Tips For Choosing Between Asphalt And Concrete For Driveway Paving

Patrick Lee

If you need a new driveway for your home, you can typically choose between concrete or asphalt at companies like Aliston Paving K-W Limited. It's important to realize that both materials have their advantages and disadvantages, and making the right choice will mean considering all of those carefully. Unless you have a homeowner's association or neighborhood association that limits your choices, only you can determine the right material for your new driveway. Consider a few tips for making that decision.

1. Choosing the right appearance

Asphalt can look very handsome and stately because of its dark appearance, and it can be an especially good choice against a plain white house. The contrast can make the driveway stand out and tone down a drab house color.

On the other hand, asphalt is only available in black. Concrete can be painted or stained any color. You might opt for a russet red to complement a brick home or choose to have your concrete painted white to offset a very dark home. It may be more expensive to paint concrete, but you do have that option.

2. Note the ground underneath the driveway

If the ground underneath the driveway is particularly soft, it may tend to shift. Asphalt will usually shift along with the ground and retain its overall structure. Concrete however may tend to crack and will need repairs.

In some cases this can mean simply filling in those cracks but in more severe cases, the concrete may need to be pulled up and poured again in certain sections. It might also require underpinning, which is where materials are placed under the concrete to brace it up. These repairs can be expensive and time consuming.

3. Consider your overall temperature

Asphalt tends to melt and become very soft in hot climates and when under direct sunlight. Concrete however can become brittle and more prone to cracking in very cold climates. If you live in the tropics, concrete might be a better option but if you have long, cold winters, asphalt might be the right choice.

4. Consider other landscaping features

If you have landscaping features in your front lawn or around your driveway, you may need to stick with black accent pieces to match an asphalt driveway. However, if you opt for concrete and paint it the same color as those landscape borders, your property can have a finished, designer look. You can also have concrete shaped and formed into various pieces that work specifically with your landscaping so that everything seems pulled together and more attractive.