When Thinking about Installing a New Driveway – Should I Go with Asphalt or Concrete?
So, it’s finally time to tear out the old, beaten-up driveway. It’s the perfect chance to look at your options now that you can start on a clean slate. If you’re going to spend the money and the time to replace your driveway, it’s certainly a good idea to consider the possibilities.
If you are deciding between asphalt or concrete, here are some things to consider.
First, both concrete and asphalt must have well-compacted bases of gravel before application, with a recommended depth of 6 inches. After installation, both take time to ‘cure’ before they can be driven on, however, concrete takes one week while asphalt takes about 3-5 days.
You should also consider the climate in which you live. Here in Ontario, where summers are hot and winters are extremely cold, climate is definitely a mitigating factor. Concrete always cracks due to the freezing and thawing cycles common to Canada, which causes a lot of stress for concrete. This stress can be controlled via saw-cuts on the surface. In contrast, asphalt is fairly pliable, particularly in the warmer months. The main attraction of asphalt is its relatively low cost, so damage to it is more tolerable – in other words, it’s a more practical solution. For an easy breakdown of the deciding factors, see the table below.
|Asphalt||· Relatively cheap
· Because of its dark color it won’t show stains easily.
· Repair is easier than concrete
· Can be tinted.
|· Somewhat short lifespan (without care, it can deteriorate in as little as 5 years).
· Maintenance is required every few years as it needs to be resealed. The first sealing application needs to be done around 8 months after installation.
· Has an oily texture that softens in heat and sunlight.
|Concrete||· Lasts a long time, 30-40 years.
· Low maintenance in the long-term as it does not need to be resealed, especially in warmer climates.
· Available in a wider variety of choices than asphalt (e.g., stained or stamped)
|· Higher cost
· Prone to cracking and is not easy to repair.
· Regular salt will damage it.
· Stains very easily and shows every color.
At the end of the day, the jury is still out on what is ultimately better. It really depends on where you live, your budget, and how motivated you are when it comes to maintenance. At Pave Pro, will work with your vision to help support you on making the best decision for your needs, and ensure that you receive top-notch installation services.