It’s often up to personal preference when you weigh up asphalt and concrete. Some prefer the look of asphalt continuing on from the road, while others want their driveway to reflect the design of their home. Either way, it is important to know the pros and cons of both asphalt and concrete before you make your final decision.
If you’re looking into installing asphalt for your driveway, you might be enticed by its competitive price factor. However, it’s important to know the pros and cons of asphalt before diving into the decision.
- It’s dark. Asphalt doesn’t offer many choices in terms of colour and texture (although, depending on your contractor, you might be able to play with limited coating colours). However, this can also be a good thing. Asphalt is usually black or a similar dark shade, meaning stains from tires or oil will not show as easily as they do on concrete.
- Faster installation process. It is the speedy installation process that makes asphalt so ideal for use on roads. In comparison to concrete, which takes around a week before it’s ready for use, the curing process for asphalt takes little to no time (usually a few hours).
- Easy to repair. It’s a fact that asphalt cracks easier than concrete. However, in the case that this happens, repair work is easy and can be targeted to the problem area. In contrast, cracks on concrete will mean the entire slab needs replacing.
- Not as durable as concrete. The difference between concrete and asphalt is the adhesive. In concrete, the adhesive is cement, while tar is the adhesive for asphalt. While tar is less expensive than cement, it is softer and more susceptible to degradation than its counterpart. This is why asphalt is not as durable as concrete.
- Struggles to perform in hot weather. The hot Australian sun creates a difficult environment for asphalt to perform as well as concrete does. During the scorching summer days we are so used to, asphalt can expand and soften due to the heat. It also heats up intensely in this weather. Instead, concrete keeps its shape in hot weather and even remains cool enough to walk on while barefoot.
- More maintenance required. While asphalt might be less expensive to install, you’ll find yourself spending money on repair, resurfacing and sealants. You will also have to put more time and energy into ensuring that the edging is done so that grass and weeds do not grow on your driveway. This is all on top of the basic sweeping and power washes required to maintain any driveway.
When opting for concrete, there are a number of pros that outweigh the cons, which makes it a popular choice for driveways. And while concrete may be more expensive to install in comparison to asphalt, you’ll find that you will be saving money in the long-run maintenance costs.
- Maintenance is a breeze. You’ll find it easy to maintain concrete because it is such a long-wearing, strong material for a driveway. All you need to do is sweep debris or power wash the driveway to keep it looking brand new.
- You have lots of choice. Compared to asphalt, which is quite limited for choice, there are endless colour and texture combinations available for concrete driveways. You can opt for a sand-coloured exposed aggregate as easily as you can choose a black stencil concrete pattern.
- It’s durable. Unlike asphalt, which can crack, concrete will not do so if experienced concrete contractors have installed it. Concrete tends to last around ten years longer than asphalt.
- Concrete can stain. Concrete is often installed in light colours to complete home facades. However, the light colour makes your driveway vulnerable to stains over time. To avoid this, simply sweep debris regularly and use a stain remover for the tougher stains.
- It’s hard to repair. Unfortunately, if the concrete is poured incorrectly, there is a chance it can crack. Concrete driveways older than 20-30 years are also more susceptible to traffic damage. In the case your driveway needs to be repaired, you’ll need to replace the whole slab, which can be costly. Hence, it’s important to get in touch with experienced concrete contractors rather than newer businesses.
Looking for concrete contractors?
Prestige Concrete Services are experienced concrete contractors based in Werribee. With our 20+ years’ experience, you can be certain that our concrete jobs are completed perfectly. Our concrete contractors can help you achieve the perfect concrete driveway – just give us a call on 0411 440 157.