Why Opt for a Concrete Driveway Versus Asphalt
When you need to have a new driveway installed or need to tear up and replace your old driveway, you usually need to choose between concrete and asphalt. While concrete may be a bit more expensive to have installed, there are many reasons why this is often a preferred choice for homeowners. Note a few of those reasons here so you can determine if this is the best option for your property.
Asphalt is actually made with a petroleum-based material, so that it begins to break down when exposed to gas, oil, and other similar products. If your vehicles tend to leak oil now, if they begin to leak oil in the future, or if you should spill gas on the asphalt driveway when refilling a lawnmower or power washer, this can mean more than just unsightly stains. These spills can actually start to break down the asphalt itself. In turn, you may need to have certain areas torn up and replaced just because of these spills in the driveway.
You may assume that asphalt looks better than dull and grey concrete, but note that concrete can be painted, stained or stamped to look like brick or stone. You can have your family's initial painted on your concrete driveway, paint a border around it, or colour it to match your home. Asphalt, however, cannot be painted or stained or otherwise coloured. If you're concerned about the appearance of your home's driveway, concrete is the better option.
It is true that concrete will eventually crack and need repairs, but small repairs are typically easy enough to address on your own. High-quality concrete mixtures also usually last for many years before you see any type of damage. However, even having your car sitting on asphalt on a hot day can mean marks left behind, as the material becomes soft and prone to indentations and other defects. If the asphalt gets soft and you simply turn your car's wheels while the car is parked, this can also cause pits in the asphalt. Parking heavier vehicles on the driveway, such as a caravan or ATV, can also easily leave those marks.
Concrete may become brittle and crack under very extreme weather conditions, but asphalt will shrink and expand when it gets wet and then dries out; remember that this can happen as it absorbs moisture from the soil underneath it. In areas with lots of rainfall or snowfall, concrete may be the more durable option overall.