Typically when constructing a driveway, you have two main options, asphalt, and concrete. Each one has its own advantages and drawbacks but concrete driveways are much more popular. The reason for this popularity comes down to a couple of main factors.

Asphalt

Installation Cost

Installing an asphalt driveway comes at a very low price. Asphalt is cheap, and the installation process does not require much labor, therefore the cost is very low. Asphalt driveways are a good choice for homeowners on a budget. Asphalt gets the job done which is why it is more popular among budget-minded homeowners.

Maintenance

Asphalt is made from a mixture of crushed stone, gravel, and sand, this mixture is held together by a material called bitumen. Due to the way asphalt is made, it is more flexible, therefore small movements of the ground below will not cause it to crack or break. Asphalt does not need much in the way of maintenance, and there isn’t much to do either.

Durability

As mentioned previously asphalt is made up of various crushed rocks that are held together by a sticky and viscous material. Degradation of this material results in these rocks getting torn apart from each other and breaking down. Asphalt will be destroyed in a matter of 10 to 15 years and it will need to be re-sealed every 3-5 years, Sealing is the process of applying a protective coating to the asphalt to prevent it from breaking down.

Concrete

Concrete is much more popular and it should be apparent why by now. The main reason to go with an asphalt driveway is for the lower initial cost.

Installation Cost

Concrete needs to be formed by hand and it needs to dry for a day or two after that. This additional manual labor and time results in a higher installation cost. 

Maintenance

Maintaining a concrete driveway is not hard or complicated at all. A reseal every once in a while is recommended but keeping the concrete clean is the most effective thing you can do.

Concrete is a much tougher material in comparison to asphalt so it will not break down to pieces. However, it is prone to cracking. Fixing and filling the crack will take less than 5 minutes. Kits for filling up such cracks are both cheap and easy to use so even chips, cracks, or even broken chunks are not a problem.

Stamped Concrete Installation Process

Durability

When comparing concrete VS asphalt it all comes down to driveway durability. Concrete is a very durable material, which is why it is used in, sidewalks, driveways, and buildings all over the world. A concrete driveway is not only easier to maintain than asphalt but it will also last much longer, anywhere from 30 to 40 years. 

The longevity of concrete driveways can be attributed to their superior resistance to environmental factors such as UV radiation, moisture, and temperature fluctuations. Unlike asphalt, which can deteriorate rapidly under harsh conditions, concrete maintains its strength and appearance year after year, all without requiring much in the way of maintenance.

Time

A concrete driveway will be fully cured in about a week. It takes 1 to 3 days for concrete contractors to lay down the concrete and 4 to 5 days after that for it to fully cure. If you opt for an asphalt driveway the initial pour takes about a day but it takes 4 to 7 days to fully cure and in that timeframe, no vehicles are allowed on the driveway. After this process, it takes up to a month for asphalt to fully cure.

Eco-Friendliness

In today’s age of environmental awareness seeking lower carbon emissions is a considerable factor for many homeowners. Concrete has a major advantage in this regard, as it is much more environmentally friendly than its counterparts. Concrete is primarily composed of natural materials such as cement, aggregate, and water, making it a sustainable material. Concrete driveways last much longer therefore they require less maintenance which means they will not need replacing for a very long time resulting in less carbon emissions.

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Value

The upfront cost of a concrete driveway may scare some away but that cost results in a longer-lasting and low-maintenance driveway, saving you money throughout the years. A concrete driveway will not be a problem for many years.

Versatility

Beyond the practical benefits of concrete lies the beauty and curb appeal of concrete. Many designs, shapes, and finishes can be applied to a concrete driveway, allowing your imagination to run wild.

Asphalt does not give you any options in the way of design no control on the shape, color, or texture. You can use stamped concrete for a stone aesthetic or even stained concrete for a classy colorful look.

The Clear Choice

It shouldn’t be much of a challenging choice to choose between concrete or asphalt for your driveway. It’s clear that concrete emerges as the superior choice for homeowners seeking longevity, durability, and overall value. Asphalt does offer a lower initial cost, but that is all that it has going for it, concrete driveways prove to be a worthwhile investment in the long run.

With their exceptional durability, low maintenance requirements, and eco-friendliness, concrete driveways completely outshine their counterparts in every aspect. From their swift installation process to their versatile design options, concrete driveways offer homeowners the perfect blend of functionality and aesthetic appeal. With concrete, you’re not just investing in a driveway – you’re investing in the enduring beauty and resilience of your home for years to come.

If you’re in need of a driveway installation, our concrete company is here for all your concrete driveway needs in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Contact us today!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why are concrete driveways generally more popular than asphalt?

Concrete driveways are more popular due to their longer lifespan, lower maintenance, and greater design versatility compared to asphalt.

What are the initial cost differences between concrete and asphalt driveways?

Asphalt driveways generally have a lower initial cost due to cheaper materials and less labor-intensive installation processes. Concrete, though more expensive initially, often results in lower lifetime costs due to its durability.

How long does a concrete driveway last compared to an asphalt driveway?

A concrete driveway can last anywhere from 30 to 40 years, while asphalt driveways typically last about 10 to 15 years before needing significant repairs or replacement.

What maintenance does a concrete driveway require compared to asphalt?

Concrete driveways require less frequent maintenance, mainly periodic cleaning and resealing every few years. Asphalt driveways need regular sealing every 3-5 years and are more prone to surface degradation.

Are concrete driveways more environmentally friendly than asphalt driveways?

Yes, concrete is considered more environmentally friendly because it is made from natural materials and lasts longer, reducing the frequency of replacements.

Can concrete driveways be customized in appearance?

Absolutely, concrete offers extensive customization options including colors, patterns, and finishes like stamped or stained concrete, which are not available with asphalt.