Both concrete and asphalt are popular material choices for driveways, paving and other surfaces, and both have their own pros and cons. To help you decide which option is best for your project, we’ve put together this handy comparison guide to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages.
Known for its dark, textured look, asphalt is created from crushed rock, sand or gravel, held together with a binder such as bitumen. Meanwhile, concrete is comprised of cement, water, sand and aggregates and offers a smooth, grey appearance. There is also flexibility for concrete to be polished or chemically stained to change its colour and aesthetic, whilst asphalt does not have this adaptability.
Concrete lasts a lengthy lifespan of 40 years, whilst asphalt has a much shorter lifespan of 10-20 years. The strong, sturdy and solid nature of concrete makes it a durable option for a wide range of applications, including construction and domestic. What’s more, concrete has been known to actually harden with age whilst asphalt is more susceptible to soften in high temperatures.
Asphalt demands regular attention to keep it looking presentable, whilst concrete preserves its appearance and quality without the need for frequent maintenance. To keep asphalt performing at its best, it requires resealing roughly every 2- 3 years, while concrete can last longer without this attention.
Whilst initially more expensive than asphalt, in the long run concrete is cheaper than asphalt. This is thanks to the high durability and low service costs of maintaining concrete. In comparison, asphalt requires more regular resealing and upkeep work due to its shorter longevity, and thus maintenance costs are higher.
For an environmentally-friendly option, concrete is a more desirable choice as its creation relies on readily available limestone and water. In comparison, asphalt produces harmful gases whilst being heated up due to the presence of bitumen binders.