For a material to be useful for driveway construction, it must be both durable and cost-effective. The two materials that best fit this description are asphalt and concrete. With a large project like a driveway, it is important to consider both the project’s long-term cost as well as the up-front one. Asphalt driveways provide significant benefits in both respects. The following are a few of the advantages that come with asphalt driveways.
They are More Affordable
Most homeowners want a driveway material that is both relatively inexpensive to install and that will not cost a lot to maintain. Asphalt itself is not expensive, and the tools and materials needed to keep it in top shape are inexpensive as well. The installation cost for an asphalt driveway is also approximately 45 percent less than that of a concrete one. In addition, the homeowner can easily buy materials at a hardware store and apply them to patch their driveway if there is any damage.
They are Better Able to Withstand Temperature Extremes
Asphalt is relatively flexible when compared to concrete. Over the course of the year, the ground under a driveway will contract and expand depending on the temperature. In summer, it expands because of the heat and it contracts in winter because of the cold. Asphalt handles this easily with little or no damage, but concrete can be too hard. This hardness can cause it to crack in extreme temperatures, leaving unsightly and unsafe gaps that can widen with age. The salt used on roads to melt ice can also cause concrete driveways to crack, so those in areas which receive a lot of snow should consider asphalt for their driveway.
Installation is Faster
The amount of time it takes to install an asphalt driveway is considerably less when compared to the amount of time it takes to install a concrete one. Concrete can take as long as four days to pour and another four days to set; from start to finish, pouring and setting only takes two days with asphalt. This can be a benefit to builders on a time crunch and even more so for those in areas of inclement weather.
Asphalt Causes Snow to Melt Faster
Snow will melt faster on an asphalt driveway when compared to one made of concrete. This is because asphalt driveways are black and that black color helps them to retain the heat of the sun. An expert from Superior Asphalt Paving Ltd says this can make winter maintenance easier and safer for both commercial and residential settings. Concrete is not black and therefore does not have that benefit. Again, in areas which experience heavy snowfall or freezing temperatures, this can be a major advantage asphalt has over concrete.
The main benefit of an asphalt driveway is its affordability, both in the long and short term. Homeowners should consider the fact that if it is properly sealed and cared for, an asphalt driveway can last for upwards of 30 years.