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Discover the Advantages of Concrete Driveways

by bryancunningham
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Concrete Driveways

When installing a new driveway, homeowners are always encouraged to explore the different options available. In most instances, concrete and asphalt are the two top choices. However, there are pros and cons associated with each material. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing the material for a new driveway.

Concrete Last Far Longer than Asphalt

When investing in a new driveway, most property owners look at how long the material will last. Here, concrete has the advantage, as it lasts far longer than asphalt. A concrete driveway is typically expected to last for up to 50 years. With proper maintenance, owners can expect asphalt to last roughly 25 years.

Asphalt Requires More Maintenance than Concrete

As a rule, asphalt will require far more maintenance than concrete. Regular sealing is recommended for both surfaces, but concrete is far more forgiving if that maintenance step is ignored. Asphalt tends to fail quickly when oils and other chemicals are introduced. Concrete stains when oil leaks onto its surface, but that oil can be cleaned up without the surface suffering any damage. Concrete may crack, but repairing most cracks is relatively easy.

Temperatures Impact Both Concrete and Asphalt

In hotter climates, asphalt will soften dramatically, which leaves it susceptible to damage. In addition, the surface becomes extremely hot, which creates a threat to pets and anyone walking barefoot. Concrete, on the other hand, is impervious to damage from the heat but can experience crack or heaving damage in extremely cold areas. The odds of concrete seeing damage are reduced when the area is prepped correctly before installing the material.

Asphalt Cures Faster than Concrete

As a rule, new asphalt can be driven on within a couple of days after the installation is completed. Concrete, however, requires several days to cure before being driven on. In most cases, owners preferring concrete aren’t put off by the longer curing times as they know the delay is a one-time event, and the result is worth waiting for.

Neither Option Makes a Good DIY Project

Installing either an asphalt or concrete driveway should always be left to the pros, as specialized equipment and techniques are required to ensure the surface is smooth and sufficiently strong to support the expected use. While some maintenance chores are appropriate for DIY projects, any significant issues should also be addressed by a professional.

Consider the Curb Appeal

While tastes are subjective, most people prefer the look of concrete to asphalt. While neither surface is overly attractive, concrete offers more options to enhance its appeal. Tints can be added to concrete that allow it to closely match the color scheme selected by the homeowner. Concrete can also be stamped to add texture or a pattern to the surface, but stamping increases the need for maintenance as dirt and stains are more difficult to remove.

Explore the Costs

Paying for that new driveway is always a concern, but experts caution that the initial cost should only be part of the picture. Asphalt is always less expensive than concrete, but homeowners are encouraged to look at the total cost over the driveway’s life before making any decisions.

Remember that concrete requires minimal maintenance, but asphalt needs regular maintenance over the years. The costs tend to balance out in favor of concrete when all ownership aspects are considered.

Contact a Driveway Installation Pro for Advice

When considering different options, consider contacting a driveway installation pro for advice. The pro will review the situation and provide a realistic picture of what homeowners can expect from the two materials.

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