The two most common options for a hard surfaced driveway are concrete and asphalt. Knowing the pros and cons of concrete vs. asphalt will help you decide which driveway surface is right for you. Some things to consider in your decision for which material to pave your driveway with are: climate, looks, upkeep, and cost.
How Does Climate Factor into Paving My Driveway?
One major factor to consider when deciding if you want an asphalt or concrete driveway will be the climate you live in. Concrete is best for warmer climates, as it does not soften when the weather gets too hot. In colder weather, concrete is prone to cracking and is susceptible to damage from road salt. Asphalt is the preferred hard surface material for driveways in colder climates because it is less likely to crack and leads to easier snow removal. In warm weather, asphalt can get too hot and warp under heavy weight causing cracks and grooves. In a transitional state like Maryland that experiences both hot and cold, the decision may be slightly more difficult. Read further for other factors to consider.
Which Looks Betters, Asphalt or Concrete?
Appearance is mostly a personal preference when it comes to asphalt vs. concrete driveways. Asphalt is commonly referred to as blacktop because it predominantly comes in black, although there are options for staining it different colors. Concrete on the other hand can come in a variety of colors suiting the customer’s needs.
Is Asphalt Easier to Maintain than Concrete?
Maintenance is an important factor to consider when paving your driveway. In general, asphalt repair and maintenance is much easier to do and less expensive than concrete repair. This is because asphalt driveways can be resealed or patched, whereas concrete will require more extensive and expensive work. Asphalt can last upwards of 30 years if it is regularly sealed every 4 or 5 years. Concrete driveways can last nearly 50 years, and require less maintenance than asphalt because concrete does not need to be resealed.
Which Costs Less, Asphalt or Concrete?
When it comes to price, asphalt costs less to install than concrete. Overtime the cost can start to level out because asphalt requires resealing every 4 or 5 years, whereas concrete requires little maintenance.
So Which Driveway Material Should I Use?
Ultimately, the best way to determine which driveway material to use is to contact your local paving specialist. This professional will be able to provide recommendations based on your area, home, and the lay of your specific driveway. In the State of Maryland, asphalt typically outweighs concrete in a comparison of pros and cons, but only by a little. Many people with concrete driveways are more than happy with their decision.