Paving Your Driveway: Asphalt Or Concrete?

If you are thinking of refinishing your driveway, you have some decisions to make. Will you choose concrete or asphalt paving? Both are poured over a bed of gravel, though asphalt is held together with tar while concrete uses cement. Some homeowners swear by asphalt, while others strongly prefer concrete. Ultimately, the choice is yours, though there are a few factors that may affect your decision. 


Asphalt and concrete both have a very distinct look. Asphalt is commonly called blacktop because of its black, rubbery finish. Some people find asphalt to give a finished, distinguished appearance, while others appreciate the crisp clean look of cement. If you have plans to stain or dye your driveway, concrete is your best option. Asphalt cannot be dyed or stained in any way since the tar overpowers any such attempts. While concrete does take to purposeful dying, it is also frequently stained with drippings from cars, while asphalt is more resistant.


Some homeowners make their choice of pavement based on where they live in the United States. Asphalt does not do well in extremely hot places. Extreme heat can cause the tar to melt and become sticky. If this happens once due to a freak heatwave, that is one thing, but if there is a reoccurring pattern the cycle of heating and cooling, the asphalt can become weak and crack. On the other hand, concrete does not do well in extremely cold places. The cold can cause concrete to buckle and crack, and if salt is used to melt ice on top of concrete, it can leave chips or other cosmetic blemishes. 


In general, asphalt is dramatically easier to repair than concrete, since a strip of tar can usually do the job. Concrete repairs, on the other hand, typically need a patch job, which is then usually quite noticeable. For aesthetically pleasing concrete repairs, it may be necessary to resurface the entire driveway. 


When in the ideal environment, both asphalt and concrete can last for around 30 years. Some paving companies offer guarantees on how long you can expect their product to last, which could be a nice little insurance for you against any cosmetic problems. 

In conclusion, these factors may help you to determine which type of driveway will work better for your home. Contact a local paving company or visit an online source such as to learn more about concrete or asphalt paving.