When your current driveway begins to look cracked or chipped and littered with potholes, it's time to upgrade. A few of the more common driveway materials are asphalt and concrete. Both are designed to last for many years and add simple appeal to your property, but which one is best for you?
Use this guide to compare cost, longevity, maintenance and versatility of both asphalt and concrete for your driveway. Your paving contractor can help you choose which material is best for your property and can install a beautiful driveway that will last for many years.
If cost is an issue, then asphalt may be your best option. Asphalt driveways cost an average of $3 to $4 per square foot, while concrete drives up costs to around $3,500 (or up to $10 per square foot) per install. Concrete driveway costs vary even more depending on whether you want to add color to your driveway or upgrade to stamped concrete for more curb appeal.
Your paving contractor will give you an estimate on both asphalt and concrete driveway installations based on the size of your drive and any additional customizing you want to do. Both materials are relatively cost-effective compared to more expensive installs like rock or granite.
To get the most value for your investment, you will want to compare the longevity of both asphalt and concrete driveway materials. Installed correctly, an asphalt driveway can last as long as a concrete alternative, however concrete usually has a longer longevity rate.
On average, an asphalt driveway will need to be repaired or replaced after 20 years while a concrete driveway can last twice as long before needing replacement.
Asphalt may not last as long as concrete does on average, but it is easier and cheaper to repair when the driveway starts to crack, form potholes or wear out. Asphalt can simply be resurfaced if damage is minimal, whereas a concrete driveway will need to be replaced entirely if it is cracking or has large chips in the material.
That being said, concrete is typically easier to maintain in general and holds up to temperature changes better than asphalt does. Both materials are easy to clean as long as spills are wiped up immediately. Your paving contractor can help you decide which material is best for your climate to help you keep maintenance to a minimum.
Once asphalt is installed, there are little to no variations you can make in its design to give it greater curb appeal. If you are willing to put in the extra costs for customizing your driveway, concrete is very versatile in its use. You can color or stamp concrete (as mentioned above), or have it blended with natural stone to give your driveway beautiful curb appeal.
However, there is still an appeal in choosing a classic asphalt driveway. The basic black hue of asphalt is appealing next to most home designs, and you can easily upgrade an asphalt driveway simply by having new asphalt poured over the old for a modern allure without a lot of investment.
There are benefits in both asphalt and concrete materials for your driveway. Your budget, where you live and how you want your driveway to look will ultimately help you decide which material is best for you.
Your paving contractor can install your new driveway and give you tips on how to maintain the area so it lasts for many years. With proper care, your asphalt or concrete drive should last you at least a few decades before needing professional repairs or upgrades. Our team of paving specialists at Preferred Asphalt Inc. can assist you in your driveway installation.