Choosing the right driveway material can seem overwhelming. Below, we point out the most common things you should consider when investing in a new driveway.
There are clearly different looks associated with asphalt and concrete driveways. Traditionally, asphalt driveways have always come in one color: black. Today, there are some professionals who can add various tints to the asphalt. These subtle tints vary the shades of black available to you. However, concrete comes in various textures, designs and colors. You can stamp, etch, stain, and engrave concrete driveways to look like almost anything you want.
Climate affects your driveway materials. In short, asphalt softens in high heat. Concrete, however, cracks in freezing temperatures. Why does this matter? If your area is subjected to freezing temperatures during the winter, you might want to consider an asphalt driveway. If you are in an area that subjected to continuous high heat, a concrete driveway will last you longer.
Concrete and asphalt driveways definitely have different maintenance requirements. To ensure your asphalt driveway lasts at least 30 years, you should seal it every one to three years. Ideally, once the individual stones that make up your driveway are showing, you should reseal. Concrete, on the other hand, does not need to be sealed to last more than 50 years. (However, sealing can preserve the look and feel.) You will need a degreaser to remove any oil that spills onto a concrete driveway.) Both asphalt and concrete driveways can crack. Both are able to be repaired. However, asphalt repairs are cheaper and easier. In fact, you can even do some of the repairs yourself. Additionally, if your driveway should fall into disrepair, an asphalt driveway is cheaper to repave. This is impossible for concrete.
Aside from maintenance and repair costs, asphalt is generally much cheaper. On average, asphalt costs between $2.50 and $4.00 per square foot during installation. Concrete, however, runs between $4.00 and $6.00 per square foot. That cost is just for basic installation. If you want something fancy, you are looking at more than $15.00 per square foot of concrete.
Looks, climate, maintenance and cost are all important factors you should consider when looking to pave your driveway. However, you should also check with local regulations. For example, if you live in an area with an HOA, they may have specific guidelines you must follow.