Should you replace your asphalt driveway?

Your driveway is a key part of the curb appeal of your home. That’s why it is a good idea to not only have your driveway in tip-top structural condition but also looking its best. One way of doing that is by replacing old, tired and damaged asphalt driveways with new, more versatile concrete ones.

While there are pros and cons to both types of driveway, if you’re tired of ruts, cracks and crumbling spots on your driveway, concrete may be the way to go. It’s best to talk to a company that specializes in the replacement of asphalt driveways with concrete to get an idea of what would be best for your home. Precision Safety Infrastructure, based in Sorrento, has experience removing old, crumbling asphalt driveways and replacing them with new custom concrete drives.

Concrete offers a number of advantages over asphalt, including longevity, more visual options and lower maintenance. While concrete typically carries a higher up-front cost, in the long run, it can save money due to the longer life and reduced maintenance costs.

Both asphalt and concrete are a mixture of sand and stone but the difference lies in how those components are held together. In the case of asphalt, tar is used - giving each driveway its black colour. But it also creates a softer substance than concrete, which uses cement as its adhesive.

While asphalt will blend in with the street surface outside a home, it cannot be custom-coloured like concrete - an advantage when it comes to creating vibrant curb appeal. Concrete can be stained or tinted virtually any colour and can add a dash of style if matching the driveway colour to the colour of the house. Concrete can also be stamped with a pattern or brushed to give it a more stylistic look. Concrete handles the heat of summer better than asphalt, which becomes softer as the sun beats down on it all day — heat is absorbed by its black colour and the tar softens. That can lead to groves, ruts, holes and, eventually, chipping as it re-hardens.

Asphalt also needs to be sealed regularly to protect it. A few months after installation — once the asphalt has cured — it should be sealed for the first time. Additional sealings are then required every few years after that.

Concrete driveways can also be sealed to make maintenance easier but it is not required. With the proper care, a concrete driveway should last 30 to 40 years before it needs to be replaced, according to the experts. That compares to 20 to 30 years for an asphalt driveway.

Laying a concrete driveway
Laying a concrete driveway

For some, however, the cost of a concrete driveway can be a deterrent. On average, concrete costs 40 to 50 percent more than asphalt. But it can be short-term pain for long-term gain as the maintenance costs, longer life and increased versatility of concrete can be beneficial. Asphalt tends to damage easier than concrete and while repairs are fairly easy to do, it does add to the cost of maintenance.

Care needs to be taken with concrete driveways too when it comes to leaks and spills, as concrete tends to stain easier than asphalt because asphalt’s dark colour hides the stains.

In the end, the choice of using concrete or asphalt rests with the homeowner when it comes to driveway replacement. All the pros and cons should be reviewed, and factors such as climate, budget and desired maintenance levels considered.

Talk to an Okanagan company like Precision Safety Infrastructure in Sorrento, B.C. today if you are considering replacing your asphalt driveway

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