Asphalt or Concrete – What’s the best option?
Upgrading your driveway is one of the most popular home improvement projects. The material you choose significantly affects functionality, aesthetics and even home value. As you take in the rambling hills dotted with homes in coastal spots, you’ll notice the driveways come in two main styles: dark charcoal asphalt or light grey concrete. So, which material is the best choice when paving the way for your Central Coast property?
Both asphalt and concrete come with their own pros and cons. Factors include cost, appearance, durability and ongoing maintenance required in this seaside climate. This guide will walk through key considerations when deciding between asphalt vs concrete for driveway resurfacing or replacement projects.
The upfront cost is usually the first consideration when deciding between asphalt and concrete driveways. Asphalt driveways are substantially cheaper to install than concrete, typically up to 50% less expensive. Choosing an asphalt driveway can save you thousands of dollars in materials and labour.
Not only does asphalt cost less to install, but it can also be cost-efficient. Because asphalt can be repaired, you can resurface areas with wear and fill cracks that develop. With concrete, once cracks, nicks or other damage occurs, you usually have to remove and replace entire sections, which is pricier.
Appearance and Style
When it comes to curb appeal, both asphalt and concrete driveways can complement a home’s look beautifully. Asphalt comes in a classical black hue with an understated, refined look. Concrete offers more flexibility for customised styles – you can imprint patterns during installation or stain the concrete in various colours.
However, the pattern and colour integrations possible with concrete come at a premium cost. Further, the coastal climate is harsh on decorative concrete treatments, with the salt air causing them to fade over time. Reapplying stains and treatments can become a burdensome expense.
In contrast, asphalt’s uniform and neutral charcoal colour naturally matches most home styles in the area, from traditional cottages to modern designs. It avoids costly staining and artisan patterning, which can become a maintenance headache. Asphalt’s natural colour also hides tire marks and oil drippings better than plain concrete over time.
When installing a new driveway, longevity is a key consideration to get the most return on your investment. Both concrete and asphalt can last decades with proper maintenance, but they have tradeoffs in wear and weather resistance.
Asphalt’s flexible pavement structure handles minor ground movement and tree root growth better over time than rigid concrete. This prevents cracking, making professionally installed asphalt very long-lasting in coastal conditions. It is also easier to patch small sections of asphalt as needed rather than replacing whole concrete slabs.
Cement production used in concrete has significant carbon emissions contributing to climate change. Asphalt binder production has a lower overall impact on emissions in comparison. And asphalt can incorporate recycled materials, giving it a greener manufacturing profile.
In terms of heat radiation, concrete driveways absorb more solar heat once installed, which radiates that warmth into the surrounding landscape. This can negatively impact gardens, lawns and flower beds in increasingly hot climates. Asphalt runs cooler, which reduces unwanted warming of outdoor living areas.
Finally, asphalt allows better drainage than poured concrete slabs. Concrete’s rigid structure often channels runoff toward homes with flooding and moisture damage risks. Asphalt’s flexible composition and installation methods provide better permeability for redirecting water dispersion.
The Clear Choice is Asphalt
When reviewing the whole picture across cost, appearance, durability and environmental impact, quality asphalt is the best choice for most Central Coast homeowners needing a new or refurbished driveway.
For the above reasons, take control over your paving investment and choose the proven benefits of asphalt for years of worry-free arrival and departure. Consult Whitelah Asphalt on the Central Coast to receive project estimates leveraging the latest polymer-modified asphalt advancements.