Asphalt and concrete both feature a mixture of stone with various other substances to give each of them differing durability and aesthetics. While concrete is conventional as a sidewalk or patio, pavers use asphalt to create roads and lots. Despite their differences, both materials make excellent driveways.
If you need a new driveway for your home, you need a reliable and durable material, even in the harsh weather conditions you experience in Ontario. Asphalt and concrete are both excellent driveway options for your home, but which one lasts longer? This guide explains the lifespan of asphalt and concrete so you can make the right choice for your home.
Average Life of a Concrete Driveway
Concrete driveways can complement the exterior of just about any residential space. Installations can be completed quickly, and mixtures allow homeowners to get creative with designs, shapes, and dimensions. While bricks and pavers call for careful placement, concrete mixtures stand as affordable options that can be spread using household tools.
A concrete driveway will give you the opportunity to incorporate reinforcements below the surface, which might include limestone, metal sheets, and rebar to reduce the chances of premature cracking. Surfaces bounce back with routine cleanings and sealant coatings.
When to Replace a Concrete Driveway
A concrete driveway should last a minimum of 20 years, but a complete replacement is necessary when cracks and pits are interconnected. If your foundation is lifting or there are numerous potholes across the surface of the concrete leading to drainage issues, it’s time to replace the driveway.
Average Life of an Asphalt Driveway
When you buy an asphalt driveway, you can anticipate a pretty broad range of years. Most asphalt paving is going to last more than 10 years or so after installation. Only the lowest quality pavement is going to last under 20, though, because most has been carefully balanced and selected to ensure that it is not only easy to install but strong enough to last your home for a long, long time.
That’s why it is possible to get asphalt that lasts for nearly 40 years or more. Compared to concrete, which may crack very quickly in cold weather and due to water damage, that is an incredibly long time. Though good concrete may last nearly as long, asphalt has a much easier time reaching that age because its maintenance needs are much lower than concrete or other types of pavement types.
That long-lasting nature is just one reason why asphalt has slowly become more popular than concrete over the years. However, that doesn’t mean that your pavement is guaranteed to last 40 years or longer. Many different factors can affect your asphalt lifespan, which is why it is critical to examine these elements and understand how they may affect you and your driveway.
Factors That Affect This Span
Though your asphalt may last the life of your home in some situations, many factors can decrease its age. Typically, these problems occur when something damages your asphalt and makes it prone to various surface issues. You need to make sure that you use sealant on the surface of your driveway to avoid these concerns and take other steps to keep it safe by understanding these factors.
Weather is probably the most damaging element on asphalt paving. That’s because hot temperatures may cause asphalt to warm up and potentially become soft. Though this situation is most common in extreme heat and is quite rare, you’re going to age out the asphalt much faster when it does occur. Unfortunately, heavyweight can also damage asphalt and cause it to fail if you aren’t careful enough.
These frustrating issues are all things that can make some people regret buying asphalt paving because they didn’t take enough steps to protect it. That said, there are thankfully more than enough ways that you can keep your pavement protected and add years to its life. The steps below should give you that help.
Making Your Driveway Last Longer
If you are getting asphalt paving soon or are interested in this type of pavement option, you need to make sure that you fully understand the techniques used to add years of life to your asphalt. These methods are designed to be easy to implement, simple to upgrade, and easy enough for the average person to manage. By following them, you give your driveway the best chance of success.
For example, you may want to water your driveway during the summer to keep it from getting damaged when the temperature rises too high. We’re not talking about watering your driveway every day – that would backfire and cause damage by letting the water absorb into its surface – but doing so often enough that the temperature remains reasonable and doesn’t become destructive to your surface.
It would help if you also tried to change the parking on your driveway as much as possible. Parking in the same spot too often can cause damage by stressing out these areas. Try to shift the position of your vehicle every few days or so. And never put weighty objects on your driveway for long, such as anything that weighs more than a car, or you may end up damaging the surface very quickly.