To increase the longevity and beauty of your outdoors, paving is the best choice. There are a variety of materials are available in the market to get your job done. But the problem arises to decide the right equipment for the specific area. When paving the driveway, should you opt for Asphalt paving or concrete paving? Here we will first gather some information of these materials and try to solve the dilemma.

Asphalt Paving

It is also known as bitumen or bituminous black. It is a black colored, adhesive and highly viscous compound derived from petroleum. The Canadian province of Alberta has the most massive storage of natural asphalt. It is being used as sticky or water roofing since thousands of years all over the world. Today almost 85 percent of asphalt is used in making roads. Sand and gravel are mixed with it to form a quality compound that can use in paving the driveway and airport runway as well.

Asphalt Paving

Driveway Asphalt Paving

Concrete Paving

The term concrete denotes a chemical mixture of cement and aggregates like sand, natural gravel or crushed stones. Portland cement, derived from limestone has a property to react with water and produce some heat. Then the hydration process continues in the semi-liquid mixture, and it is left to get set and shape of the molds. This chemical process can continue for years through 90 percent of it gets completed within four weeks.  Thus, it gains high compression strength and extended durability.

Cost

Asphalt paving may cost you around $5.4 per square foot, whereas concrete will run you about $9.5 per square foot, and if you want colored or super finished pavement, the cost may go above $13.5 per square foot. So undoubtedly asphalt paving wins on cost.

Hardening Time

The Asphalt compounds can get set in few hours. And one can walk on it after 24 hours, but it takes 3 to 5 days more to get strong enough to bear the weight of a car. The chemical process of hardening goes on until the next 6-12 months. Concrete surfaces take up to 48 hours to be walkable. 1-4 weeks is needed to complete 90 percent of hardening process, but it remains in an unusable state as it must be kept moist during this period. So again asphalt paving wins.

Maintenance

Asphalt needs frequent maintenance as it becomes soft under direct sunlight. But the cost of maintenance is low because of the low price of ingredients and labor. Concrete is more durable resulting very rare issues of repairing. But ingredients, especially Portland cement is a costly one, so the cost goes up. So here it is a tie.

Cracking

Asphalt being highly elastic in nature is generally crack resistant.  If a hole or crack appears accidentally, it can be repaired very quickly. Whereas concrete has low tensile strength making it highly susceptible to breaks even under small surface movements or pressure. So here concrete wins.

Appearance

The color of asphalt is black or dark gray, so it can easily mix up with oily marks and stains. So, overall appearance remains the same for the longer period. Moreover, it doesn’t react with most of the chemicals ensuring minimal chances of creating patches and marks. But concrete is more corrosive and fundamental in nature. Consequently, stains and marks are obvious; so color should be chosen wisely to reduce these adverse effects. So concrete is beaten by asphalt.

Durability

Average life of asphalt is 20 years, and that of concrete is 30 years. So the performance of concrete is better.

Combining, all the above-mentioned aspects, concrete fall short of a thin margin. Although if your preference in durability and low-frequency of maintenance you should go for concrete. But if you want a nice paving within budget along with low maintenance, asphalt is what you need. So analyze your need and priorities and chose your paving material wisely.

More on Asphalt Paving.