Are you lucky enough to own a home?
There are 74% more renters in America today than there was during the 1960s. While renters have to throw away money every month on high rent rates, homeowners get to invest in their future as they pay off their mortgages. Another benefit of owning a home is that you get to be the boss when it comes to deciding how you want your home to look and feel!
To help you weigh the pros and cons of getting an asphalt vs concrete driveway, we’ve created this short, but complete guide. We’ll go over the top advantages and disadvantages of both materials, along with costly mistakes to avoid! Don’t make a driveway decision you’ll regret later on.
Read on to learn how to choose between concrete and asphalt for your driveway.
Advantages of Having an Asphalt Driveway
Let’s start by looking at the advantages an asphalt driveway has to offer. When it comes to choosing between an asphalt vs concrete driveway, you’ll want to consider how fast you want things done.
An asphalt driveway will be easier to install than a concrete one. If you’re looking to get your driveway finished sooner than later, asphalt is probably the direction you should head in.
Next, an asphalt driveway has a more clean, sleek look than concrete ones do. The best part is you can get all sorts of different finishes and tints to get the perfect look for your home.
Moving on, asphalt driveways are very durable, and won’t be prone to flaking or cracking as concrete driveways can be. One of the reasons asphalt driveways don’t crack as often is because they’re more flexible than concrete.
When the winter season rolls around, the extreme changes in temperatures won’t even phase your asphalt driveway. Also, the dark color of the asphalt will help melt snow, which means less shoveling for you!
Asphalt Driveway Cost vs Concrete
Moving on, let’s figure out the cost comparison of concrete vs asphalt driveway. When you start calculating the cost of installing a new driveway, you’ll find that asphalt driveways are less expensive than concrete driveways. One of the reasons asphalt is cheaper is because the installation process is easier.
Disadvantages of an Asphalt Driveway
One of the biggest disadvantages of owning an asphalt driveway is that you’ll need to seal it every few years. Also, if you live somewhere with intense heat, the asphalt can become very hot. While the hot asphalt might not bother you, if you own a dog, the hot asphalt could hurt their feet.
Avoid These Asphalt Driveway Mistakes
Are you leaning towards getting an easy to maintain, low-cost asphalt driveway? If so, you’ll want to make sure you avoid these mistakes:
- Hiring bad contractors
- Using the wrong sealer
- Getting low-quality asphalt
- Parking before the driveway’s ready
- Letting gas and oil spill on the driveway
- Not supporting your driveway
Only hire experienced contractors who have a good reputation. Next, make sure the sealer is applied as soon as possible after the paving is complete. The sooner you put on the sealer, the more effective it’ll be.
Next, make sure you wait at least 3-4 days before you walk or park on your newly paved driveway. Parking on your asphalt driveway too soon can cause unsightly cracks that water will pool up in. Finally, support your driveway with either grass or gravel on its sides.
Benefits of Getting a Concrete Driveway
Now you’re ready to learn all of the benefits a concrete driveway has to offer. While it’s true that an asphalt driveway costs less to install, they don’t last as long as concrete ones do. Your newly paved concrete driveway could last anywhere from 25-50 years, depending on how well it’s made, and maintained.
Next, concrete driveways will reflect the heat instead of absorbing it. If you decide to walk across your concrete driveway barefoot in the summertime, you won’t feel as if your feet are on fire!
Moving on, you won’t have to worry about your concrete driveway releasing oils like newly paved asphalt ones do. Last but not least, your concrete driveway will be able to withstand even the heaviest of vehicles, without getting damaged.
Downside to Having a Concrete Driveway
If you decide to get a concrete driveway, keep in mind that you’ll have to do annual maintenance to keep it looking nice. For instance, to keep your driveway looking nice and clean, you’ll need to have it pressure washed every few months.
You’ll also need to install a new sealant every so often to prevent any cracks. Finally, if you have any fluids or oils leak on your concrete driveway they’ll cause noticeable stains that can be hard to get rid of.
Common Concrete Driveway Mistakes
Are you sold on getting a concrete driveway? If so, it’s crucial that your contractors properly install the base of the driveway. Low-quality subbases like dirt or sand may save time and money, but they’ll cause you all sorts of problems down the road. Once the dirt or sand starts gathering moisture, it’ll freeze during the winter season, which can cause major cracks to form in your driveway.
Next, you’ll want to avoid using any salt to melt the ice on your concrete driveway. Salt can cause snow to melt, and seep under the surface of the driveway where it’ll refreeze and cause cracks.
Finally, tree roots are one of the biggest problems with concrete driveways. Over time the tree roots growth can create breaking points and cracks. Before you have your new concrete driveway installed, you might need to remove nearby trees.
Choosing Between an Asphalt vs Concrete Driveway
Now you can finally decide between an asphalt vs concrete driveway! If you’re looking for a fast, low-cost solution, asphalt is the right way to go. However, if you want a driveway that can withstand the test of time, concrete is the clear choice for you.
If you’re still not sure which material you should use, no worries! Just call an experienced paving contractor in your area today and ask for their opinion on both an asphalt and concrete driveway. For more tips like the ones in this article, check out the rest of this site.