How do asphalt and concrete compare?
An asphalt driveway is usually a lot cheaper than a concrete driveway for installation. Over time this cost evens out as a concrete driveway requires less maintenance. If your initial budget is limited, an asphalt driveway may be the best choice for you.
As part of its installation, asphalt is rolled and pressed. This means that it cannot have different finishes applied. It is typically dark in colour, most often black but sometimes a grey colour. Concrete is naturally light-grey which means it can be tinted or stained. It can also be stamped or etched to give it different finishes and designs. If you require a specific colour or design, concrete would be your best pick.
- Durability & lifespan
With proper maintenance an asphalt driveway can last around 20-30 years. A concrete driveway can last 30-40 years.
- Repairs & maintenance
Asphalt requires regular resealing (6 months after installation and then every 3 to 5 years). The resealing is relatively easy and can usually be carried out by the homeowner. Untinted concrete driveways don’t need to be sealed, however tinted concrete driveways should be sealed to protect their colour. Due to its lighter colour, oils and other marks show up on concrete therefore it requires occasional cleaning and degreasing. Cracks should be repaired in any driveway. Cracks are much more easy to repair on asphalt and the finished result tends to look better than when concrete is repaired.
- Installation time
Asphalt is quick to install and can be driven on soon after. Concrete can take up to a week to cure before it can be driven on. If you are short on time, asphalt may be your best choice.
- Reaction to climate conditions
Asphalt can soften and melt in hot weather, causing it to stick to shoes and car tyres. Repeated softening and hardening can also cause the surface of asphalt to crack. In very cold climates, concrete can buckle and crack. If salt is used to melt ice, it can stain the surface of concrete.
Which is the best option for my driveway?
➔ Asphalt is cheaper than concrete.
➔ Asphalt requires more maintenance than concrete.
➔ Concrete typically has a longer lifespan than asphalt.
➔ Concrete allows for a range of finishes when installed.
➔ Asphalt is easier to repair than concrete.
Both asphalt and concrete are great options for your driveway surface. At Suburban Earthworks we specialise in all types of domestic and commercial driveway requirements and we can help you to work out what best suits your home. If you would like a free consultation and quote please Contact us.