Concrete is among the best options for constructing sidewalks, curbs, driveways, parking lots, etc. Often compared to asphalt, concrete has some advantages over asphalt and vice versa. There is no doubt that these are the two most durable and suitable materials for driveways, parking lots and any other types of pavements. They both need some maintenance as the time passes but can take a lot of beating from foot traffic, vehicles and weather. Let us compare both the materials and see why people would pick any of them.
A Comparison between Concrete and Asphalt
Esthetic Differences or Similarities
Beauty is not a subject when comparing the two materials. Their aesthetics rely on practicality and application. When there is no special treatment given, concrete has a lighter and asphalt as a darker color. A dark color is better since it makes the stains from oil spills and tires less noticeable. However, the coloring and shading options with concrete give it the upper hand. You will never see asphalt in any other color than grayish black. On the other hand, you can add the color of your choice t concrete pavements. You can add a tint to make your concrete pavement, patio or curb look pinkish or yellowish.
There are different finishes that you can get with concrete such as exposed aggregate or the more liked brushed finish.
One of the deciding factors for people to pick concrete or asphalt is their maintenance cost. In general, asphalt requires more regular maintenance works than concrete does. For example, you have to get it sealed within a year of its first installation. You have to seal it regularly after nearly every two years after that too. The good thing about sealing is that it helps your asphalt surface live a longer life. On the other hand, concrete does not require sealing that often. The major concern that needs to be taken care of by sealing the concrete surface is staining.
Filling cracks in a concrete pavement is not that easy. It won’t be possible for a non-professional to fill the cracks in a concrete pavement on their own. When there are pits and cracks on a concrete driveway, curb or parking lot, concrete paving and repairing professionals have to be called for assistance. In fact, the newly installed patchwork will be visible. Asphalt rework is easy, and you can take the DIY route. The costs are not high for repairing asphalt surface.
Handling Weather and Climate
Both the materials have their advantages and disadvantages in varied climates. In most cases, regions, where the climate is cold, are more inclined towards asphalt and regions with hot climates prefer concrete. The reason behind this is that asphalt tends to melt and become soft in scorching weather conditions, which can result in complete deformation of the asphalt surface. As for concrete, it is not affected by heat but is prone to cracks in colder climates. Concrete is the least demanded material in places where snowfall is common because it can take a lot of damage during the defrosting period.
The Upfront Costs and Expenses
The costs of installing concrete pavements will be higher compared to asphalt pavements. The cost per square foot is almost always higher for concrete. Asphalt’s cost can also go up or down with crude oil prices, but it remains more affordable than concrete irrespective of the fluctuations. However, you have to consider the maintenance costs of both to know your overall expenses. Keep in mind that you are not installing these materials for 2 or 3 years. You expect them to not require a new installation for 20 to 40 years. This reason is why you should consider the long-term costs as well.
Costs of concrete pavements can go high depending on the finishes as well. The more difficult the finish is, the more it will cost you to have a concrete pavement. However, if certain aesthetics of the driveway, curb or sidewalk is your requirement, concrete is your only option.
A point often ignored while comparing the two is efficiency. Several studies focus on the smoothness of asphalt and concrete and their effects on fuel efficiency. Both the materials can be made smoother or rougher. With concrete pavements, the finish decides the roughness or smoothness of the surface. The conclusion that most researchers reach is that the rougher a surface is the more resistance it will offer to the vehicles. The more resistance there is, the more fuel the vehicles will consume. This reason is why several states have strict standards on the smoothness of the roads.
Asphalt has not come close to concrete in this particular area. When it comes to versatility, concrete has to be your pick any day. With many finishes and touches available for concrete, most homeowners would pick it for their driveway and patio. Commercial buildings that desire brand recognition would also go for concrete parking lots to look different. With concrete, you have the options such as engraving, stamping, and stenciling available for the final touches. Professional construction companies can even tint the concrete to make it go along a brand’s specific colors.
Top Reasons to Choose Concrete over Asphalt
You can find a detailed comparison of both the materials above. However, if you have been considering concrete as your option, here are some solid reasons to go for it.
- The long term costs
- Low maintenance over the years
- Numerous finish options
- Longer life (up to 40 years)
- Suitability for hotter climates
- Light reflectance (it reflects more light and reduces the expenses of electricity)
If you did not know, concrete is known for being one of the best recyclable materials out there. Almost 100% of the concrete used to make pavements, curbs, parking lots, driveways, etc. can be recycled. This recycled concrete can then be used to construct roads and pavements again, which means you will have the mental satisfaction when choosing concrete that you are an environmental friendly entity.
Choosing the Right Contractor for Concrete Paving Repairs Professionals
After reading all the information above, you must have gotten a clear idea of how good concrete is, what its advantages are and how you need to maintain it in good condition over the years. The most important thing for you to know when your concrete pavement needs work is to call the professionals. We advise you not to try to fill the cracks on your own. Concrete is an entirely different material from asphalt when it comes to the construction process.
Setting concrete in place and obtaining maximum strength requires proper mixing of the materials in accurate proportions. Not doing so will result in an unsightly patchwork that becomes loose within a few days. If you are in Texas and looking for paving and repair professionals for your parking lots, pavements, site work, car stops, etc. then Integrity Paving Texas is here to help you. Get in touch with us at 512-853-9009, or you can visit our website at https://www.integritypavingtexas.com/ to know more about our services.