concrete vs asphalt

When it comes to choosing the right paving material for your home, you’re likely to be faced with a decision between asphalt and concrete. Both are appropriate for driveways and landscaping projects, so you’d be fine to choose either one.

To make an educated decision, it’s best to understand the differences between the two materials before you talk to a pavement and asphalt company about getting your job done. This is because, as an informed consumer, you’re able to ensure that your needs are truly being met during the project.

So, what is the difference between asphalt and pavement? The main things you’ll want to consider as you weigh your decision are cost, maintenance, aesthetics and geography. Learn more about the pros and cons of each material below.

Is Asphalt Cheaper Than Concrete?

One of the biggest factors in any construction or home improvement project is cost. Especially if you’re working with limited resources, the price of asphalt versus the price of concrete is going to be something you’ll want to consider and prepare for.

The square footage of your project will impact the overall cost of your pavement job; however, generally speaking, asphalt in most cases is a cheaper alternative to concrete. On average, the material cost of concrete is often double that of asphalt. The variation in price is often determined by geographic location and material selection.  

Is Asphalt Easier To Maintain Than Concrete?

While asphalt is cheaper from the outset of a project, it does require a bit more maintenance. About six months after your new pavement is laid, you’ll need to have your asphalting company seal your driveway or surface. Afterwards, you can expect to seal your driveway at least every five years.

Sealing a concrete driveway will preserve some of the shine, but is more of an aesthetic decision than a necessary form of protection. As such, you’ll spend less on maintenance for a concrete driveway over the lifespan of your pavement.

It is worth noting that both asphalt and concrete can develop cracks over time. Asphalt repair is generally a bit less expensive than concrete repair, as the cost of materials is less. Having a professional paving contractor handle your asphalt patch jobs is crucial to keep your driveway in good condition. 

Consider The Climate Where You Live

weather affecting pavement

Depending on what region of the country you live in, you may want to factor in temperature fluctuations and weather before you choose between asphalt and concrete. For example, if you live where the temperatures are often quite hot in the summer (or year round), asphalt may be a less desirable surface to choose. This is because asphalt can soften and even tack off onto shoes in particularly hot climates.

On the other hand, concrete is a less desirable option to choose if you have very cold winters. Colder temperatures can cause concrete to crack due to freezing. Additionally, if your driveway is near a road that gets salted when it snows, the salt can also erode concrete at a higher rate than asphalt. 

Aesthetics ultimately come down to personal preference, but the above factors offer other considerations when you’re choosing between concrete and asphalting. Concrete is often more expensive and durable than asphalt, unless you live in a colder climate.

On the other hand, asphalt can be a more cost effective and traditional option for driveways. Keep costs, maintenance, and your climate in mind, and you’ll be sure to make the right call for your next paving project. Of course, if you need questions answered about the material you’re selecting for your construction project, feel free to reach out to a professional paving company to see what they would recommend. AA Asphalting is here to help you make the best decision for your unique circumstances.