Asphalt vs Concrete Driveways
If you’re looking to update your driveway but unsure of which material best suits your purpose, two of the most common options used throughout Australia include asphalt and concrete driveways, each with its own series of benefits. Despite both being used extensively on roads, car parks and driveways, it can be difficult to shortlist the best option to go with. As a result, we’ve outlined a series of key differences of asphalt vs concrete driveways that will ultimately help you determine the most suitable material for your brand-new driveway.
What Are The Main Differences In Concrete vs Asphalt?
Asphalt is generally more cost-effective than other paving surfaces for areas measuring 150 square metres or more. In some ways, asphalt is more durable as it is resistant to ants and weeds. Bricks, slabs and pavers are prone to shifting and can move at corners and bends, leaving gaps in the surface which allow water and weed ingress. The visual look and feel of asphalt vs concrete driveways can also play a part, with asphalt being a much darker colour, helping to reduce glare as compared to lighter concrete and limestone surfaces.
When you look closely, both asphalt and concrete are similarly made up of aggregate and sand, however, the binder is what differentiates the materials from one another. The adhesive used in asphalt is bitumen, whereas concrete is with cement, giving both materials their unique characteristics. Asphalt has the advantage of durability and an ability to be repaired more easily.
When considering colours, the main difference between asphalt and concrete is that the asphalt colours change from a dark initial colour to a permanent lighter colour of the aggregate that the asphalt is made from. By comparison, concrete is a grey or limestone colour unless an oxide is added, but concrete oxides tend to fade over time.
Asphalt in Perth is available in three types/colours:
- Standard granite asphalt is black initially, becoming grey
- Gravel/laterite asphalt (no oxide) is almost black, becoming dark brown
- 1% red oxide gravel/laterite asphalt is a dark red/maroon initially becoming a lighter red/brown as the gravel becomes more visible.
Once fully oxidised the asphalt colours are permanent, as it’s the aggregate (stone) in the asphalt which retains the asphalt colour. Darker colours of asphalt have the added benefit of reflecting less glare compared to concrete. Other asphalt colours such as blues and greens, as used on playing courts are an acrylic material applied in several layers to either asphalt or concrete pavements.
Maintenance requirements for asphalt driveways are minimal for many years compared to concrete. Asphalt repairs are easier to perform, with cracks and holes being easily sealed, whilst not appearing obvious or unsightly. Concrete, on the other hand, can become more complex, with patchwork being more noticeable.
Asphalt, concrete and pavers have similar lifespans, with each requiring solid foundations as prepared by experts. One of the key advantages of asphalt driveways is their ability to be resurfaced with significant time and cost-saving, unlike concrete and pavers which need demolition, removal and full replacement. Time also becomes a factor in asphalt vs concrete driveway resurfacing, as you can drive almost immediately on a newly resurfaced asphalt driveway, whereas concrete takes around a week to cure and become ready for activity.
The Australian climate has a clear impact on both asphalt and concrete driveways, with each responding differently to the fluctuations in seasonal conditions. Asphalt is known for its ability to adapt to the varying climate and can adapt to higher Perth temperature, making it one of the most durable and dynamic materials on the market. Whilst concrete sometimes requires less maintenance, surface movement and pressure arising from extreme temperatures can lead to issues like cracking.
Driveways are a significant investment in your property, so when considering the difference between asphalt vs concrete driveways, the lifespan of each product is a key consideration. Asphalt and concrete driveways have similar lifespans, however, asphalt has the added advantage of quick and easy resurfacing, without the need for demolition or a full replacement. The longevity of each surface ultimately depends on the amount of maintenance and upkeep they receive, as well as the climate in which they are in, as these factors can affect the onset of general wear and tear.
The Verdict On Concrete vs Asphalt Driveways
When it comes to choosing the right material, there are a series of factors that help determine the most suitable option when considering the difference between asphalt driveways vs concrete driveways. From the visual aesthetics, cost of repairs and level of maintenance you’re willing to consider, through to the way you will be actually using the driveway itself, you can rest assured in knowing that both materials provide solid foundations to get the job done.
NK Asphalt Solutions
Our focus at NK Asphalt has always been on tailoring asphalt installations across a range of installations, spanning from semi-rural and large suburban driveways to commercial carparks and heavy-duty areas, with our customers enjoying the durability and convenience of asphalt solutions. We welcome you to check out our past projects to view some of our work.
If you are still unsure of asphalt vs concrete driveway installations, or if you have any questions regarding our pricing or services, we invite you to contact our team today or request a free on-site quote or advice over the phone.