Concrete vs Asphalt

Concrete vs Asphalt

When choosing paving options for driveways and pavements, most homeowners have to choose between concrete paving and asphalt paving. While these two materials are used to create the same effect in a space, there are a lot of differences in the two. These differences can make decision making easier.

Material difference

Asphalt is made using aggregate, which is crushes sand and rocks bonded using bitumen. When paving using asphalt, bitumen is mixed with aggregate and poured on a bed of heavier aggregate. A steamroller is used to press the asphalt which compacts it. The asphalt is them left to cool off before it is used.

When it comes to concrete paving, the concrete used also have an aggregate but in this case, the binder is cement. As it dries, it creates a stiff pavement.

Sustainability

There are differences between asphalt and concrete paving when it comes to maintenance and sustainability.

After being used for 6 months or a year, asphalt roads and pavements need to be sealed. Asphalt will require subsequent sealing every 3 to 5 years. This does not require any special tools and can be done by anyone with a little knowledge on the same. Sealing the asphalt extends its life which can see it last up to 30 years with proper maintenance.

For concrete driveways, concrete paving slabs, or concrete house slabs, once installed, they can last for up to 50 years with minimum maintenance. Concrete slabs do not require sealing even though sealing it can improve its finished look. Repairing cracks in concrete is easy and can be done by anyone.

Durability

It is always beneficial to go for a durable solution for drive3asys and house slabs. Concrete is far more durable than asphalt. It is also stronger than asphalt meaning it can hold more weight over a longer period than asphalt. A 5’’ thick concrete paving slab has a load capacity of an asphalt pavement that is 8’’ thick. Asphalt will only last about 20 years with proper maintenance while concrete can last up to 50 years.

The cost

Asphalt is more affordable to install than concrete with an average of about $3 to $5 per square foot. This means that it costs between $900 and $1500 to install a 300 square foot of asphalt paving in your driveway. On the other hand, it can cost between $1500 and $3000 to install a concrete driveway in the same space.

Even so, when considering the cost of either asphalt or concrete slabs, you cannot just look at the cost of installing. There are maintenance charges that come into play after the installation is done.

For asphalt, a lot of maintenance and sealing is required after every 3 to 5 years. For concrete house slabs, very little maintenance is required and can last for up to 50 years before a redo is required. Asphalt cannot last this long even with the regular maintenance. Therefore, asphalt proves to be more costly in the long run than concrete paving slabs.

Kerb appeal

Unlike the old days, concrete driveways today can be dyed to any color desired. This provides a unique addition to any home’s exterior space. This makes concrete a better choice for anyone going for a look that is eye catchy. Also, concrete can be textured and polished. On the other hand asphalt is only done in black color.

Conclusion

While the concrete vs asphalt debate is far from over, it is clear that concrete driveways and concrete house slabs are a better choice if one is lolling for durability, style, and comfort that will last for years.

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