- Concrete and asphalt are popular pavement choices.
- Both asphalt and concrete paving has unique pros and cons that make them special to specific paving projects.
- Observing proper pavement installation methods leads to durable pavement.
- Regular pavement maintenance is essential to extend the life of the pavement.
When you are looking to pave your driveway, the first decision you have to make is what type of surface to put down. Concrete or asphalt? Both concrete and asphalt have pros and cons, but which should you choose for your home? Let’s look at the debate between these two materials and see which one comes out on top.
Factors You Should Consider Before Choosing a Paving Material
First impressions matter. That’s why choosing a suitable paving material is essential when you’re looking to improve your property’s curb appeal. It would help if you considered various factors before making your final decision.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a paving material is durability. You want a material that can withstand inclement weather, foot traffic, and normal wear and tear. Asphalt pavement is an excellent option for durability; it’s designed to flex and give under pressure, which helps it resist cracking and crumbling. Concrete is another durable option, but it’s important to note that it can be susceptible to salt damage in winter climates.
Another factor to consider is maintenance. Some pavements require more upkeep than others; for example, asphalt pavement needs to be seal coated to protect it from the elements, while concrete does not require regular seal coating. However, concrete can be susceptible to staining and fading over time, so you may need to power wash or repaint it periodically to keep it looking its best.
Of course, costs are a consideration in any home improvement decision. Asphalt pavement tends to be more budget-friendly than concrete due in part to the fact that repairs are typically less expensive. However, concrete often has a longer lifespan than asphalt, so you may spend more in the long run.
The Pros and Cons of Asphalt Pavement
Asphalt pavements are a popular choice for homeowners and property owners. It is durable and relatively easy to maintain. However, you should be aware of asphalt pavement drawbacks before deciding.
- Durable: Asphalt pavement is built to last. Correct installation and frequent maintenance ensure the pavement stands the test of time.
- Easy to install: You can install asphalt quickly and easily.
- Smooth surface: Asphalt pavement has a smooth surface that provides a comfortable ride.
- Low noise: Asphalt pavements absorb sound, making them ideal for residential areas.
- Safe in all weather conditions: Asphalt is safe to drive on in all weather conditions.
- Easy to repair: Small cracks and problems with asphalt can be easily repaired.
Drawbacks of Asphalt Pavement
- Requires regular maintenance: Like all pavements, asphalt requires regular maintenance, such as seal coating or crack filling, to stay in good condition.
- Can be damaged by water: If there is too much water saturation, the asphalt could start to break down and crumble.
- Exposure to direct sunlight means concrete pavement can become very hot: This can be a problem in hot climates where the pavement can get too hot to walk barefoot.
- Subject to fading and discoloration over time: Though it is not a significant concern, some people do not like the way that asphalt pavement looks after it has been around for a while.
The Pros and Cons of Concrete Pavement
Concrete has been the go-to paving solution for driveways, sidewalks, and roads for years. Its enduring popularity is thanks to its versatility, durability, and relatively low maintenance requirements. However, concrete does have its drawbacks.
The Pros of Concrete Pavement
Concrete is incredibly versatile. You can use it in many applications, from driveways and sidewalks to roads and parking lots.
Concrete is also very durable. Proper concrete installation and maintenance mean it can last for decades with only minimal repair or replacement required. This makes it a very cost-effective long-term investment. Finally, concrete is relatively low maintenance. Once it cures, it does not require much in the way of care or upkeep. Regular sweeping and occasional cleaning with a mild detergent are usually all needed to keep concrete looking new.
The Cons of Concrete Pavement
Although concrete is very durable, it is not indestructible. It can crack under extreme temperature changes or when exposed to repeated freeze-thaw cycles (a common problem in colder climates). While you can repair cracks, they are often visible and mar the aesthetic appeal of concrete pavement.
Another potential downside of concrete is its environmental footprint. The manufacturing process for concrete releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change. Asphalt may be a better choice if you’re looking for an eco-friendlier paving option.
Common Maintenance Tips for Concrete and Asphalt
As a homeowner, you understand the importance of regular maintenance. After all, your home is likely your most valuable asset. And just like your home, your asphalt driveway or concrete walkway requires regular upkeep to stay in top condition.
1. Sweep Away Debris Regularly
One of the most important things you can do to maintain your asphalt or concrete pavement is to sweep away debris regularly. Leaves, twigs, and other organic materials can break down and cause cracks in your pavement if they’re not removed promptly. In addition, debris can be tracked into your home or business, leading to dirt and grime buildup. So, make it a point to sweep away debris regularly using a broom or leaf blower.
2. Remove Stains Promptly
Stains are another common problem with both asphalt and concrete pavements. If left untreated, they can cause discoloration and costly damage. To prevent this from happening, it’s essential to remove stains as soon as possible to use a mild cleaner and scrub brush to prevent this from happening. You may need to use a power washer or sandblaster for tougher stains.
3. Seal Cracks and Holes Promptly
Cracks and holes are the most common problems with asphalt and concrete pavements. If left untreated, they can cause serious structural damage. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to seal cracks and holes promptly using an appropriate sealant. For larger cracks and holes, you may need to use patching material or even replace the entire section of pavement.
4. Get Professional Help When Needed
As with any type of maintenance project, there will be times when you need professional help to get the job done right. For example, if you have significant cracks or holes in your pavement, it’s best to hire a professional contractor to repair them correctly. Likewise, if you’re unsure how to remove tough stains or reach high areas, it’s always best to hire professional cleaners with the proper equipment and experience.
The choice is clear when it comes to your driveway. Concrete paving may be a bit more expensive in the short run, but it will last much longer and look better than asphalt. If you’re looking for a long-lasting, beautiful driveway that will withstand the test of time in Shamong, NJ, call Garden State Paving & Seal Coating today for a free quote on concrete installation. We provide full-service residential and commercial asphalt installation and maintenance, so we can take care of everything from start to finish. Don’t wait – contact us today!