The type of driveway that will be best for your home will depend on a variety of factors such as weather, traffic, size, and aesthetic preferences. Here in Seattle, the cold, wet weather presents its own challenges to paving contractors. Any material chosen must be able to stand up heavy weights, frigid temperatures, and constant moisture. The material you choose for your driveway will also determine how often you must clean, maintain, and replace it. Some of the best materials to use here in the Pacific Northwest are:
Asphalt remains the standard for areas that experience frequent freezing and thawing. Asphalt is an oil-based material that is more flexible than some driveway materials, making it ideal for the contracting and expanding that is necessary for cold climates.
Since asphalt is black, it retains heat and is not so easily covered with ice. Some people even skip salting their asphalt driveways because of their superior heat retention. No need to worry if snow and ice do cover your driveway since asphalt is one of the easiest driveway materials to shovel.
Asphalt has a long lifespan, 10-35 years, with proper care. Regular maintenance involves cleaning the surface twice each year and seal coating it every 2-5 years. Asphalt prices depend on the oil market, so they can vary, but it is almost always one of the most economical choices.
Concrete is the low-maintenance option for your driveway. Poured concrete is extra durable and can last up to 50 years when sealed correctly, which is every 4-5 years. Stains and textures can also be added to concrete to give a personalized look asphalt just can’t achieve.
The cost of concrete is comparable to asphalt but can get more expensive if special finishes are desired. However, the minimal maintenance requirements can compensate for any upfront costs.
If you want to add an elegant flair to your driveway without risking expensive repairs from freezing damage, pavers are the way to go. Pavers require a little more work to install, but the payoff is extra curb appeal is well worth it. Plus, pavers are easy to repair…if one breaks or cracks, it can be easily replaced without affecting the pavers around it.
Pavers are pricey but last up to 30 years with proper care. Pavers come in a variety of shapes, materials, and colors, and can be installed in various patterns. You can even install a heating system underneath to guarantee your driveway will never ice over.
Let the experts at Jireh Asphalt & Concrete help you choose the driveway material that is best for your needs and budget. We’ll take all the important factors into consideration before recommending the best material for your driveway project. If you live in the Seattle area and need driveway installation or repair, call us at (425) 678-3632 to schedule your free quote today!