Your driveway gets a lot of use throughout the year, cars driving up and down, kids riding their bikes and playing ball, friends and neighbours walking across, and not to mention exposure to all of the year-round elements. With all this wear and tear, it is natural for your driveway to start showing signs of age over time, such as cracks, stains and pitting. With a limited amount of driveway repair that can be done, once you have grown tired of patched and damaged driveway it is time to look into replacement options.
There are multiple materials that your new driveway can be constructed out of, but arguably the two most popular choices are between an asphalt driveway and a concrete driveway. Both driveway options are basically a mixture of stone and sand laid over a compressed gravel base, but this is really where their similarities end. Asphalt is held together using tar and concrete by cement.
Both asphalt and concrete make for a durable, aesthetically pleasing driveway, however there is more to choosing between these two materials than just what binds them. Below we compare asphalt driveways and concrete driveways tell help you choose which is the better option for your home.
The cost of an asphalt driveway will come in lower than a concrete driveway. On average a concrete driveway will cost about 40% to 50% more per square foot than an asphalt driveway. Prices can fluctuate based on your region, the size and shape of your driveway, and time of year you book.
Maintenance & Repair
Asphalt does require sealing every 2-4 years, the process is pretty straight forward and most handy do-it-yourselfers can handle the task. Concrete on the other hand can be sealed every few years, but is not mandatory. The sealant helps bring back the original colour of your concrete and helps protect it from stains. Due to asphalts bark surface, stains are hidden. Concrete on the other hand tends to show oil, rust, gas and other spills, so you will need to clean and protect a concrete driveway more thoroughly.
Both asphalt and concrete may crack over time, however asphalt is easier to repair and any patched-up areas will blend in easily with your current driveway. If the repaired area on an asphalt driveway is visible, applying sealant across your entire driveway will definitely hide the patches. Concrete is more difficult to repair and patched up areas are easy to spot.
Concrete has the edge over asphalt when it comes to the durability and longevity of your driveway. Generally speaking a concrete driveway can last 30+ years while an asphalt driveway will last 20+ years. This is considering proper installation and maintenance, if either of these are not the case, your driveway will deteriorate much quicker.
Climate should be taken into consideration when selecting your new driveway material. Asphalt does not fare well in extreme heat, as it can turn soft and even sticky. Where concrete doesn’t do as good in colder winters. Concrete can crack and buckle under extreme cold conditions. As well concrete can pit or stain with the use of salt and some de-icers when trying to melt built up ice.
Choosing the right driveway for your home ultimately depends on your desired look, budget, and usage. There is no definitive better choice. Asphalt is a lower upfront cost, doesn’t do so well in the extreme heat, is easier to repair, but requires more maintenance. Concrete lasts longer, has more design options, is easy to maintain but costs more upfront and can crack in the extreme cold.