20 Sep

Concrete or Asphalt: Which Type of Driveway is Right for You?

If you’re considering installing a new driveway, you’re probably trying to decide between concrete and asphalt, the two most common driveway materials.

Concrete and asphalt are both laid on a gravel substrate. The difference is in the adhesive: concrete uses cement, while asphalt uses tar.

Each material has its pros and cons, and it can be hard to know which is best for your unique situation. Climate, appearance, and budget are all varying factors in deciding which material to go with.

The chart below will show you the differences between concrete and asphalt as materials for your new driveway, side by side:

 

Concrete Asphalt
Appearance Its color is pale gray, but concrete can also be stained or tinted in almost any color, stamped with patterns, or texture can be added to the surface. Dark gray to black in color, with a rocky texture. However, there are no color, pattern, or alternative texture options.
Durability Concrete is more durable than asphalt. Asphalt is a softer material than concrete, making it more vulnerable to damage.
Longevity 30-40 years 20-30 years
Heat tolerance Concrete performs well in high temperatures, but the surface can get extremely hot to the touch in prolonged sunlight. Asphalt can become sticky or gooey in extreme heat, and the resulting expansion can cause cracks and sag.
Cold tolerance Concrete does not do well in extreme cold and may buckle, warp, and crack. Asphalt handles cold weather well with proper preparation.
Length of installation Concrete requires a full week after installation before it is ready for anything heavy, like a vehicle. Asphalt can be used just a few days after installation.
Staining Concrete stains very easily and requires diligent cleaning. Asphalt does not show stains much at all.
Maintenance Sealant is not required for concrete, but sealant extends its lifespan and preserves color. Occasional degreasing is recommended. Asphalt requires sealcoating a few months after installation, then every 3-5 years. Regular inspections and crack repairs are required.
Ease of repair Repairs are more difficult than asphalt and also more obvious. Complete driveway resurfacing is required to blend in the patched spots. Repairs are usually simple and blend in with the existing asphalt seamlessly. A new topcoat can also be applied to resurface and patch small cracks easily.
Cost Concrete is almost twice as expensive than asphalt per square foot. Asphalt is the most affordable driveway material choice.

When you’ve made the choice between concrete or asphalt for your new driveway, call Jireh Asphalt & Concrete for the quickest, most professional installation in the Seattle area. You can check out photos of our previous asphalt and concrete work, then give us a call at (425) 414-8835 to schedule your quote today!