Replacing your driveway is a big investment, and you want it to last. Many homeowners evaluate asphalt over concrete when assessing their choices in Saratoga Springs, NY, and while both are durable materials, they also have their advantages and disadvantages. Here are six areas to consider when making your decision:
- Appearance: Asphalt offers a dark, even color that matches the street and lends a uniform appearance. Homeowners often prefer it because it does not show stains or clash wildly with the other homes on the street. Concrete offers more decorative options if you want to stamp patterns or add a brushed or textured finish. This is mainly an aesthetic preference, and one is not necessarily superior to the other, unless you wish for a very specific look.
- Temperature: Asphalt can become sticky in extreme heat. The cycle of hot temperatures followed by cooler ones can lead to cracking and sagging. While this sounds dramatic, it is not nearly as bad as concrete’s response to temperature changes. Concrete does not stand up well to winter temperatures, and cold winters lead to serious damage from buckling, cracking and heaving. Once ice melts with the road salt, concrete will stain. If you choose asphalt, ice will melt quicker without stains.
- Maintenance: Asphalt requires some special care. Every three to five years, you must call a contractor to visit and seal it. This starts a few months after installation when asphalt has fully cured. Concrete does not require sealing—however, it shows stains more, and that means a need for frequent and aggressive cleaning. That one time your car leaks oil or a particularly bad winter that demands more road salt will mean an ugly driveway unless you are willing to scrub.
- Repair: Both asphalt and concrete crack, but asphalt may do it more frequently. Fortunately, it is easy to repair when it occurs. Simply fill the cracks and any damage, and your driveway will look new again. If it shows its age, all it needs is a new topcoat, which is much less expensive than replacing the driveway. Concrete may not require repair frequently, but when it needs it, you are looking at a tough job, and once it’s done, you will notice the spots where you needed to patch up.
- Drying time: All driveways need time to dry or cure before you can use them. Asphalt is ready for driving within a couple days of installation, even if it takes a few months to fully cure. Concrete requires that you wait at least a week so it can finish its curing process. Homeowners with challenging street parking situations often choose asphalt, as it can become tiresome to constantly search for a place to put your car.
- Cost: Generally, a concrete driveway costs 40 to 50 percent more than an asphalt one. This can fluctuate based on the size of your driveway, but many of our budget-savvy customers choose asphalt for this reason.
Asphalt Industries, LLC is your trusted resource when it comes to asphalt paving in Saratoga Springs, NY. If you choose asphalt over concrete, know you can count on us. Contact us today to receive a paving estimate.