Why Choose Concrete?
When it comes to different surfaces for pavement and other applications like it you usually have two choices: concrete or asphalt. Even though both surfaces are similar there are a few key differences that you should take into account before choosing one or the other.Some of the different things you have to take into account when it comes to asphalt vs. concrete are climate factors, appearance, cost, and finally maintenance. Both concrete and asphalt have their own pros and cons.Asphalt is very flexible pavement, which is used mainly for road construction because of its low cost, and fast installation time. Another benefit of asphalt pavement is that it can be driven on the same day it is laid. However, asphalt requires regular maintenance to keep it in good working condition, where concrete does not need any maintenance.Concrete is a rigid tough pavement, and is more expensive because it is very laborious and difficult to construct. Because concrete is more aesthetically pleasing, it is often used for patios, driveways and other small surface area locations. It can be colored and stamped to look like wood, stone or other paving alternatives. Concrete is also used on areas that require a strong pavement surface, such as areas in loading docks or that garbage trucks and dump trucks drive over. It is also less susceptible to petroleum products and water, so it is used for drainage solutions (including gutters) and gas stations.Asphalt Pros and Cons. Asphalt is one the most common materials used for roads and driveways in New England. It is also called blacktop for its dark color. It is made from a combination of sand and stone fused together from material left over from the production of diesel , kerosene, and gasoline.
- Pros of asphalt
- Much cheaper than concrete.
- Preferred in cold climates as it’s much less likely to crack in cold weather also snow removal is much easier than concrete.
- Because of its dark color it won’t show most stains.
- Repair is easy as it can be repaired or re-layered and does not need to be replaced (only up to a certain point, after a long time it will need to be fully replaced).
- It can be tinted and sealed.
- Cons of asphalt
- Somewhat short lifespan so you will need to replace it sooner.
- Maintenance is required every few years seeing as it will need to be resealed.
- It has an oily texture that softens in sunlight and hot weather. It has rough unfinished edge.
Concrete is another hard pavement material that is often used in driveways and other hard pavement applications. Cement is mixed with gravel and sand to make concrete.
- Pros of concrete
- Lasts a very long time, around 30-40 years. That is only if constructed properly.
- Low maintenance especially in warmer climates. Seeing as it does not need to be resealed there isn’t much else you have to do to maintain it.
- Better in warm climates because it does not soften as easily as asphalt.
- Can be stamped and colored in many different patterns.
- Holds up large and heavy load bearing vehicles.
- Cons of concrete
- It cracks in extreme weather, which it is expensive and not easy to repair.
- Salt can possibly damage it. (it should be sealed before salt is applied)
- Due to its light color, it stains very easily and shows every color that it is stained with.
- Cost is very high, it can get as high as twice the price of asphalt.
- Even though concrete lasts somewhat longer, asphalt costs considerably less and gives much more value for your dollar.
- Concrete will eventually crack, even in warmer climates. There are ways to seal cracks, but eventually if they get too large you may end up having to get another slab poured earlier than necessary because small cracks were not sealed earlier when they should have been.