Benefits of Choosing Asphalt Paving for Your Driveway

Driveways are an important part of any home. They enhance value by providing off-street parking and, if well-constructed, enhance the home’s curb appeal. Additionally, they provide a place for basketball games, roller skating and other games. Most homes use either concrete or asphalt for their driveways because these materials are relatively durable and cost-effective. Of these options, asphalt paving is the more cost-effective and durable eco-conscious choice for driveways.

Durability is one of the main arguments for not choosing concrete. The difference in the two materials is a result of the ways in which they are made. Concrete is made of water, cement and an aggregate like crushed rock or sand. Cement binds the mixture, which dries into a stiff mass that is susceptible to cracks if the underlying surface is not smooth. Alternatively, asphalt paving is flexible to accommodate surface imperfections while remaining extremely hard and durable. This material is made using a binder of a crude oil derivative called bitumen, which binds the aggregate. The mixture is applied hot and pressed into place. In addition to being less likely to crack, asphalt paving is less subject to flaking or spalling caused by poor installation or the application of salts used to melt ice during the winter. It’s also important to note that concrete is more susceptible to staining and weathering.

Lower ownership costs are another reason to opt for asphalt paving. The material costs less to install and maintain over the life of the driveway. Installation takes one to two days and the driveway is ready for use about two days after completion. Maintaining your surface is also cheaper and easier. Sealant applications should be made every three to five years to prolong the life of your driveway. Additionally, cracks can easily be repaired using a kit from a home improvement store. With proper maintenance and depending on where you live, your surface can last thirty years or longer. On the other hand, concrete takes longer to install and can take up to a week to be ready for use. Costs with concrete can also add up if the homeowner wants to create a custom color, pattern or finish.

Asphalt paving is also a better choice for eco-conscious homeowners, as the product is 100 percent recyclable. Approximately 80 percent of this material is recycled when removed, more frequently than paper and plastic. Additionally, the aggregate can be made from recycled tire rubber, glass, foundry sand, slag and pig manure, pavement and shingles. Use of these materials is estimated to save hundreds of millions of cubic yards of landfill space each year. Further, using reclaimed products reduces the need for virgin binder to be used and allows the material to be applied at a lower temperature, which reduces energy demands and emissions.

Many homeowners take their driveways for granted, especially if their home came built with one already in place. However, homeowners should consider the many benefits of asphalt when installing a driveway themselves.

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