If someone asked you what your driveway was made of, you would probably tell them concrete. Typically, most driveways are made from poured concrete. It has only been in recent years that asphalt driveways have started to spring up around the country. Asphalt has a number of benefits that makes it an attractive option when you are building a new driveway or considering redoing your existing one.
Asphalt is Affordable
Asphalt is a great alternative if your budget for your new driveway is tight, or you just love to save money. Typically, asphalt costs between $2.50 and $4.00 a square foot. In contrast, concrete driveways can cost up to $6.00 a square foot to install.
On top of that, concrete driveways often require extensive and varied finishing details that tack on costs to the construction. Asphalt doesn't require any immediate treatments. However, when it does need to be sealed (about every 5 years) the sealing costs are way below any cost of finishing and treating a concrete driveway.
Overall, installing an asphalt driveway will save you money, which means more money for other home improvement projects!
Repairing Asphalt is a Snap
When it comes to repairs, asphalt is the clear winner in terms of ease of repair and the cost of repair. When concrete starts to crack or break, you will need to call in a professional to fix it. The professional is needed because they must check the surrounding areas, as well as the state of the soil underneath the concrete, to ensure there isn't hidden wide-spread damage. They also are needed to fill and treat the concrete properly.
Asphalt repairs, on the other hand, can be done easily by you. You can pick up asphalt sealer or fillers at any local store, and simply fill in cracks yourself. On top of that, if there is widespread damage you can easily apply a whole new top coat of asphalt to your driveway!
Asphalt is Perfect For Cold and Moderate Climates
If you experience any type of chilly weather, choosing concrete for your driveway may be a cause for regret. Concrete is known for cracking and breaking when the temperature gets too low. Water will quickly migrate into already existing cracks, and then freeze expanding the space and causing severe damage. Concrete is also susceptible to damage from what is called frost heaving. Frost heaving causes the soil underneath the concrete to swell, displacing and breaking it.
Concrete driveways also suffer from salt application. Salt is used to melt ice and to discourage ice production. Salt applied on concrete causes ugly discoloration and small holes in the concrete.
Asphalt, on the other hand, has none of the above mentioned problems. Asphalt, by its very nature, is a flexible substance. As asphalt is subjected to multiple cycles of thawing and freezing, it naturally flexes and contracts. No undue stress is put on the asphalt, meaning no cracks, pits, or breakages. On top of that, due to the intensive black color of asphalt, snow and ice tend to melt much faster on asphalt driveways. The asphalt's color absorbs much more sunlight than standard concrete ever could, which speeds up melting times. Asphalt also suffers no consequences when salt is applied.
If you live in Phoenix where temperatures skyrocket, it might not be the best idea to install an asphalt driveway. Asphalt is prone to becoming sticky at high temperatures, and might warp. However, any other location where super high temperatures aren't the norm make an asphalt driveway the clear choice.
If your driveway is in need of an overhaul, don't neglect asphalt paving as a viable option when considering your options. Its affordability, ease of repair, and durability make it a great option for any homeowner. Click here for more info about finding a contractor to install your new driveway.