Before deciding whether you will have asphalt or concrete for your concrete driveway, you have to understand first the basic difference between the two. These two construction materials are both made of water and aggregates or crushed stones and sand. The only difference is the binding element that holds the mixture together. For concrete, it uses cement while asphalt uses a petroleum-based product.
Still, your contractor will probably go for concrete. Why? Producing asphalt and concrete is different from each other and is easier for concrete. Asphalt is produced with its hot binder while concrete is produced by mixing cement and aggregates with cold water.
Asphalt and concrete can be decorated and styled effectively through stamping and staining.
With these facts being said, here are the things you need to consider when choosing the best driveway.
Appeal to the Eye
When it comes to visual appeal, concrete is more appealing – unless you are into black or gray. Naturally, asphalt is black/gray. Though stamping is possible on both materials, the options for patterns and styles are more widely available for concrete. With concrete, you can easily match the current style of your home as well.
Though asphalt and concrete can be stamped, the original form of asphalt is very challenging to personalize. It comes with rough edges. As for concrete, you can choose from hundreds of available patterns and designs to stamp in your driveway.
Asphalt tends to become sticky when the weather is too hot. It is because of the materials it is made of. If you are living in hot Florida, asphalt might not be a good option. Asphalt tends to go soft when exposed to extreme heat but gets hard again once the weather cools down. However, this cycle can make the asphalt prone to breaking, sagging, and cracking.
As for concrete, it is highly durable even when exposed to extreme heat. However, it is best to have a winterized concrete to make it sturdier during winter. Concrete can also buckle when exposed to extreme cold weather.
If you have an asphalt driveway, you might need to contact your concrete contractor in Miami FL every other year to check on it. This will also include sealing. Sealing asphalt will help it to extend its lifespan. It is recommended to seal it at least once in three years.
Concrete driveways wouldn’t need much maintenance unless you want to keep them spotless and clean all the time. Since it is concrete, oil spills and any fluid drops are always visible on a concrete surface. Either you clean it regularly or just have a yearly retouching job for your concrete driveway.
Lastly, asphalt is softer when compared to concrete. It is more prone to cracks and breaks. This means that with asphalt, expect to do some repairs from time to time. Of course, asphalt is much easier to repair than concrete. Just make another asphalt mix and cover the damaged part. But would you want to do it often?
Asphalt is Faster to Do
If time is of the essence and you can’t wait to have a driveway, go for asphalt. You can use it after 24 hours. With cement, you have to wait for at least 24 hours then cure it. At most, you have to wait for a week before you can use your concrete driveway to ensure that it is cured properly. Your concrete contractor can tell you when it is ready to be used.
If you will ask a concrete contractor to give you an estimate, the possible estimate would be $2-5 for a square foot of asphalt and up to $10 for a square foot of concrete. This will depend on other factors such as the terrain and the type of soil you have in your backyard. If budget is not an issue though, you can think of your driveway as a wise investment and go for a concrete driveway.
With the different facts presented above, you can easily pick the best driveway for your home. Always remember to seek a professional and trustworthy concrete contractor in Miami FL to help you with this project. Though it can be a DIY project for most, having a concrete contractor would ensure that you will complete this project with ease and success. Your driveway will become a part of your home for years to come so make sure that it is to be done by the best people for the right price.