What You Should Know When Comparing Asphalt vs. Concrete

If you’re considering installing a new driveway this spring or summer, you’ll need to decide whether you’ll choose asphalt or concrete. As paving contractors ourselves, we frequently recommend the use of asphalt over concrete for driveway installations in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Here are just a few of the biggest reasons why you should consider choosing asphalt for your paving job:

  • Cost: Asphalt costs significantly less than concrete, both in terms of materials and labor. You can expect asphalt to start in the range of $2 to $5 per square foot of driveway, while concrete will have a starting price of anywhere from $3 to $10 per square foot, and it gets more expensive if you add decorative elements to the installation.
  • Curing time: Asphalt will be ready for you to drive on much sooner than concrete. With asphalt, you can begin driving on it almost immediately, but with concrete, you’ll likely need to wait at least a week before you can safely drive on it without causing any indentations or damage.
  • Flexibility with weather: Asphalt shrinks and expands with the temperature changes, making it much more flexible and beneficial for areas that see four distinct seasons each year. Concrete, however, will crack under extreme pressure or surface movement, and the freezing and thawing cycles can wreak havoc on its condition over time.
  • Repairs: Asphalt is much easier to repair than concrete—you’ll easily be able to fill up any holes or cracks and then seal them. With concrete, you can do some patch work, but it will be much more obvious and may be more difficult and expensive to fix, depending on the extent of the damage to the pavement.
  • Maintenance: There isn’t a clear edge for either concrete or asphalt with regard to maintenance, but it’s important for you to know what to expect. With asphalt, you’ll generally have more ongoing maintenance to perform, but the maintenance tasks will be on the easier side. Concrete gives you less maintenance to worry about, but when you do have to make repairs, they’ll be harder to perform.
  • Stains: Any oil leaks on asphalt will not be as noticeable as they are on concrete, where they will be very obvious. It is important to note, however, that gasoline spills will cause damage to an asphalt surface, which they would not with concrete.

The one area in which concrete has the clear advantage over asphalt is in longevity—you can expect a concrete driveway to last about 30 years, while an asphalt driveway will last about 20. But when you consider the other benefits that all tilt in the favor of asphalt, the slightly lower life expectancy is likely going to be more than worthwhile for most homeowners.

If you’re interested in learning more about the differences between asphalt and concrete for driveways and why we generally recommend the use of asphalt over concrete for paving in Saratoga Springs, NY, we encourage you to contact the asphalt and paving contractors at Asphalt Industries, LLC today. We’d be happy to answer your questions!