Concrete vs. Asphalt Driveways
Photo credit: Con-Tile Industries
A brand new driveway will improve the curb appeal of your home, extend your outdoor living space, increase property value and even help with resale. If you’re installing a new driveway for a brand new home or want to replace your current damaged and cracked driveway, there are a few materials to consider. The most typical options are concrete and asphalt driveways. Here are the pros and cons of each.
Concrete contractors in Edmonton can install a brand new concrete driveway for your home. Concrete takes several days to cure, but is very aesthetically pleasing and versatile. You can choose from a variety of finishes including tinted or stamped finish, broom finish or an exposed aggregate finish that gives it that pebble-like look.
Cold Canadian winters and the freeze-thaw process can cause concrete driveways to crack. Fortunately, concrete can be repaired by concrete contractors. Edmonton homeowners who use salt to deice the driveway might create unattractive pits or blotches on their concrete. Concrete is easy to shovel snow off of in the winter and since it is very hard, it retains it’s shape well in the hot summer months and shows less wear and tear over time. Unlike asphalt, the edges are less likely to deteriorate.
Concrete driveways are generally more expensive than asphalt, both in installation and repair. You can estimate that a new concrete driveway will cost around $6.00 – $9.00/square foot plus additional costs for specific finishes and details, according to the Driveway Guide’s concrete cost figures.
Newer neighbourhoods might have building and appearance regulations that are more likely to accept concrete over asphalt. It’s important you check that before installing a driveway.
Asphalt is made by mixing aggregate with liquid asphalt cement made of petroleum. The aggregates are heated up, mixed with the asphalt cement and then installed on your driveway while it is still hot. It hardens as it cools.
Asphalt does well in colder climates since the materials are able to flex with the freezing and thawing making your asphalt less likely to crack. It is also more porous in nature, so water can drain through it more easily. Overtime, however, asphalt driveways can start to crumble and crack in areas and extreme heat can cause your asphalt driveway to become soft and even deform.
Asphalt driveways are less expensive to install than concrete driveways, costing about $3.00-$4.00/square foot according to Driveway Guide’s asphalt cost, maintenance and repair guide. Should damage occur, do-it-yourselfers can more easily repair an asphalt driveway using products available at a building supply store. If you take good care of it by sealing it within a year of installation and every few years after that, it can last a lot longer. Asphalt sealing products are available at your local building supply store as well. Learn how to seal a driveway.
Home buyers might prefer a concrete driveway over asphalt. This should be considered if you are preparing your home for sale.