When it comes to paving, you have two choices; asphalt or concrete. Many property owners find it hard to pick the best material for their paving projects. If you are also having a hard time making a decision, it’s highly advised to first know the distinct advantages and disadvantages of the two.
Firstly, whether you choose to use asphalt or concrete, understand that both require maintenance. Both surfaces also require professional and careful installation and routine sealing. Having said that, we can now assess what makes one surface better than the other. And, which is ideal for your paving requirement.
Cost – Budget is among the primary concerns when it comes to paving projects. Even public works looks into the long-term cost of the material before working on roads and highways. On the upfront cost, asphalt would seem to be the better choice. But, if you factor in annual maintenance and the surface durability, you’ll be looking at more expenses in the future.
In most cases, asphalt is the common choice when it comes to short-term fixes as they are 40-60% less expensive. However, if you’re looking for a good way to minimize, if not eliminate future inconveniences, then concrete is highly recommended.
Climate – Asphalt does not go well in hot climates, the tar found in asphalt can soften in high heat. Concrete on the other hand, suffer in freezing temperatures. The salt you use for melting ice in your pathways and driveways can create pits and leave blotches if you have a concrete surface.
To help you decide, better talk to your contractor before you finalize your decision.
Durability – Concrete lasts longer. Concrete is a stone-like material that resists deformation commonly caused by vehicles and long periods of parking. Concrete edges on driveways are also better at resisting deterioration.
Weather induced damages are also few when you use concrete paving. Cracking can occur but other damages such as tree roots growing through the surface are less frequent due to concrete’s hard material.
On the other hand, asphalt is a flexible paving option (even after curing), making it impervious to damages caused by sudden impacts. Furthermore, its flexibility helps reduce cracking.
Maintenance and repair – Asphalt requires annual maintenance, not to mention the resealing you’ll have to do after 3 to 5 years and a major resurfacing in 15 years. With concrete, you can expect it to last anywhere from 20-40 years or even more with only minimal maintenance. Sealing is optional but you will have to degrease the surface occasionally.
Asphalt however, is easier to repair thanks to its flexible composition.
Aesthetics – You can get different finishes with concrete. They can be tinted to a wide array of colors and can be stained differently for unique patterns. Also, concrete can be engraved or etched to achieve various looks and designs.
Asphalt paving is more limited when comes to design. There are only a few options in color besides the standard black. However, there are tints that you can add as a sealant. There’s also the integral coloring which can be added during mixing.