Is a Concrete Driveway Better than Asphalt?

Do you want a new driveway in Tulsa? Most people choose between concrete and asphalt. They are both put down over a base layer of gravel or high-quality class five base material. The difference is that asphalt has tar in it, and concrete has cement. This significant difference makes one better than the other, depending on the situation.

There are many things to consider when deciding which type of driveway to install. One crucial factor is how long the driveway will last and, of course, the cost. In most cases, we believe that concrete is a more practical solution because it is strong and lasts longer for Tulsa driveways. Here are some instances when one has the upper hand over the other material.

Experienced contractors can make concrete look different in a lot of ways.

Asphalt is black, while concrete is light gray without additional color additives. To create the color you desire, concrete may be stained or tinted to bring a new hue. It’s also possible to stamp designs or brush them for a textured appearance. Concrete is an excellent option for Tulsa driveways to complement your home’s color scheme while still looking different. Asphalt is ideal if your objective is to make your driveway resemble the street. If you want something more elegant, concrete is the way to go. 

If you need a driveway installed, it’s essential to talk to a contractor who can do the job properly, preferably a specialist in the material you choose.

Asphalt does not hold up when in hot months.

 It can add more heat to the surrounding area because of its dark color by absorbing it. On the other hand, concrete reflects heat exceptionally well because it does not have tar in it. Concrete can crack in the colder months, but it is a more suitable material to withstand our seasonal climate in Tulsa for driveways.

Choosing between an asphalt and concrete driveway is influenced by the local climate.

In Oklahoma, asphalt may become sticky or gooey during the summer. The softening and hardening of asphalt between winter to summer can cause it to fracture easily. Concrete can crack in the wintertime, but you can take preventative steps to reduce this. The benefit of concrete in the winter is that you can seal it in the fall before it gets too cold to prevent heavy cracking. Sealing your concrete will also help avoid salt stains during snowy and icy days.

Every few years, you should seal asphalt to reduce stains or cracks. Concrete stains readily without adequate sealing. Ultimately, both can crack, but concrete does not need frequent maintenance. After four to six months of curing, your asphalt driveway will need to be sealed to preserve the surface and increase its life expectancy. You’ll subsequently need to reseal it every three to five years. Use a driveway squeegee to spread the asphalt sealer evenly over your driveway. Make sure that it is clean and dry before you start. Sealing your driveway can protect it from fading, especially if it is tinted.

Engine oil, gas drips, rust, and the frequent use of driveways can all damaged asphalt. Asphalt is good at hiding stains and wear, but concrete is not. So if you have a concrete driveway, you will need to clean it more aggressively and remove lubricants more thoroughly.

Repairs to asphalt are more straightforward than those on concrete, but they require more attention and need to do them more often. Asphalt and concrete both crack, but asphalt cracks more often because it is softer. It is easy to fix cracks in asphalt, and the fixed parts usually blend in well with the rest of the driveway. Applying a fresh layer of asphalt on an old one is also simple if the surface is severely damaged or shows age. Concrete is more challenging to repair, and patches are usually readily apparent unless you want to resurface the entire driveway.

Concrete driveways stay intact for years or even decades longer than asphalt ones.

Generally, a concrete driveway will last for about 30 to 40 years if installed correctly and gets regular maintenance. An asphalt driveway usually lasts for 20 to 30 years. Suppose you don’t have a good base of class five material. In that case, your driveway will deteriorate in a few years if you don’t maintain it.

You can drive on asphalt quickly, but concrete needs time to harden, so you can’t drive on it as soon after installation.

You can usually use an asphalt driveway just a couple of days after installation. But you will have to wait at least one week if you have a concrete driveway before it is fully cured, and you can drive on it. Ultimately, you should decide if those few fewer days to wait are worth it in the long term for a quality surface.

Concrete is more expensive than asphalt.

A concrete driveway can cost roughly 40% more than an asphalt driveway. Specific pricing will always vary by location, especially with supply chain shortages. In Tulsa, we have seen this as well. The past few years have made it more expensive to install most materials, but it is still worth the cost like anything. Other significant factors of prices of driveways are how complex the job is, how many laborers are needed on the crew, the finish and style of your driveway, and the size.

There are a few different ways to go when you want to install a new driveway. All of them are expensive. Based on our industry experience, we would go with concrete over asphalt every time. Even if it is more costly than asphalt, it will be a high cost either way, and concrete seems to be more of an investment than an expense. There are many things to think about when you are deciding on driveway materials. You have to think about the climate in Tulsa, how much money you want to spend, and how much work you want to do year-to-year.

Give us a call if you need help deciding or have any questions about driveway installations in Tulsa.

Thomas & Son

Concrete Contractors Tulsa OK

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