Asphalt vs Concrete Driveway
About the only benefit of an asphalt versus concrete driveway is the initial cost of installation. So why choose concrete over asphalt for your driveway?
Appearance – A driveway is like a large welcome mat for your home. It’s the first thing people see when they visit. The beauty of concrete can’t be paralleled, especially with some of decorative aspects such as staining and stamping. For many people, the light color and availability of attractive exposed aggregate finishes match their expectations better than dark asphalt.
Hardness – Unlike asphalt, concrete is solid, hard, strong, and retains those characteristics during hot weather. Asphalt can soften during hot summer days.
Rigidity – As a rigid, stone-like material, concrete resists deformation from vehicles or long periods of parking on its surface. Concrete driveway edges are also less subject to breakdown or deterioration.
Temperature Control – Asphalt driveways get hot during the summer months, due to their dark color – too hot for comfort at times. Light-colored concrete stays cool enough even for bare feet.
Pothole & Weather Resistance – Potholes and other weather-induced damage are rare in concrete driveways. While cracking can occur on concrete driveways, as on any driveway, other types of damage, such as roots growing through the surface, are much less frequent.
Versatility – For many homeowners, a driveway is more than just a road to the garage. Children use driveways for recreation, too, playing sports like basketball and riding skateboards, tricycles and other wheeled toys on them.
Neighborhood Standards – In many neighborhoods and developments, concrete driveways are the standard. In such neighborhoods, an asphalt driveway may detract from a home’s value, and may even be prohibited.
Long term cost - Although the initial cost of concrete is more than asphalt, concrete will last as much as three times as long as asphalt. This makes concrete cheaper in the long run with less maintenance, resurfacing, and replacement costs.
Safety – The non-skid surface on concrete makes it safer to walk on, especially when it’s wet and in the winter when ice forms. Concrete is also more visible at night.
Maintenance – Concrete requires a lot less maintenance than asphalt. You don’t have to mess with those nasty asphalt coatings.
Cleanliness – Concrete is much cleaner. You won’t track those oily asphalt sealers into the house.