Asphalt or Concrete? The Question to Ask Your Local Asphalt and Concrete Paving Contractor

Every home and business owner needs to think about his property’s paved surface. A solid, smooth parking lot or driveway goes a long way to making your space more comfortable and convenient for yourself and your clients.

One important aspect of building and maintaining personal roads is whether to use asphalt or concrete when paving. While both are mixtures of rock, sand, and water bonded together with cement, there are some key differences to consider.

Both options have their pros and cons, so you may want to discuss with your asphalt and concrete paving contractor over which option is best for your use case. Read on to find out the differences and make your decision more easily.

Durability | Asphalt or Concrete Paving?

Durability is probably the most important factor for road or surface paving. Asphalt is generally more durable than concrete thanks to its binding: a compacted derivative of crude oil called bitumen.

  • Thanks to this binding, asphalt can withstand heavy traffic well, which is why it’s commonly used in parking lots.
  • Concrete surfaces, while certainly durable, are prone to cracking if the underlying foundation isn’t smooth enough.

Also, both concrete and asphalt expand in the heat and contract in cold weather. Concrete is brittle and tends to crack as it expands, whereas asphalt is more flexible. While asphalt tends to soften in the heat, it’s ultimately more weather-resistant than concrete. This last point is especially important in the Toronto area, where the weather can change drastically throughout the year.

Longevity | Asphalt or Concrete Paving

How long your road paving lasts before a replacement is necessary depends greatly on how much maintenance from your asphalt and concrete paving contractor you provide it.

  • In general, asphalt can last up to 3 decades with proper maintenance.
  • Concrete is more expensive but can last an additional decade over asphalt.

Installation Time | Asphalt or Concrete Paving

You want the installation process for your paving to be quick so you can use your driveway or minimize the interruption to your business.

  • Asphalt hardens more quickly than concrete. After only a day, asphalt roads are ready for foot traffic. After 3 days, they can withstand cars.
  • Concrete takes up to 2 days before you can walk on it and up to 4 weeks for cars to drive on it.

Appearance | Asphalt or Concrete Paving

In some cases, the plain look of paving might not work for your purposes. You might be looking to decorate or color your roads for a better look.

  • Asphalt dries smoother than concrete and is less prone to major cracks.
  • However, asphalt has a light odor to it several weeks after it’s installed, unlike concrete.
  • Also, you can add colors to concrete if you’d like. Choose your colors wisely since stains do show up on concrete more easily.

Cost | Asphalt or Concrete Paving

Your budget determines a great deal of your home or business’s design, and road paving is no exception. Asphalt has a cheaper upfront cost to install, but you need to consider the future maintenance costs too.

Concrete requires repairs less frequently than asphalt. But when repairs are required, the cost is undoubtedly high. Asphalt is thus a better choice in this aspect as its more frequent but far cheaper repairs make it the more cost-efficient in the long run.

Another consideration is that asphalt damage occurs in small quantities, as in only small defects show up first before building up to larger ones. Concrete, on the other hand, can take a large amount of damage rather unexpectedly.

Most asphalt and concrete paving companies recommend maintenance every 4 years to prevent major problems from developing regardless of your choice.

Environmental Impact | Asphalt or Concrete Paving

If you’re conscious about your property’s environmental footprint, either asphalt or concrete are excellent candidates for paving.

  • Asphalt is fully recyclable when you remove it.
  • Concrete is made from completely natural materials.

Melrose Paving – Concrete Paving Contractor in Toronto, Mississauga, & the GTA

Looking to get your driveway, parking lot, or any other road paved properly? Melrose Paving is an asphalt and concrete paving contractor serving Toronto and the GTA. Regardless of which paving material you ultimately choose, Melrose can get the job done efficiently. Contact us today!

  • Asphalt and concrete are two popular options for road paving. Which one you choose depends on your personal preferences.
  • Asphalt is more durable, costs less in the long run, and hardens more quickly. Concrete lasts longer and can be customized more easily.
  • Regardless of your choice, Melrose Paving is an asphalt and paving contractor that can get the job done right for you.