When looking at where to get a concrete vs asphalt driveway you are likely comparing things like cost, look, durability and maintenance concerns. Here is all that information together in one post so you can make the best choice for your needs.
Comparing the costs of having a concrete or asphalt driveway done
It is generally true that an asphalt driveway is going to be more affordable than a concrete one. In some cases that affordability can be as much as 30 to 40 percent lower. Asphalting in Australia ranges between $25 per square meter to $40. Concreting is more likely to start at $65 up to $85 depending on things like if there is a slope, the finish you choose and so on. So if all you are concerned with is cost then clearly an asphalt driveway is for you. But over time asphalt is more likely to need repairing so when you add those costs in that shrinks that gap by quite a bit.
Why is asphalt cheaper? It comes down to the materials it is made from. Asphalt is made up of bitumen and aggregates and concrete is aggregates and cement. The asphalt vs concrete driveway debate has asphalt winning in affordability because bitumen is cheaper than cement. But it is not a good idea to choose only based on price as other factors about what makes a better driveway include the quality of the drive, its durability, its look, how often you have to repair it, what kind of maintenance it requires and the convenience it offers.
Comparing their convenience and durability
When it comes to which is the least disruptive to your life that would be asphalt. You could be walking on your drive in just 24 hours and then driving on it in 3 days. Concrete curing is a longer process and you need to not use it for a minimum of a week after it is done. The installation process itself is easier and quicker with asphalt too but you do need to lay a gravel base before you put the asphalt down the same as with concrete slabs. So asphalt is the more convenient and less disruptive option. But in terms of durability concrete is certainly the better choice. Asphalt cracks and does not have the same lifespan as concrete. It lasts up to 20 years and concrete lasts twice that, up to 40 years.
Take a look at what kind of maintenance is needed for concrete and asphalt
It is true that asphalt driveways are more likely to have some cracking at some point that will need repairing but asphalt is easier to handle. Concrete driveways rarely crack but if it does it is harder to fix. When choosing a driveway think about the kind of heat your drive will see. Asphalt does not handle heat as well as concrete so in Australian weather that is an issue. Concrete is not good in extreme cold on the other hand.
Every three to five years you will likely need to reseal the asphalt but concrete does not need that. Concrete when done well does not need any real care unless a rare crack occurs. If there is a chance of petrol and oils stains, they are less obvious on asphalt and harder to clean from concrete. Put petrol on asphalt can cause damage.
Which has the better appearance?
This is a personal choice, some people prefer the look of an asphalt driveway and some prefer a concrete driveway. When choosing between concrete vs asphalt driveway the black surface of the asphalt to some is more appealing. It is worth noting that with concrete you do have more options to its finish and final appearance. You can choose between a coloured concrete driveway, stencil concrete driveway, stamped concrete driveway and exposed aggregate driveway. And the options for concrete doesn’t end there!
Choosing the best driveway for your needs is only something you can do with all the different factors taken into account. Cost, durability, maintenance, convenience, appearance are all important factors to inform that choice. You should also use a reliable and professional concrete driveway service for laying your driveway. They can help you choose based on their own experience and make sure the process of having a driveway put in is as smooth and painless as it is possible!