Concrete was once the most popular material used to pave new roads, parking lots, driveways, and different projects. But today, you will see a lot of homeowners and contractors using asphalt to pave different locations. The reason for the shift can be attributed to different factors, but you can start by looking at how each finished product is achieved.
Concrete is the finished product of crushed rock or sand which is mixed with cement and water. As a binding agent, cement holds every ingredient together creating a solid finished product, which is concrete. However, no matter how solid the finished product is, the surface will still be prone to cracks and breaks with different weather conditions. This can also be experienced if the base of the concrete is not properly smoothed out.
Asphalt, just like concrete, is also the finished product of aggregate. The difference is that it is bound by bitumen, instead of cement. Bitumen is made out of crude oil, and it is for this reason that asphalt comes in dark or gray color. An asphalt driveway is installed by pouring hot asphalt mix to a bed of aggregate. This will then be pressed by a steam roller to compact the surface. The asphalt layer will be cooled down by the surrounding air. Once it is cool enough, it will harden and will be strong enough to carry different automobiles. Though asphalt surfaces are hard, they are still flexible enough to contract and expand according to weather and according to the load that is on top of it. In addition, asphalt can accommodate whatever imperfection is underneath it, which concrete surfaces cannot do.
Besides the advantages mentioned above, asphalt is better than concrete in other ways too. Here are other advantages and benefits of using asphalt over concrete:
- Easier to remove and replace.
- 100% recyclable.
- Easier and faster to install.
- Cheaper than concrete.
- Maintenance is easier and cheaper.
- Can be resurfaced and cracks can be repaired using crack fillers.
It would be easier to compare the advantages and disadvantages of using asphalt versus concrete if you talk to different service providers. But, with the ease of construction with the use of asphalt, you will see a lot of homeowners tackling this kind of project on their own. Repairs and maintenance can also be done the DIY way. Cracks can be filled using store bought materials or materials that can be rented out. But, with concrete, you will always need the services of the professionals to get it done the quickest way possible.
The decision to whether use asphalt or concrete for your driveway, parking lot, court, or walkway is entirely up to you. But, before you make any decision, it is always better to conduct research to be able to make educated decisions. You can always ask the expert for this or ask anyone that has gone through the same decision-making process as you do right now!