Asphalt Versus Concrete Driveways
Which is the Best Choice For You?
Asphalt and concrete are the most popular types of material for driveways. Asphalt driveways and concrete driveways both have their unique advantages and disadvantages. When choosing what surface material is best for a driveway project, there are a few major advantages and disadvantages of asphalt and concrete to consider. Considering cost, longevity, design and climate will help to clarify which material best fits your needs.
Advantages To Asphalt Driveways
First, we will go through some of the advantages of asphalt versus concrete for your driveway material. The first and most obvious benefit of asphalt over concrete is the cost savings. Asphalt is usually about 30 to 40 percent cheaper than concrete, and this can make a huge difference in your decision-making process, especially if you have an extra-long driveway to install.
Asphalt driveways are also quicker to install than the concrete counterpart. This is especially true if there is no concrete, brick or other type of border. Many times, an asphalt driveway can be built in 2-3 days, while it would take much longer for a comparable sized concrete driveway. Some of this has to do with the fact that the preparation time for a concrete driveway is much longer with preparing the subsurface for the driveway, along with building the forms needed for a concrete driveway along with expansion joints that are needed. Some larger concrete driveways can take 1-3 weeks to properly cure, depending on the season.
The customer is also able to use the driveway sooner with an asphalt driveway versus the concrete counterpart. Depending on the time of year and the temperature outside, the asphalt driveway can start to be used within 2-4 days. During the spring and fall, the cure time for an asphalt driveway is less because of the cooler nights. Concrete can take up to 7 days to cure unless a high early mix concrete is used, which can cost substantially more.
When you install an asphalt driveway, you do not need to worry about spalling, which is a flaking condition that can occur in concrete if the concrete is not mixed properly, or if salt is used on the surface of the concrete to melt ice or snow. Similarly, asphalt is less prone to cracking than concrete. This is especially true in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma soil conditions, which can have expansive soil (clay), as the subsurface.
Finally, it’s generally going to be cheaper to repair an asphalt driveway versus a concrete driveway. This is especially true if a homeowner or business owner wants to seal any linear cracks because it can be done with products purchased at a local hardware store.
Disadvantages of Asphalt Driveways
While asphalt paved driveways are typically cheaper to install than concrete driveways, asphalt driveways need significant more care over time to protect them. Asphalt driveways need to be sealed at least once every 3-5 years. While each sealing is easily completed by a do it yourself homeowner, it does cost money and time, and many home owners or business owners don’t make this a priority, so the asphalt driveway does not last as long as it could have under a proper maintenance schedule. In addition, the sealer needs typically 2-3 days to dry before you can park a vehicle on it. Also, a newly asphalt driveway should not be sealed for at least 6-9 months, as the light oils associated with the asphalt need to evaporate first. If an asphalt driveway is sealed too soon it will remain soft forever.
Asphalt driveways, if maintained can usually last 20 years with minor repairs and/or patches along the way. Concrete driveways can and usually do last even longer. However, both require a solid foundation to be laid upon. If not laid on a solid foundation both will crack over time, especially in colder times of the year, like December through February in Oklahoma City, OK. Asphalt cracks are easier to repair than concrete driveway cracks.
Advantages of Concrete Driveways
Concrete’s greatest advantage over asphalt is its longevity. The lower cost of an asphalt driveway comes at a cost of a shorter lifespan to that of concrete. A properly installed concrete driveway can last around 30 years, while an asphalt driveway usually will only last about 20 years, and that is with proper maintenance on the asphalt driveway. While concrete may crack over time, wear and tear on an asphalt driveway can leave ruff patches and potholes that need to be fixed more often.
Concrete also has more of an artistic advantage over asphalt, as they can be built with colored concrete, stamped, stained and many different options when it comes to the design of the concrete driveway. While there is some flexibility for asphalt driveways when it comes to borders, there are not nearly as many options as you would have with concrete.
Concrete driveways also tend to do better in warm climates like Oklahoma City, OK than an asphalt driveway. The hot summer temperatures in Oklahoma City can turn the oily in asphalt to come out and become sticky and also cause the asphalt to come apart in places. This can cause damage to your vehicles and also become a mess in your home or business if people track in oil from their shoes.
We at All Asphalt Paving & Concrete wanted to point out some of the primary advantages and disadvantages to both asphalt and concrete when deciding which material to use for your driveway. We do both types of driveways, and typically the deciding factor will have to do with the size and length of your driveway. Many rural areas in Oklahoma City, OK that are on larger pieces of land will use asphalt simply because of the cost. Many of our customers in these situations will choose to use a combination of both asphalt and concrete. It’s not uncommon to have concrete for 20 to 25 feet directly up the house or business, with asphalt used for a long drive that connects to the final concrete driveway. This can also be done using concrete borders on the asphalt to give a cleaner, more manicured style to the driveway.
Call All Asphalt Paving & Concrete For Your Concrete and Asphalt Driveway Needs
Call All Asphalt Paving & Concrete at 405.514.1969 for all your concrete and asphalt driveway needs. We are experts at installing both concrete and asphalt driveways, and we can help you determine which is the best option for your home or business. We offer free quotes and assessments of your property, and we have been serving the Oklahoma City, and the greater Oklahoma City Metro area since 1974 as a family owned business. You can also contact us here if you would like us to call you to schedule an appointment for a quote.