The two most commonly used materials when building driveways are concrete or asphalt paving. There are a number of advantages to both however asphalt is becoming more and more popular in residential areas. Asphalt is a mixture of bituminous pitch and sand or gravel. The mixture is typically used for resurfacing, flooring or roofing. Using asphalt on your driveway holds a number of benefits, these include:
- Lower cost
- Less damage from oil and gasoline
- The curing process is faster
- The upkeep is easier
- Adapts to weather conditions
- It is easier to repair
It is significantly cheaper than other materials. Asphalt contractors typically charge $2 to $5 per square foot of materials. Other materials can cost from $3 to $10 per square foot depending on the finishing and decorative elements that can be brought in.
Oil and gasoline are not as visible on asphalt as on other driveway materials. Oil leaks are not as noticeable on asphalt; this said gasoline also does tend to cause damage.
The curing process for asphalt is a lot quicker than other materials. Asphalt paving can be driven on almost immediately after being laid. Other materials often require a minimum of seven days before they can be driven on. More details here!
The laying process for asphalt driveways is a lot quicker. Asphalt can be laid within one or two days whereas others can take weeks meaning your car cannot be driven onto your driveway for a while.
Maintaining asphalt paving is a lot easier than other materials. Although asphalt is a little harder to maintain and does require more work, the process of cleaning and maintaining it is a lot quicker. This means, you will have to clean it more regularly, but you will be spending a fraction of the time doing so.
When threatened by extreme surface movements, materials such as concrete do tend to crack or damage more easily. Asphalt is a material that shrinks and expands with temperature changes. If you live in an area where weather conditions vary, this may be the best option for you.
If there are cracks in your driveway, materials other than asphalt are easier to see but may cost a lot of money. Asphalt is not only easier to repair, but holes can be filled and sealed at low cost.
Last but not least, asphalt is a safer option for drivers. The smooth materials mean cars are less likely to skid and slide. Not only this, the material allows less splash back, better visuals and protects the roads from ice and snow.
Asphalt is a recycled material therefore roads can be dug and re-used. Asphalt has become very popular especially in this day and age thanks to its recyclable features. This does also mean that we are not causing as much waste and, therefore, preserving the earth as we know it.
There are some benefits to using asphalt rather than other materials in your driveway. The only real disadvantage to asphalt is that it last around 20 years whereas other materials can last longer. This said, with only one significant disadvantage, asphalt paving may be the best option for you and your home.