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Let's face it: without a hard packed material in your driveway, it can be pretty tough to navigate during wet weather. That's why it's important to pave or pour your driveway for good traction and peace of mind knowing you and your family can safely navigate to your front door. But because a driveway is such a huge investment, it's probably best to have a professional do the work. But whomever you hire to do the work on your driveway, you are going to be the one who has to decide what material will be used. Asphalt pavement and concrete are the two most typical types of driveway materials. Which one is best for you? Use this guide to determine if asphalt or concrete is right for your driveway.
Strong and solid, concrete has been around for thousands of years. A simple set of forms and a few concrete workers can help you get your driveway poured overnight. Once the driveway has cured for a few days, it can be parked and driven on. Annual maintenance is minimal with just a basic pressure washing and stain remover to remove any blemishes.
Concrete driveways also have a unique ability. They can be imprinted with a wide variety of patterns allowing the driveway to mimic brick, pavers, stone or just about any other pattern. Paints and stains offer an even wider variety of colors and design for the concrete driveway, ensuring you'll get the driveway of your families (and your neighbors) dreams.
Price is the biggest concern with concrete. If your site has limited accessibility and a concrete pump must be used, then concrete driveway prices can quickly spiral out of control. The addition of awkward angles and excessive slopes can render a concrete driveway useless in winter conditions. In extreme weather situations where excess cold and wet conditions occur frequently, concrete can stress and fracture, quickly cracking and breaking any concrete driveway to shreds.
The benefits of asphalt driveways are second to none when it comes to cold and wet weather areas. Steep grades and wet locations grip tires better than concrete. Asphalt driveways flex during cold and warm weather extremes much better than concrete which can easily crack and fracture when the weather gets tough. And when asphalt does break, it's much easier and cheaper to replace a small section of asphalt than it is to replace concrete.
Asphalt paving may be the cheapest way to go when it comes to driveways, but it certainly doesn't mean it's a cheap product. Asphalt that is well-maintained annually can last for over fifty years without any repairs. Asphalt can also be impressed with patterns similar to concrete, creating amazing stone and brick veneers that easily rival any concrete patterns available.
In some areas, asphalt can be hard to come by, bringing it to around the same price as concrete. Aggregates like limestone and granite add to the price when they are hard to come by as well. Wait times for many asphalt companies may take weeks or months depending upon their schedule, so if you're in a hurry, asphalt may not be the right choice for you.