When you're ready to have a new driveway installed in your home, you may need to choose between asphalt or concrete. Both have their advantages, and typically, asphalt is cheaper than concrete, but you don't want to make your choice based on price alone. You want a home driveway that will last for many years to come and which will also enhance the appearance of your property where possible. Note a few pros and cons of both materials so you can make the best choice for your new driveway construction.
The dark color of asphalt can be a good choice, as concrete may seem a bit dull and drab. You can, however, have concrete painted or stained to look like stone and stamped to look like individual pieces. This can make it look very attractive, but note that it can be harder to maintain painted or stained concrete. You would need to match that paint color when you make repairs to chips and cracks or have it repainted all over again. Keep this long-term maintenance in mind if you decide that painted concrete is the best choice for making your driveway look its best.
Both concrete and asphalt can be recycled, but note that asphalt needs to be heated and melted to be reused. This process can create fumes and emissions. Concrete, on the other hand, simply needs to be broken up and chunks of old concrete can be added to a new mixture. While this makes it an eco-friendly choice, keep in mind that your driveway installer may need to keep a concrete truck running while your driveway is installed. This can mean fumes and emission from the truck. For larger driveways, it may be better to choose asphalt so that you don't need to have a truck running and aren't producing those pollutants.
In very long, cold winter, concrete can become brittle and crack more readily than asphalt. The material also freezes slightly and expands, and then contracts as it thaws. In turn, you'll see more cracks or damage to the surface of concrete than you would asphalt. Asphalt also may melt snow and ice more readily, since the darker color holds heat. The bumpy surface can give you added traction during rainstorms and snow storms or when ice forms. However, that dark surface can then be too hot if you live in a very warm climate, making it difficult for children to play on the surface during the summer or for you to wash your car, make car repairs, or otherwise use your home's driveway during summertime.