Asphalt vs Concrete Pavement: Choose the Best Material for Your Project

Asphalt vs concrete pavement
Aug 07, 2020  |  J & R Chavez Landscaping

Do you need a new driveway for your home? Or, are you building several parking lots for a commercial property? Whatever it is, you must choose the best paving materials for the project. Today, we’ll discuss asphalt vs concrete pavement. We’ll go over the pros and cons of each one so that you get a clear idea of what will work best for you!

Both concrete and asphalt are great materials to work with. But, in certain situations, one is better than the other. In other words, the material you choose will depend on what your needs are and the location of your project.

Pros and Cons of Asphalt vs Concrete Pavement

You’ve probably seen several concrete roads and asphalt streets and wondered what the differences are besides the color. So, first, we must talk about what concrete and asphalt are.

Concrete is made of water, sand, and aggregate (rock or gravel). There is a “binding agent” that mixes the aggregate together, which is cement. As a result, you get that light gray tone.

To mix asphalt, the process is similar to concrete. But, the binding agent that is used is a black, petroleum-based material, hence the darker color. You can use both of these paving materials for residential or commercial projects.

So, what are the pros and cons of asphalt vs concrete pavement? Asphalt is easier to repair and less expensive. But, it crumbles in extreme heat and needs more maintenance. Concrete lasts longer and is versatile. Yet, it is slippery during heavy rains and has a longer curing process.

Asphalt Pavement

Asphalt is easier to repair

Firstly, let’s talk about asphalt paving. We’ll first discuss two pros and then two cons.

Pro: Asphalt Is Easier to Repair

If you choose asphalt pavement for your driveway, then it will be easier for you to repair it. You won’t need the help of contractors if you have small holes or cracks.

Also, repairing asphalt costs lower than fixing concrete. This is because the process of repairing concrete is much more labor-intensive. So, you will need the help of a contractor.

Pro: Asphalt Cost Is Lower

If you’re on a budget, then we recommend asphalt paving. The asphalt cost is lower than that of concrete. For a driveway, it costs between $2 and $6 per square foot if you choose asphalt. But, concrete costs between $4 and $10 per square foot.

You can stamp or color the top coat of your asphalt surface and it would still be less than what concrete costs. The cost of concrete increases even more if you decide to stain it or do any other type of finish.

Con: Doesn’t Do Well in Extreme Heat

Asphalt crumbles in extreme heat

Asphalt roads don’t do well in extreme heat. So, if you live in a place with a warm or hot climate, then we don’t recommend this paving material.

Your asphalt surface can start to crumble if it is exposed to high temperatures. As a result, you would have to keep repairing it every time it cracks or crumbles. You will start to see the cracks along the edges of the surface. So, asphalt does way better in colder climates.

Con: It Requires More Maintenance

Resealing asphalt

Even though asphalt is less expensive than concrete, it requires more maintenance. It can crack easily if it is not taken care of properly.

To take proper care of asphalt, you have to reseal the surface six months after you’ve installed it. After this, you have to reseal it again every three to five years. If you want your asphalt surface to last several years, then you must give it the proper maintenance.

Concrete Pavement

Concrete pavement

Now, it’s time to discuss concrete paving. We’ll also tell you both two pros and cons.

Pro: Concrete Lasts Longer

We mentioned before that concrete pavement is more expensive than asphalt. But, the cost is worth it as it lasts longer compared to asphalt. This makes it a great environmentally friendly material since you don’t have to replace it very often.

Even if you take excellent care of both paving materials, concrete will last longer. Concrete can last from 30 to 40 years, compared to asphalt that only lasts up to 20 years.

Pro: You Can Stamp, Color, or Stain It

Concrete is a versatile material

Concrete paving is a very versatile option because you can stamp, color, or stain it! You can create different finishes on concrete to meet your needs. Whether you need it for a patio, driveway, sidewalk, or parking lot, you can give it the design that you want!

You can use dyes, stains, or powders to give your concrete surface the color that you want. As a result, you can make concrete look like natural stone or brick.

Con: Concrete Is Slippery During Heavy Rains

If you experience heavy rains where you live, then you have to be careful when driving on a concrete road. It’s easier for cars to slide in concrete than in asphalt.

Snow can also make concrete surfaces more slippery. So, just be careful when driving on a concrete road during the winter! For that reason, the majority of the highways are made of asphalt.

Con: You Need to Let It Cure for a Week

Concrete needs to cure longer

A major disadvantage that people don’t enjoy about concrete is that it takes longer to dry. You wouldn’t be able to walk or drive on it until after seven days.

It’s important that you let the concrete dry and cure so that it can stand the weight of a car. If you don’t do this, then you may end up paying more to recoat the concrete.

Now that you’ve read the pros and cons of each material it’s time for you to make a decision! Do you want a more durable material or want a lower upfront cost? Do you want to be able to repair cracks yourself or be able to stamp and dye the surface? Whatever you choose will depend on what your needs and preferences are.

Whether you choose asphalt vs concrete pavement, you can choose either one for both residential or commercial purposes. Remember that is also crucial that you use high-quality materials to ensure the best results.