Among the variety of materials available for driveways. asphalt and concrete remain the two most popular choices. Both are negatively affecting the planet, but with green alternatives typically costing too much, individuals are forced to choose between them. But what material should you use in your project? Should you only consider the price differences, or should you first consider your environment? This post doesn’t provide a clear-cut answer but compares and contrasts the two to show their advantages and disadvantages.
When it comes down to the price, asphalt is the big winner. Over at Kompare It, they estimate that it costs about $2 to $6 per square foot of asphalt compared to concrete that costs between $5 and $10. The difference may seem minimal here, but if you plan on constructing a 500 square foot driveway the cost difference will be between $1,500 to $2, 000!
If laid down properly both of these options should deliver long-lasting results, but concrete clearly out does asphalt. The general lifespan of asphalt is between 15 to 20 years. Concrete, on the other hand, has a long life expectancy, which if properly maintained can last between 30 to 40 years. These figures are also dependent on where your asphalt and concrete are placed. In areas known that experience extreme heat, asphalt can turn into a sticky goo and come apart. Conversely, freezing temperatures are known to cause concrete to crack.
Although concrete is relatively cheap in the beginning, its costs start to show later on. Expect to have to reseal your asphalt driveway every 3-5 years in order to prevent deterioration. However, you won’t have to worry about stains with asphalts. Typically dark in color, asphalt driveways won’t show oil stains and easier to clean. With concrete stains, you’ll have to be careful. Almost anything can stain and permanently damage the look of the finish, especially oil stains.
Concrete driveways can be scored with a variety of patterns, painted and styled to reflect your home’s aesthetic. But these touches bring little practical value and also cost a whopping $15 per square foot. With asphalt driveways, your choices are significantly reduced. The most you’ll be able to do is change the color of the asphalt at a significantly lower price of about $8 per square foot.
With each material boasting numerous advantages and disadvantages, choosing between the two comes down to what your personal preference is.