Picking out a new car and deciding on what type driveway you need are similar choices. Both are long term decisions that you have to live with for years. The options with automobiles are too numerous to count. With driveways there are two main options: concrete or asphalt.
What’s the difference, you might ask? Let’s start with the material…
Concrete and asphalt are not totally different. Both have sand and rock in them. However, the difference is the binder. Concrete’s binder comes from limestone, while asphalt’s binder is made from crude oil.
Both the limestone and crude oil will produce a hard surface that allows residential cars and heavy vehicles to drive on.
Once we get past the makeup of these two types of driveways, then we can break down the key pros and cons.
Why are most streets and highways paved with asphalt? It is less expensive to use asphalt. The same holds true on small residential driveways. If you are working on a strict budget then asphalt is the way to go.
Although concrete costs more than asphalt, it tends to last longer. More specifically, concrete can last up to 20-30 years. Asphalt driveways would need to be patched up to seal cracks, they would need to be re-sealed, and they might eventually have to be repaved.
Concrete can develop cracks also. But when a trusted professional does the job, cracks are much more rare than with asphalt. One thing that we like to let our customers know in the winter is that putting salt on concrete is damaging. Read our post on why you shouldn’t put salt on your concrete!
Other issues that might be more problematic on concrete are:
- Oil stains
- Grime that is hidden on asphalt is visible on concrete
- Having to wait a few days before using a new driveway
A huge plus that puts concrete above asphalt is the trend of decorative concrete driveways. There isn’t much you can do to dress up a blacktop driveway. But with concrete there are a ton of options. Most of which are Instagram worthy and make visitors envious of your hard surfaces.
An even bigger wow-factor comes into play with stamped concrete, which allows for driveway decoration. Stamping comes with many colors and patterns so it often makes it hard for homeowners to choose a favorite!
To summarize, there are some differences between concrete and asphalt. If you are looking for something inexpensive and quick, we would recommend getting an asphalt driveway. If you are working with a higher budget or want to add a personal touch to your driveway, then concrete is the way to go!
Now, you wouldn’t buy that new car or truck without a test drive. So we also suggest that you schedule an appointment today, and get a quote on both types of driveways for your home or business. Call us at 215-919-6600 or send us a message!