When it is time for you to decide which material you will use for your driveway, the choice boils down to these two things: asphalt or concrete. There are many materials you can choose—gravel at the bottom and cheaper end and brick pavers for those with more money to spend. Generally, though, the choice falls between asphalt and concrete since they are the two most popular driveway paving materials.
For either an asphalt or a concrete driveway, expect the contractor to look for a plate compactor for sale because this is an important piece of machinery that will ensure the smoothness and the durability of the pavement.
This is the cheaper options between these two (the other one being concrete). It costs just $2 to $5 per square foot, depending on where you live. It is better also for states that experience extreme weather conditions. Asphalt can shrink or expand depending on the fluctuations in temperature. The overheating of the asphalt pavement can cause the material to crumble.
Technically, asphalt is easy to maintain. It does not require special interest or concern. After the application of the asphalt, you can apply a resealing after the sixth year. If the damage is minor, you are allowed to patch-repair the asphalt.
An asphalt driveway will last between 20 and 25 years. It means that for the next two decades, you might not have to worry about conditions that can affect the sturdiness of the asphalt pavement. As long as you maintain the pavement by cleaning and inspecting it regularly, you should not have to take on major repairs and replacement for the next two decades.
At $3 to $10 per square foot, concrete is obviously more expensive than asphalt as a pavement material. Concrete is not advisable for states that experience extreme winter seasons because it may crack in cold weather. Deicing or putting ice on it to melt the snow can also damage the pavement.
Just like asphalt, concrete demands thorough cleaning and inspection regularly. Potholes are more uncommon in a concrete pavement by tiny and major cracks happen all the time due to the poor quality of concrete. Although sealing is not required, you can apply a sealant to the pavement every five years to prolong its life. Repairs of concrete pavement are usually expensive.
Compared to asphalt, concrete has a long lifespan—from 30 to 40 years. It may be the more expensive option for your driveway but when taken care of, it can double the life of an asphalt pavement.
When applied, asphalt needs just a couple of hours to dry. You can drive or walk on your driveway immediately. Concrete is a little different because it needs to cure for at least a week, depending on the size and the depth of the pavement.
Choosing the material is the first step you need to take when planning to construct a driveway. The cost of the whole project will depend on the material you choose, so study all your options before you decide. Also, it is perfectly okay to ask for the opinion of the contractor regarding the sturdiness, longevity, and cost of the materials.