When the time comes to install a new driveway, you will need to decide what kind of material you will use. There are several different materials available, but most driveways are made from either concrete or asphalt. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and you will need to consider these if you’re going to choose the best option for your home.
Pros and Cons of Concrete
The biggest advantage of choosing concrete for your driveway is its long lifespan. When it is properly installed, a concrete driveway can last up to 40 years before it needs to be replaced. It also requires relatively little maintenance and won’t need to be resealed, especially if you live someplace in a warmer climate. Concrete is also a great aesthetic choice since it can be colored or scored. Even if you don’t want a unique color for your driveway, concrete simply has a bright “clean” look to it that goes well with any modern suburban home.
As for the downsides of a concrete driveway, the biggest by far is its price. A concrete driveway may require little to no maintenance and won’t need to be resealed, but it costs roughly twice as much as an asphalt driveway. Since concrete is harder than asphalt, it is also more brittle and prone to cracking. These cracks are difficult to repair. Concrete is also prone to staining, and its lighter color will make every oil stain and spill stand out. There are ways to clean and degrease a concrete driveway, but that can be difficult and time-consuming unless you catch the stain while it’s still relatively new.
Pros and Cons of Asphalt
Asphalt is a material that is commonly used in roads, so it makes sense that it would be popular for driveways. This even adds some aesthetic appeal for those who want their driveways to look like an extension of their street. It’s also much less expensive to install an asphalt driveway as opposed to a concrete driveway, and the material itself is less likely to be damaged by winter conditions. Finally, asphalt is easier to repair than concrete.
The biggest downside to an asphalt driveway is that it is much less durable than concrete. Asphalt driveways last about 20 years before they need to be replaced, and they need to be resealed every three to five years. It also has an oily texture in warm weather, giving you the feeling of walking on tar when the temperatures really get up there.
Overall, neither concrete or asphalt is “better” than the other option. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and it’s up to you to weigh these pros and cons to find a driveway that best fits your home and your budget.