Asphalt, my a** felt fine!

The often overlooked part of curb appeal for many homeowners is their driveway. No wonder, because the traditional long concrete driveway can be quite expensive.  Whether installing a new driveway or replacing an older one, asphalt or concrete as the base material are most often the two options being considered.  There are definite advantages of asphalt over concrete, and naturally there are some disadvantages as well. It does come down to what matters more to you as the homeowner.

Why You Prefer Asphalt to Concrete

It’s cracks less often

Asphalt is more flexible, making it less capable of cracking than concrete. In situations where asphalt does crack, it often doesn’t crack from edge to edge like a concrete slab often can. 

It’s the less expensive option

It’s also about 40% less expensive than concrete, with pricing normally from $3-4 per square foot, rather than $5 to $7 for the most basic slab of concrete. Concrete with more interesting colors, special finishes, or other decorative elements is even more, often $8 to $18 per square foot.

It does well in winter

Asphalt often does much better in really bad winter weather conditions, and survives damage from salt and ice melt better than concrete.

Installation is easy-peasy lemon-squeezy

Asphalt can often be ready for use right away after installation, rather than anywhere from a few days to a week after installation for concrete.

Repairs can be DIY

If asphalt gets damaged or worn out over time, it can be resurfaced and repaired by the average capable DIY homeowner.  After just a little resurfacing touch-ups, the asphalt will look renewed and its useful life definitely extended.  Possible repairs to concrete are limited to filling holes patching materials and/or sealing cracks with caulk, and even afterwards, repairs are normally more visible than they are with asphalt repairs.

Why You Might Prefer Concrete to Asphalt

Regular Maintenance Needed

Asphalt will need to be re-sealed every few years, so homeowners looking into asphalt driveways should plan ahead on how they will want to handle that.

You Get Any Color You Want, As Long As It’s Black

Asphalt only has one option available for you: the smooth, uniform color of black.  Concrete does have more design options for those concerned about aesthetics, such as stamps to look like stone or brick, tinting or staining with colors, and decorative inlays.

Softer Means Roots Can Damage

Asphalt being a little “softer” than concrete means that roots of trees and other plants can more easily work through and damage asphalt than concrete.

Sticky When Hot

Asphalt can become overheated in very hot weather, and when it does, it can become sticky because of the black tar component it uses during installation.

Longevity

Asphalt has a useful life of about 20 years at most, while concrete often can last as long as 40 years before needing to be replaced.

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Jane Doe


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