or if it has penetrated through the entire thing to decide if complete replacement is necessary.

Asphalt driveways require regular upkeep and maintenance for them to last well into advanced age. There is no such concern for concrete driveways because they do not fade in color and become brittle with age.

Longevity

Concrete is much more durable than asphalt concrete. With concrete, you are assured that it will not crack, chip, or fade in color with age. Asphalt is very susceptible to cracking and chipping when exposed to the elements. It needs consistent upkeep if you want your concrete driveway to stay looking nice for years to come without any significant problems.

Concrete driveways also have a chance of being stronger than asphalt. They are thicker due to their solid composition. However, concrete with too high of cement content may result in weaker surfaces. There is a fine line between strength and weakness when it comes to concrete materials used in driveway construction.

Can Drive Quickly

Driving on concrete driveways is much more stable. However, concrete can become slippery when wet. Asphalt concrete melts in the heat and also becomes very slippery when wet. Unless you like skidding off your driveway after it rains, concrete is your best option.

Costs

The cost of concrete vs asphalt driveways is similar. This includes all labor, materials, and equipment involved in both. But concrete lasts longer than asphalt. You do not have to worry about replacing concrete as often as asphalt. Plus, concrete requires less maintenance over time. It does not fade or chip like asphalt can.

Asphalt driveways need more regular upkeep and reapplication of sealer every one to two years. This depends on how many vehicles travel across them and under what conditions. It also needs more repairs called overlays with potholes or cracks that appear with age.

Connect with a Driveway Contractor

Concrete vs asphalt driveways is a big decision. But concrete also has some advantages when it comes to these driveways. Concrete can crack, but it repairs easily in comparison to asphalt. You do not have to worry about spending too much time or money on concrete repairs with durability for years at a time.

Before making your final decision, it is best to contact Above All Masonry for proper handling of your driveway construction in Long Island. Receive professional advice on how to make it good.

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