Whether you want to build a new driveway or renovate your current one, you need to use the right material. When dealing with driveway construction, there are two main materials you can go with: concrete or asphalt. Given that you only have two choices here, your first question is likely “What’s the difference?” followed by “Are there any similarities?” If you ask any Lone Star Paving professional, he can tell you that both materials use gravel as a base and that sand and stone are mixed in with their distinct adhesives.
On Constructing a Concrete Driveway
This sort of driveway uses cement for the adhesive component. In terms of cost, paving a concrete driveway will cost between $4-$6 for installation but the extra work of finishing, detailing, and staining the concrete means you can wind up spending as much as $15/square foot. Furthermore, while concrete does not call for as much sealing as asphalt, sealing is what keeps the finish intact. Unlike with asphalt, concrete always calls for the occasional de-greasing to purge the buildup of chemicals and oil that happens over time. Furthermore, cracks in concrete make it impossible to resurface the damaged area.
When properly maintained and regularly de-greased, concrete can endure for over half a century. It also offers you a great deal of flexibility in presentation; you can stain it, etch it, stamp it and give it all sorts of colored finishes. Note that Concrete does not do well in cold climes. Regular sessions of freezing and thawing can lead to nasty cracks in concrete and the material is also eroded away by ice-clearing rock salt.
On Constructing an Asphalt Driveway
When working with asphalt, the thing that keeps everything sticking together would be petroleum. Asphalt is cheaper than concrete; paving an asphalt driveway will cost you between $2-$4/square foot – the variance in cost is due to dependency on the going rate for crude oil. Once you have installed your asphalt, it will need to be sealed sometime between 6 to 12 months after the installation, followed by a subsequent resealing session every three to five years. The good news is that this sort of work does not require contacting one of Lone Star Paving’s professionals and some handy builders actually prefer to tackle the process of sealing or resealing by themselves. While both materials are capable of cracking, asphalt cracks are far easier to repair than with concrete.
Asphalt is not quite as sustainable as concrete, but you can eke out as much as 30 years from a well-maintained driveway made of the stuff. It is worth mentioning that asphalt requires rolling and compression to install, meaning it is less flexible than concrete with regard to aesthetics. While you may find the occasional sealant with tint or coloring, black tends to be the only color choice. Lastly, asphalt is not ideal for extremely hot areas; it can soften to the point of clinging to other surfaces when warmed by regular exposure to intense sunlight. Notably, “warmth” also extends to the heavy traffic that a garage sees.
Professional Driveway Construction in Central Texas
There are several factors you must consider when looking into driveway construction. You must consider the initial cost, the costs incurred with upkeep and repairs, the sort of climate the driveway will be installed within, how much traffic will cross the driveway, and lastly, how much the aesthetics of the material matter to you. Once you have sat down and worked out all of these variables, you will know that your driveway plan will become a driveway reality by contacting a professional outfit like Lone Star Paving.
Lone Star Paving is available for concrete and asphalt driveway projects in Austin, Belton, and San Antonio. Tell us about your project today.