Paved surfaces create a smooth place for driving, walking, and other important purposes. Whether you are paving a driveway, walkway, or parking area, one of the first decisions to make is which type of material you prefer. There are definite benefits and drawbacks to using both asphalt and concrete. Learning about the differences between the two can help you know which will work best for your paving project.
Think About The Climate
As a general rule, asphalt does better during frigid winters and concrete stands up better in a hot summer. During extreme heat, asphalt can soften slightly, which increases wear and tear as vehicles drive over the surface. Once things cool down, the asphalt hardens back up again, but the constant cycle can lead to a need for repairs sooner than normal if you live in a hot climate.
Concrete tends to fare worse during the winter. While concrete is a durable material, it is susceptible to damage from freezing temperatures. Concrete can also break down due to the chemical reactions caused by salt and common products that are used to melt ice. Most people who live in cold climates will eventually notice the concrete beginning to chip and develop pits. Concrete paving companies in Plymouth Meeting, PA can apply special sealants to the concrete to reduce damage during the winter months.
Determine Your Timeline
Choosing asphalt paving in Northeast Philadelphia offers the benefit of completing your project faster. In many instances, you might be able to begin using a freshly paved asphalt surface within a few hours to a couple of days. Concrete takes longer to cure, which could mean making a driveway or walking path off-limits for a week or longer. Your paving contractor can help you determine the anticipated timeline for a project, which could help you decide between the two options.
Consider Long-Term Maintenance Needs
With proper care, concrete lasts longer than asphalt, but there are some key differences regarding maintenance between the two that you’ll want to know. Both types of materials can be resealed and need occasional minor maintenance to keep them in good condition.
However, asphalt tends to be easier to plan major repairs on, since only the top surface needs to be removed and replaced in most cases. With concrete, there will eventually come a time when the whole surface needs to be pulled up and re-poured, which can be more costly and disruptive compared to resurfacing asphalt.
Remember To Think About Aesthetics
You’ll also want to consider the aesthetics of the surface. Asphalt tends to resist and hide stains more easily, which is better for busy parking lots and other areas where cars might leak fluids. Concrete might not hide stains as easily, but it can also be stamped, tinted, and textured to create your desired appearance.
Discuss Your Options With A Paving Expert
There’s a place and time for using both asphalt and concrete to pave a surface, and choosing between the two can sometimes require the help of a paving professional. Contact our paving experts today to get help with choosing the right material for your project.