Residential paving

Asphalt vs. Concrete Driveway

If you are installing a new driveway for your Ottawa property, you might be having a hard time selecting between concrete or asphalt. Both materials create durable, attractive driveways, but there’s more to choosing than simply selecting the cheapest or the easiest option.

This includes factors such as:
• Installation time
• Climate conditions
• Maintenance
• Appearance

At Bytown Paving, we have been offering professional project management services since 1989. You can always count on us for your residential paving and landscaping needs in Ottawa. Here’s our guide on choosing the right material for your driveway.

What Is the Difference Between Concrete and Asphalt?

Along with a gravel base, they are both mixtures of crushed stone and sand called aggregate. The difference lies in their adhesive materials.
In concrete, the aggregate is bound together by cement while in asphalt it is a petroleum-based substance. Both come in assorted colours, stamped or stained for a decorative effect.

A Few Ways Asphalt and Concrete Driveways Differ

The price of an asphalt driveway is usually cheaper than concrete. It tends to vary with the fluctuations in crude oil prices but always remains within a particular range.

Repairs and maintenance
Asphalt driveways should be sealed six months to a year after installation. This should be repeated every three to five years to extend their lifespan.
Concrete driveways don’t require as much sealing, but many opt for it as it preserves the finish and enhances the look. Degreasers are used to remove fuel, oil and chemical stains that build up over time; this increases maintenance costs.
Cracks affect both and should be promptly repaired. You will find asphalt cracks easier to repair as opposed to concrete.

Durability and lifespan
Concrete is more durable than asphalt. It is sturdy, long-lasting and can last more than 50 years with degreasing and occasional repairs. Asphalt, with proper maintenance, can last up to 30 years.

Design and aesthetic

The pavement material plays an important role when it comes to the look of your driveway.
You can tint, stamp or stain a concrete driveway to get the desired look. Finishes can provide alternative colours or hues to the natural grayish colour.
Asphalt, however, does not lend itself well to stamping, finishes or etching. It must be rolled and compressed during its installation. Certain sealants contain colouring or tints, but generally options are limited to black.

• Weather and climate
People living in very hot or cold regions should consider how weather and climate patterns can affect their decisions for driveway materials.
Concrete may crack from constant freezing in cold winters. Furthermore, salt used for melting ice can create pits across the driveway.
Alternatively, asphalt will have problems in hotter climates. The tar softens during the height of summer and can stick to shoes or car tires.

Time for curing
Asphalt driveways can be used normally within a couple of days of installation. You will have to wait at least a week to start using a concrete one as it will take time to cure.

There Is No Definite Winner
Overall, there are many elements to consider while selecting between a concrete or asphalt driveway. The decision comes down to which is best for your budget, the climate and the maintenance needs.

Let Bytown Paving Help
Whether it’s to pave a driveway, install a patio of interlocking stones or concrete slabs, or to take on a residential or commercial landscaping job, we can do it for you. Our managers have been in the construction industry for over 30 years.
We believe that the satisfaction of our clients is the key to continued success.
You can go through our gallery to see the quality of our work. Also, for information on choosing the best paving contractor, read our blog post - HOW TO SELECT THE BEST PAVING CONTRACTOR FOR YOUR PROJECT

Call us today for your asphalt residential paving service needs in Ottawa.


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