- The driveway provides essential access to the home or business and plays a role in the overall appearance of the site.
- A well-constructed driveway can add value to a property, while a poorly designed or inadequately maintained driveway can lead to costly repairs. Paving can increase the overall lifespan of the driveway and make the surface clean and leveled.
- Asphalt pavement is a flexible pavement made by mixing asphalt binder with aggregate (sand, gravel, or crushed stone) and then compacting it. The binder is derived from petroleum refining.
- Some pros of asphalt: affordable compared to concrete, is easy to install without complicated tools, can withstand minor ground movement without cracking, is more easily repairable if potholes form, and has an aesthetically pleasing black finish.
- Cons of asphalt include a shorter lifespan (15-30 years) and regular maintenance needed every few years, including seal coating and crack repair due to sensitive elements like ultraviolet rays and oil/gas spills.
Though often overlooked, the driveway is one of the most important features of a property. It provides essential access to the home or business and plays a role in the overall appearance of the site. A well-constructed driveway can add value to a property, while a poorly designed or inadequately maintained driveway can lead to costly repairs.
One way to keep them well-maintained is through paving. It can increase the overall lifespan of the driveway and make the surface clean and leveled. Asphalt, blacktop, and concrete are all popular driveway materials, but which is the best for your property? American Paving will take a closer look at asphalt and blacktop so you can determine what material is suitable for your needs.
What is Asphalt?
Asphalt is a flexible paving material. It’s made by mixing asphalt binder with aggregate (sand, gravel, or crushed stone) and then compacting it. The binder is a hydrocarbon-based product that’s derived from petroleum refining.
Pros of Asphalt
Asphalt, compared to concrete, is very affordable. It is because asphalt is quickly produced and does not require as many specialized tools for installation.
Asphalt can be installed quickly, so your driveway or parking lot can be ready to use in no time. Asphalt paving does not require complicated tools, and with the right tools and skills, you can install an asphalt driveway on your own.
However, hiring a professional paver is best to get a high-quality asphalt driveway.
Asphalt pavement can withstand minor ground movement and shifts without cracking. It makes it an ideal choice for areas that experience freeze-thaw cycles or shifts in the soil.
More Easily Repairable
If potholes form on your asphalt driveway, don’t worry! A driveway paving service quickly fixes them. Potholes can be filled in with new asphalt and then sealed to keep water out and prevent further damage.
The black finish offered by asphalt gives a clean and modern look to any property.
Cons of Asphalt
Asphalt pavement has a relatively shorter lifespan than concrete, typically lasting between 15 and 30 years.
Requires Regular Maintenance
To keep your asphalt driveway in top condition, you’ll need to have it seal-coated every few years. You may also need to have cracks repaired as they form.
Sensitivity to the Elements
Asphalt is a petroleum-based product that can be damaged by oil and gasoline spills. It’s also susceptible to damage from ultraviolet rays, so it can fade and become brittle over time.
What is Blacktop?
Blacktop is similar to asphalt, but there are some differences. Blacktop uses a different binder (bitumen) with a higher softening point. Besides that, blacktop requires higher temperatures to prepare because it has higher quantity of aggregate than the binder.
It makes the blacktop less flexible than asphalt, which can crack under extreme temperature changes. Blacktop is also often darker in color than asphalt.
Pros of Blacktop
Most Affordable Option
Blacktop is a great choice if you’re looking for an affordable option. It’s the most affordable option. Blacktop pavement has an estimated cost of $7 – $13 per square foot, whereas concrete pavement can cost around $3 – $18 for the same area. Consult with a driveway paving service to get better cost estimates for your driveway.
Another great thing about blacktop is that it’s easily fixed. If there are any cracks or holes, they can be quickly filled in and repaired. It is an excellent option if you’re looking for a low-maintenance driveway.
Blacktop driveways can also be very aesthetically pleasing. They have a sleek and modern look that can complement any home. Blacktop is a great choice if you’re looking for a driveway that will improve your curb appeal.
Cons of Blacktop
Although blacktop driveways are the most affordable, they’re also the least durable. They tend to chip and crack over time and must be replaced sooner than asphalt or concrete driveways.
More Prone to Potholes
Blacktop is also more prone to developing potholes. Potholes are caused when water seeps into the cracks in your driveway and freezes, expanding and weakening the pavement.
What is Concrete?
Concrete is made by mixing cement, water, and aggregate (sand, rocks, or gravel). The mixture is then placed into forms and allowed to cure or harden. After the concrete has cured, it is polished or textured to create a smooth surface.
Pros of Concrete
Concrete is the most durable driveway material, being able to last longer than both asphalt and blacktop. A concrete driveway will last for decades and, with proper maintenance, can last even longer.
Concrete driveways are also low maintenance. Once your concrete driveway is installed, you won’t have to do much to it to keep it looking good. Concrete is easy to clean and does not require special cleaners or sealers.
Cons of Concrete
The biggest downside to a concrete driveway is the cost. Concrete driveways are the most expensive option. Choosing concrete for your driveway might not be friendly to your budget.
Concrete is also challenging to install. It takes longer to pour and requires a lot of effort to smooth concrete. There are more reasonable options than this if you’re looking for a quick and easy installation process.
Takes Longer to Repair
Another downside of concrete is that it takes longer to repair. If there are cracks or other damage, you’ll have to wait for concrete curing before fixing it. It can be a big inconvenience if you need your driveway repaired quickly.
Also Read: Will A Paved Driveway Add Value To My Home?
If you want a cheap and cheerful option for your driveway, a blacktop might be the way to go. It’s easy to install and repair and doesn’t require much maintenance.
However, concrete might be the better choice if you’re looking for a more durable option. But if you want an affordable and durable option for your property, consider having an asphalt driveway paved.
Professional Driveway Pavement Services in Huntersville, NC
American Paving is a premium provider of asphalt paving services in Huntersville, NC. We are recognized as a top-tier firm by leading industry experts. We have serviced clients for over 60 years with only the highest quality asphalt pavement installation, repair, and maintenance services. Regardless of the size or scope of your project, our team is more than capable of handling it. We’re asphalt paving experts and have installed countless brand-new parking lots, repaired asphalt driveways, and even fixed potholes here and there. But we don’t just do a good job–we do it right the first time so that you can enjoy complete peace of mind. So, call us today for a free estimate!