When building a new home or refreshing its design, the driveway is one of the areas you will need to concentrate on. Although there are lots of materials you can use for your driveway, a lot of people gravitate towards either asphalt or concrete. Both of these materials have their pros and cons, and this is what we are going to be looking at so you can decide which is the better option for you.
Asphalt driveways are usually cheaper than concrete driveways but remember that the cost of asphalt fluctuates as the price of crude oil changes. So, talk to a contractor when you are ready as the price can change every few weeks. Concrete driveways do not have cost fluctuations (unless you account for inflation) and you can talk to a contractor about getting a concrete driveway done at any time.
Maintenance and Repairs
The main maintenance cost for an asphalt driveway is sealing it. Asphalt driveways need to be sealed 3-6 months after they are laid and should be resealed every three to five years. The sealant will extend the driveway’s life and, in most cases, does not require a professional if you have the right tools and skills.
Concrete driveways do not need to be sealed for maintenance or longevity reasons but can be sealed to improve their appearance. The one thing you should do, though, is to use a degreaser to remove the build-up of fuel, oil, and other chemicals that might accumulate on the driveway over time.
Both asphalt and concrete suffer from cracks depending on your location’s weather, the weight of the vehicles that drive over them, as well as how well they were laid down. Concrete cracks are harder to repair and you might be required to resurface if the problem is too severe.
As for asphalt, cracks are easier to repair. When looking for a contractor to repair your asphalt driveway, choose contractors like Richfield Blacktop, who will not only be able to repair your asphalt driveway in a very short time but also ensure it is aesthetically pleasing when they are done.
Climate and Weather
As alluded to earlier, weather and climate can affect asphalt and concrete driveways differently. It is therefore important that you consider your weather and climate before deciding on a concrete or asphalt driveway. The cold seems to affect concrete driveways more as it can cause cracks due to the freeze-thaw cycles. Additionally, the use of road salt to clear ice and snow can damage concrete surfaces.
On the other hand, hot climates seem to affect asphalt more. Asphalt softens in the sun and it can stick to shoes and car tires. Asphalt can also get too hot to drive on because it is usually dark in color.
An asphalt driveway will usually last 30 years before you have to replace it. A concrete driveway, on the other hand, can last as long as 50 years if occasional repairs are done and degreasers used.
There are lots of factors to consider when choosing between a concrete or asphalt driveway. The factors can be as broad as the cost and maintenance requirements to something more specific such as the climate you live in.