Asphalt and concrete are two of the most popular materials to use for driveways. Both provide beautiful but differing looks that increase your home’s value and curb appeal. Below are things you should consider when choosing between an asphalt and concrete driveway.
- Cost: Asphalt driveways are typically cheaper options. On average, asphalt should cost you $2 to $4 per square foot. Concrete, on the other hand, will generally run $3 to $10 a square foot. Decorative elements that are common additions with concrete driveways are even more expensive at $15 to $25 per square foot.
- Wait Period: For newly installed asphalt driveways, you should wait up to three days before driving on it. Concrete, however, has a minimum wait of seven days.
- Weather Affects: Both paving surfaces can are susceptible to weather damage depending on the season. Asphalt softens in high heat, which makes it ideal for areas that won’t constantly be subject to extreme heat. Concrete by comparison tends to crack when subjected to constant freezing temperatures, making it more suitable for those warmer areas where asphalt can be damaged.
- Maintenance: Asphalt requires a bit more upkeep. While relatively inexpensive, you will need to seal your driveway every one to three years depending on use and weather damage. An occasional degreasing is really all a concrete driveway will need. Sealing a concrete driveway, however, will simply help preserve the look and texture.
- Finishes: Asphalt comes in one color: black. Slight tints are now available but they are subtle when compared to the variations in concrete. Due to advances in technology, concrete comes in multiple color options and stains. Unlike asphalt, patterns can be stamped into the concrete to give it a more natural or custom look as well.
- Repairs: Asphalt repairs are easier to make and disguise. The materials used to repair an asphalt driveway are easy to use and typically blend into the surface. Should the driveway need to be resurfaced due to extensive damages, asphalt driveways are inexpensive to resurface. Concrete driveways are more costly to repair. Due to weathering, any patches made to a concrete driveway will be rather obvious. Additionally, you cannot resurface a concrete driveway. If the damages to it are too great to repair, you will need to have it removed and completely replaced.
- Lifespan: On average, a well-maintained asphalt driveway should last 30 years. Concrete, by comparison, lasts longer. In fact, as long as it is properly maintained, a concrete driveway should last roughly 50 years.