Whether you are in the market for a brand new driveway or you are building a house and trying to decide how to pave your driveway, there are two options for your driveway. Asphalt and concrete are similar but there are a number of key differences, which you should consider before making a decision. America currently has approximately 18 tons of asphalt pavement on their roads, making it a popular choice for many, but not the only choice. Concrete driveways offer options that you will not find with asphalt. Aside from the obvious visual differences between asphalt and concrete, these other key factors will help you decide which option is best.
Those that reside in extreme cold or extreme hot weather temperatures should consider their choices carefully. Concrete does not do well in the wintertime during freezing temperatures. If salt is used, to melt the ice, pits can be created in the concrete and cause blotches in your concrete driveway. Asphalt, on the other hand, does not fare well in warmer weather. The tar used in asphalt can soften and become tacky during extreme heat. This can cause deformation in some spots of your asphalt driveway.
Aside from any maintenance involved, the cost of actual installation of asphalt driveways will be cheaper than the cost of concrete driveways. There are minor fluctuations that can make the price differ, however it will generally always remain around or cheaper than $4.00 per square foot. Concrete, on the other hand, can run between $4.00 and $6.00 per square foot. This price increases significantly with different finishes available. Finishes such as staining and stamping will increase the price of an asphalt driveway.
Roughly six months to one year after asphalt has been laid it should be sealed, and subsequently sealed every three to five years after that. Sealing your asphalt driveway extends its life to near 30 years. Concrete driveways do not necessarily require sealing to last close to 50 years. Sealing concrete is only recommended to protect the look and the finish of it. Stains are more visible on concrete rather than asphalt, however degreaser successfully removes most oil based stains. Cracks will happen in both asphalt and concrete driveways. Asphalt cracks repair and blend easier where as concrete crack repair is more visible.
The average width of a driveway built for two cars is between 15 and 18 feet, and eight to nine feet for a one-car driveway. This will help you determine square footage and pricing when planning your driveway. Weigh all the differences to help with your decision between concrete and asphalt.