The difference between asphalt and concrete for your home driveway is more than cosmetic!

Your home driveway is the first thing people see when they arrive. A sleek, quality home driveway is an invitation for company; a cracked, worn-out driveway is one desperate for an upgrade.

If you need a new home driveway, it’s not always clear what material you should choose for your investment. 

This article will dive into the benefits and drawbacks of the two main types of material used in home driveway construction: asphalt and concrete.

One thing everyone can agree on.

There is one clear difference between concrete and asphalt: the color. Leaving the cosmetic out of the discussion, what’s the one thing everyone can agree on?

How important it is to find the best price.

Keep in mind that a new home driveway will likely last longer than your time in the home. Their longevity is measured in decades, not years. 

Cost per year is the largest factor and makes your future in the home a vital part of the decision process.

Concrete or asphalt?

The ability to withstand the elements and the size of the initial investment are the two considerations we see most often from clients trying to decide between the two options for their home driveway.

modern house with concrete driveway

Concrete driveway benefits:

  1. Driveways made of concrete are longer-lasting. Any cost per year calculations are spread out over a longer timeframe. 
  2. Concrete stays cooler in the summer. Anyone who has walked barefoot on asphalt knows how hot direct sunlight can make the black surface.
  3. Heavier loads can rest on concrete. For those with vehicles that rest on the driveway for long periods–like boats or RVs–concrete provides a harder surface to support the added weight.
  4. Concrete has lower maintenance costs than asphalt. Regular maintenance costs add up, and concrete has a distinct advantage after the initial 5-10 year period.
  5. Homes with concrete driveways have higher resale value. If you plan on selling, this could be a reason to go with concrete.

Concrete driveway drawbacks:

  1. Concrete driveways have a higher initial investment than asphalt. While the upfront cost is high, they last longer, a consideration which can offset the cost.
  2. Deep cracks in concrete require removal and replacement of the affected portion. It isn’t possible to resurface concrete in the same way it is for asphalt.
  3. Concrete’s light color shows stains. These are difficult to remove and require specialized chemicals and equipment.
  4. A long home driveway might increase the cost of concrete past the point of being reasonable.
  5. Concrete takes longer to harden enough for use. It’s typical to wait over a week to use a new concrete home driveway.

asphalt with double yellow lines

Asphalt driveway benefits:

  1. Asphalt is a lower cost material than concrete. The lower cost is less of a hurdle to clear when a new home driveway is needed.
  2. Repairs are easier on asphalt driveways. There are numerous repair options available, depending on the scope of the damage.
  3. You can drive on asphalt sooner than concrete. Asphalt takes mere days to be ready for use, but concrete requires over a week.

Asphalt driveway drawbacks:

  1. Asphalt doesn’t do well in high heat. High temperatures can cause asphalt to become sticky, and changing temperatures over time can lead to cracks.
  2. Driveways made of asphalt require more maintenance than concrete. It’s necessary to reseal asphalt driveways every few years.
  3. Cracks show up more frequently in asphalt than concrete. These cracks can be repaired, unlike concrete, which requires replacement.
  4. Asphalt driveways don’t last as long as concrete. This information becomes a factor in the cost per year analysis.

Does concrete last longer than asphalt?

A home driveway made of concrete will last longer than one made of asphalt.

A concrete driveway will last 30-40 years, while one made of asphalt will last 20-30.

Is it faster to install concrete or asphalt?

Asphalt driveways are faster to install and can be used sooner after installation.

Asphalt driveways take about a day to install, once the area is prepped, and can be driven on within days.

Concrete driveways take anywhere from 1-3 days to install and require over a week to harden enough for use.

Does a new home driveway increase property value?

A new home driveway increases property value and is a powerful visual signal to potential buyers.

Because of its lifespan, a concrete driveway increases a home’s value more than asphalt.

A cracked, damaged, or worn-out driveway is an unnecessary hurdle to clear when selling your home.

closeup of white car parked on concrete driveway

Your path to a new home driveway.

There are two things to determine when looking for a new home driveway.

  1. What is your budget?
  2. How long will you be in your home to use the new driveway?

These two pieces of information will provide you with the information necessary to make the best decision between asphalt and concrete for your new home driveway.

A home driveway specialist can provide you with an estimate for your property. They can advise you how you can get the most out of your budget and whether concrete or asphalt is the correct choice.

For those in the Atlanta area, Revere Construction and Roofing has home driveway specialists on-hand, ready to take your call. Reach out via our contact page to schedule your free estimate!