Top Material to Use for Your Driveway: Concrete or Asphalt?

January 27, 2022

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Having a well-paved driveway can add great value to your home, making it much more attractive and pleasant to drive into. However, not all driveways are created equal – there are two major choices when it comes to driveway materials, and they each have their own set of pros and cons that you should consider before deciding on what kind of driveway to build. The two options are concrete and asphalt, so let’s take a look at the differences between these two materials and how you can decide which one to use for your own asphalt paving driveway project!

paving asphalt versus concrete driveway

When a new driveway is needed?

There are a number of factors that come into play when deciding what type of driveway material is best. It all starts with determining if it’s time to tear up your existing driveway and start fresh, or if you just need a patch job. 

When a driveway has too many cracks , ruts, pot holes, and more (none of which are repairable), it’s time to tear up your existing asphalt/concrete and lay down new material. If you’re just looking at patching some trouble spots or small repairs, you can save yourself thousands of dollars by simply filling in potholes with gravel or cold patch mix.

Should you opt for a concrete or asphalt driveway? You have a number of factors to consider when deciding on material. After all, it’s not just about laying down new pavement—you want to protect your home and property from damage as well. 

Asphalt driveways

Asphalt is a softer material, and it will resist damage from potholes better than concrete. It is also easier to fix when there are issues with your driveway, as long as you have an asphalt driveway, you can fill in a hole with hot asphalt. That’s not something that can be done easily with concrete. You can’t just use cold asphalt, either, you need hot asphalt. Hot asphalt isn’t just warm, it actually has traceable amounts of molten tar in it.

If you want a driveway that is easier to repair, asphalt is your best bet. Hot asphalt can be applied quickly, and is much more durable. It won’t crack in extreme temperatures, either. It’s more difficult for cracks in an asphalt driveway to form and spread because of its flexibility, which means it will last longer and need fewer repairs. 

Concrete driveways

What’s great about concrete is that it gives your driveway a beautiful, even texture. One downside is that it can be quite expensive. You will need to hire a concrete company to come and pour your driveway, which adds significantly to its price tag. Other than that, concrete has few downsides—it lasts forever and is almost impossible to damage. Just make sure you keep it clean! If you’re looking for a cheaper option, you might consider asphalt. It is much less expensive than concrete, but not as attractive.

concrete driveway luxury home
Concrete

Durability

One of asphalt’s biggest selling points is its durability. It can last as many years and needs less maintenance than concrete does. Additionally, because it’s flexible, it’s more resistant to cracks—something that tends to happen with concrete due to shifting ground and other weather factors. You might consider asphalt if you want a driveway that lasts longer with little upkeep required, or one that flexes with your ground so you don’t have large cracks in your driveway down the line.

Asphalt cracks less than concrete as well, another huge plus if you want something that will last as long as possible with very little upkeep required. If you live in an area where ground shifts are likely, asphalt might be your best bet because it flexes with changes in ground whereas concrete can crack and break off due to shifting ground and other weather factors.

Cost

Most people looking for a driveway material start by wondering how much does it cost to install asphalt or concrete. When it's per square foot asphalt is generally a little cheaper but if you have concerns about how your driveway will stand up over time, then you may want to spend a little more money on concrete. According to Home Advisor most concrete driveway installation costs between $1,800 and $6,000 where an asphalt driveway is between $2,997 and $6,854. These are just averages, but when you look at cost per square foot concrete is up to $15 and asphalt is $13.

Before you decide on one material over another, take some time researching what type of driveway is best suited for your home and your needs. You can get your driveway poured over a base layer of gravel, which is typically cheaper than paving directly over dirt. Gravel will keep moisture from seeping into your asphalt, which can cause cracks and allow weeds and grasses to grow up through your driveway. A more expensive option is a full depth asphalt driveway made with hot-laid asphalt laid directly over dirt.

Maintenance

Both asphalt and concrete require maintenance. In order to ensure that your driveway maintains its aesthetic appeal, it’s essential that you schedule regular upkeep. Keep in mind, however, that not all repairs are created equal. A small crack in a concrete driveway should be repaired immediately, but might not require further attention until it grows larger. On the other hand, asphalt is more prone to expansion and contraction which means cracks may reappear every summer depending on weather conditions.

Does paving a driveway increase home value?

Paving a driveway in front of your home is an easy way to give it instant curb appeal and add value, but before you go out and buy gravel or asphalt, consider whether your home’s future resale value will benefit from having one. Homeowners may want their driveways paved in order to protect their cars and reduce maintenance—not because they believe it will significantly boost their home’s value.

However, there are certain factors that could make paving a good idea. It’s generally a good idea to pave a driveway if you live in an area where heavy rain can turn dirt roads into swamps, especially if your home’s foundation is not well protected from high water. Paving your driveway might also be worth it if it allows you to add a garage and build up additional property value.

This information is presented by our professionals at Fort Worth Asphalt Paving. Check out our website for more information on concrete and asphalt paving services.

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