When the time comes to replace your old driveway or finally get rid of that temporary gravel and lay something more solid, you’ll be facing a dilemma. Should you go with concrete or asphalt? What should you consider in choosing driveway materials? If you are feeling lost, then take a look at these tips from our seasoned Maryland driveway paving contractors. We specialize in asphalt driveways, but we have seen and worked with plenty of concrete driveways as well. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing between the two.
Concrete is more expensive than asphalt; expect to pay at least 3 times as much per square foot. And if your driveway is long, there will be a noticeable difference in price. We wouldn’t recommend ruling out either option by price alone, but be sure to get a few estimates on both materials to know exactly how much you will have to pay.
Concrete is virtually maintenance free. Power-wash it a few times a year and it will keep looking nice. Asphalt is less solid than concrete and will gradually crack and become less attractive. In order to maintain the appearance of an asphalt driveway, you would need to seal-coat it every 1-3 years. Seal-coating also prolongs the life of the driveway.
Concrete is pricey for a reason: you can get at least 10 more years out of a concrete driveway than you would from an asphalt driveway. However, concrete is also less flexible than asphalt and cracks easier under pressure and from drastic temperature changes. Considering Maryland’s cold winters, unpredictable weather and occasional blizzards, an asphalt driveway may be more cost-efficient in this climate.
Ease of Repair
Asphalt is easier and cheaper to repair than concrete. The cracks and pot holes can be filled almost to a seamless appearance. Your asphalt driveway can also be resurfaced if necessary without tearing it down completely. Cracks in concrete are not as easy to fill and don’t look as good when repaired. And concrete driveway replacement is a big hassle, since concrete is intended as a permanent structure.
Concrete will remain cool in summer, which is nice if you have barefoot bandits running around all day long. Asphalt will absorb and retain heat, which sometimes may cause it to “melt” and move under heavy vehicles or sharp objects. However, this quality of asphalt actually offers a benefit in winter, making the snow melt faster. Cleaning snow and ice off an asphalt driveway is typically less labor-intensive than from a concrete driveway.
And, finally, this is one factor many homeowners forget to consider—tax implications. Since a concrete driveway is a permanent structure, as well as a big home improvement project, it ultimately adds value to your home and increases your property tax. Once your home with a newly added concrete driveway is reappraised, you may experience a hike in your property tax. An asphalt driveway generally doesn’t make a significant impact on your tax bill.
Have any more questions about asphalt or concrete? Give our Maryland paving contractors a call or contact us online for a driving replacement advice.