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Asphalt Driveway v. Concrete Driveway

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Note: this is a partnered post and consideration was received for its publication. CC-licensed image by Danny Votra.

Choosing whether to install an asphalt driveway or a concrete driveway can be a difficult decision. It is one which requires some careful thought before making the final choice, as it is an important addition to any home. This guide is designed to highlight the differences between the two and also to make the decision easier.

There are several key points to be considered.

Cost

The cost of laying down a driveway is the first thing to consider. Asphalt is a cheaper material than concrete, allowing it to be laid down for a more cost-effective price by North Shore Paving. Whilst it may seem that concrete is the obvious choice here, it is the decorative elements of concrete which makes the price higher than asphalt.

Curing

Curing refers to the waiting time between laying a driveway and being able to set a car on it. This is vital – if a car is parked too soon on a new driveway then this can cause irreversible cracking and other long-term damage.

An asphalt driveway can be driven on straight away – there is no need to wait because the material is extremely durable and will not crack under a car’s weight immediately after it has been laid. In contrast, a concrete driveway must be left for 7 days before it can be driven on to avoid the risk of it breaking apart.

Upkeep

The consistency of asphalt means that it requires more upkeep than concrete, but laying fresh asphalt is easy to do. Cracks and holes can be quickly filled in with new asphalt repairs in Sydney. In contrast, concrete driveways may be easier to maintain, but concrete shows damage more readily, becoming potholed and marked. Repairing the concrete can be expensive.

Cracking

Cracking is the most common problem that occurs with driveways. Cracks need to be dealt with swiftly or they can cause the driveway to break apart. In line with easy upkeep, cracks in asphalt can be easily filled in and repaired at little cost.

Weather

The elements can have a big impact on the health of a driveway. Extreme heat and rain are two problems that driveways face in Australia. These changing temperatures cause driveways to become damaged. However, in this case asphalt has a big advantage – it is a more breathable material than concrete, which allows it to shrink and expand which the changes in temperature. Over time this helps to protect asphalt from the weather conditions. In contrast, concrete has less oxygen inside it which makes it unable to expand and shrink to change with the weather. This can cause the surface to crack.

Oil Damage

Oil damage can eat away at the surface of a drive and leave unsightly marks. However, asphalt does not show up oil stains as much as concrete. The obvious stains on concrete can be unsightly.

Longevity

In terms of longevity, asphalt will require relaying after 20 years, whilst concrete can last up to 30 years in total.

Hopefully this guide has made it clearer whether an asphalt or concrete is the right choice to make.

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