Asphalt and concrete are the two most common types of materials used for driveways, because both types of materials provide a high degree of durability and aesthetic appeal to your home. However, there are a number of key differences between these two materials, and understanding their respective features and drawbacks can help you choose the one that best fits your needs.
Asphalt driveways are by far the more common option for most driveways, partly because their material and installation costs tend to be much lower. Additionally, asphalt driveways are well adapted to cold climates, and can resist winter frosts very easily. In the event of cracks or damage occurring on an asphalt driveway, you can easily repair it yourself using products available at most hardware stores, though professionals do offer repair services as well. It should also be noted that asphalt driveways can be laid and set very quickly.
However, asphalt driveways do not stand up well to warm climates, and in climates where the temperature fluctuates between below freezing and high temperatures, cracks and crevices can appear in asphalt driveways, which will necessitate repairs. Asphalt driveways also need to be sealed more often than concrete driveways do, which increases your long run costs and maintenance requirements.
Concrete driveways are the less common option of the two, and offer a wide variety of styles and textures to consumers. Concrete driveways can be stained and stamped with various colors and patterns to give a truly unique aesthetic to your home. Furthermore, concrete driveways can stand up better to heat exposure. Finally, because it is a smoother surface than asphalt, concrete driveways are easier to hose down and clean, representing less maintenance over time than asphalt driveways.
However, concrete driveways represent a more expensive option due to higher material and installation costs. Additionally, concrete driveways can buckle or heave during periods of cold weather, due to an improperly laid foundation, which can be expensive to repair. Furthermore, due to the higher overall cost of concrete, any repairs to cracks or damage that you undertake are more expensive than asphalt repairs, and will likely require a professional to complete, driving the price up even further. It is also important to keep in mind that concrete driveways take longer to pour, set, and dry than asphalt driveways do, increasing the amount of time that you have to wait before you can use your driveway.
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