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.
This is some really great information for anyone considering replacing their driveway. I had never really thought about asphalt, I planned on using cement, but this article makes a lot of really great points about the benefits asphalt has. Especially your point about snow; I had never thought about that, but it makes a lot of sense that they retain more heat and thus don’t allow as much snow to accumulate or to stick around. Thanks so much for writing!
I never would of guessed that that having an asphalt driveway could be so beneficial. I really like how you said that “Snow will melt faster on an asphalt driveway when compared to one made of concrete.” My family and I need to redo our driveway so it is good to learn about how beneficial a asphalt driveway can be especially during the winter months.
I learned a lot about asphalt driveways by reading this article. It was cool to learn that asphalt causes snow to melt faster. I hope that we can have an asphalt driveway so that we can be prepared for when winter hits.
Thanks for pointing out that the dark color of asphalt helps it retain heat in the winter and melt snow more quickly than concrete. My husband and I just moved to an area that gets a lot of snow, so it would make sense to go with an asphalt driveway. I’ll definitely talk with my husband about choosing asphalt for our driveway!
Last two weeks ago, my husband was thinking of getting an asphalt driveway since because he said that it is more affordable as you said. Since you pointed out that they are better able to withstand temperature extremes, he might be right about this chance. I was not aware that its installation is faster so I might consider contacting a professional about this for a quote.
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