If you plan to pave a driveway or road in Houston or anywhere in the United States, you will have to make a number of important choices. The most crucial decision involves the pavement surface material. A local paving contractor may give you the option to use asphalt or concrete. Both materials offer several major advantages. The most suitable choice depends on your location, budget and style preferences.
Benefits of Asphalt
1. The initial price of an asphalt parking area remains comparatively low. If a surface does not need to support heavy traffic, it may cost as little as $2.50 per square foot. This makes asphalt desirable for homeowners and businesses with limited funds. However, frequent maintenance can cause this paving material to cost more in the long run.
2. Asphalt dries much more rapidly than concrete; vehicles may begin using it within hours. This advantage is particularly valuable in busy areas where people cannot afford to disrupt traffic for multiple days. The drying speed is not as important to driveway owners. Residents may park vehicles on the street or use parking garages while they wait for concrete to cure.
3. Asphalt usually needs more repairs and sealants, but it is less difficult to fix. Maintenance crews can fill cracks, patch potholes and resurface asphalt with relative ease. Faster repairs result in less burdensome labor expenses for road and driveway owners. Furthermore, paving contractors usually find it easier to fix asphalt without compromising the pavement’s appearance.
4. Although it holds little importance here in Houston, asphalt stands up to harsh winter conditions more effectively than concrete. It is not as vulnerable to frost heaves or salt damage. Asphalt’s black surface enables it to melt snow and ice more rapidly. The dark coloration also hides most engine fluid stains and makes parking lot stripes easier to see.
Benefits of Concrete
1. Concrete pavement tolerates higher temperatures than asphalt. It will not soften or warp on sweltering summer days. Likewise, heat does not cause shoes or tires to stick to concrete surfaces. This proves important in particularly hot places like Texas, Arizona and Nevada. When people need to choose paving materials, the local climate is often the most crucial factor.
2. The light color of a concrete driveway or road offers various benefits. A bright parking surface does not require as much outdoor lighting. In comparison to asphalt, it also absorbs less heat from the sun. This decreases cooling costs by reducing the temperatures inside vehicles and nearby buildings. Likewise, it is more pleasant to walk on a cooler surface that is not sticky.
3. Concrete pavement comes in a wide range of textures and colors; a concrete contractor can even offer multicolored patterns. This makes it possible to personalize your home’s driveway. However, it is vital to recognize that some communities and homeowners associations do not allow unusual pavement colors. Special designs also cost substantially more to install and maintain.
4. Most importantly, concrete lasts longer and needs fewer repairs. The typical concrete driveway survives about two decades longer than its asphalt counterpart. Although it requires periodic degreasing pressure washing, this material offers greater durability without the need for costly sealants or resurfacing. Some low-traffic concrete driveways remain useful for up to 55 years in the southern United States.
Asphalt may be the best choice if you do not have enough money to pay for concrete or you cannot close an existing road for days. Otherwise, concrete was originally invented by the Romans normally provides a better solution in hot climates. Its longevity, low maintenance requirements and heat resistance make it an excellent investment. Concrete is so durable that construction firms use it as a foundation material for metal buildings. If you are still not sure, a local paving contractor can help you select the most suitable type of pavement.