When choosing a pavement for your driveway, you have a variety of options. From paver tiles to gravel, each one comes with its pros and cons. In the USA, the two most popular pavement choices are asphalt and concrete.
If you are considering asphalt residential driveway paving, you need to learn all the features of such a choice as well as how it fares against other materials. Let’s look at the top pros and cons of an asphalt driveway.
Advantages of an Asphalt Pavement
Let’s start with the pros:
1. Aesthetic Appeal
Asphalt is an aesthetically appealing material. It has a rich black color, which (with the right maintenance and care) can last for years. Asphalt looks excellent with any type of home décor and landscape options.
Many homeowners choose asphalt because it fits into the neighborhood design, appearing as a natural extension of the road.
2. Easy Maintenance
Asphalt is easy to maintain. With the right care, it can last for decades. All you need to do is keep the surface clean and inspect the driveway for damages regularly. By sealcoating your driveway once every three years, you can improve its appearance and integrity.
The smooth texture of an asphalt driveway makes it easy to remove debris and shovel snow in the winter. Since cleaning the driveway is the key to its longevity and appeal, this point is especially important.
Asphalt pavement is recyclable. By recycling asphalt, you are caring for the environment and making it cheaper to re-pave your driveway. Additionally, asphalt-laying equipment produces very low emissions.
Asphalt doesn’t release and chemicals or gasses into the air. The use of recycled asphalt materials saves taxpayers billions of dollars every year.
Asphalt is a highly flexible material. It adjusts to the pressure exerted by the vehicles, thus decreasing the chances of damage. It can also reduce the amount of noise made by your car.
The asphalt’s ability to flex makes it very long-lasting. According to Florida asphalt paving contractor ABC Paving, with proper maintenance it’s possible to avoid repaving your asphalt for 20 years.
When compared to concrete pavement, asphalt is less costly. Cost is often a deciding factor for new homeowners, who are already spending sizeable amounts on construction and/or mortgage.
Additionally, simple maintenance doesn’t require substantial investments either. With timely cleaning and sealcoating, you can avoid significant costs until the re-pavement time comes.
Cracks and holes in asphalt are easy to fix. Small damages can be eliminated without professional assistance.
6. Weather Adaptability
Asphalt can adapt to hot and cold temperatures easily. If you take proper care of the pavement and eliminate cracks timely, you can enjoy a durable surface all year round.
Meanwhile, the most popular asphalt alternative, concrete, can crack in low temperatures. This would lead to costly repairs.
Disadvantages of an Asphalt Pavement
Asphalt driveways have several disadvantages as well.
1. Long Curing Time
It can take the asphalt pavement more than three months to cure. However, curing doesn’t interfere with driving. Usually, you can start using your driveway 24 hours after laying the asphalt but avoid parking the car there for at least five days.
While asphalt is curing, it’s more prone to damages. During that time, your driveway requires extra care.
With time, the rich black color of the asphalt starts fading. Your driveway can turn pale grey. While the change in color doesn’t affect the surface’s durability, it could become an issue for some homeowners. Sealcoating the driveway can bring the rich black color back.
Asphalt is less durable than concrete due to its flexibility. Without the right care, it can start cracking and crumbling. By setting up a proper maintenance schedule, it’s possible to keep your asphalt pavement in excellent shape for many years.
Asphalt is one of the most popular pavement choices for homeowners around the world. Its aesthetic appearance, flexibility, and low costs make it highly appealing. Even though the pavement comes with some disadvantages, they are often overlooked due to its benefits.