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What Are the Pros and Cons of Concrete Driveways as Compared to Asphalt Paving?


Question: What Are the Pros and Cons of Concrete Driveways as Compared to Asphalt Paving?
Like asphalt drives, concrete driveways fall into the "solid-surface" group of paving materials. A comparison of concrete driveways with their better-known cousins is, then, unavoidable....

    Pros of Concrete Driveways

  • Decorative options.
  • Ease of snow removal.
  • Where winters are not severe, outlasts asphalt paving.

    Cons of Concrete Driveways:

  • More expensive than asphalt paving.
  • Unlike asphalt paving, can't be relayered.
  • Concrete driveways stain easily, and the stains are tough to remove.
  • Maintenance.

The look of concrete driveways can be enhanced through pattern-stamping and coloring. Unfortunately, their appearance is easily marred by stains -- which are almost inevitable on a surface used by automobiles. Oil stains, which also plague asphalt paving, are difficult to remove. But concrete driveways are often lighter in color than their asphalt counterparts, making the stains more noticeable.

If winter is on your mind, asphalt surfaces perform better in areas with severe winters than concrete driveways. For while I would rate snow removal as easy on both surfaces, concrete driveways are more likely to crack due to the freezing/thawing cycle. In addition, the This Old House Web site notes that unlike asphalt paving, concrete driveways cannot simply be relayered once damaged. Both concrete driveways and asphalt paving need to be sealed frequently, so maintenance is a consideration.

Where winters are not severe, concrete driveways last longer than asphalt paving. But you'll pay for it, as concrete driveways are the more expensive of the two.

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