Concrete vs Asphalt Driveways? – Your Paving Choice in Minneapolis St. Paul, MN
Minnesota homeowners have a choice when it comes to a new or replacement driveway. There are distinct differences between asphalt and concrete as the paving material for your driveway. Richfield Concrete, and its sister company Richfield Blacktop, build both types of driveways in the Twin Cities Metro Area, and want property owners to understand the differences between the two types of driveway, so they can made an informed decision about which paving material is most appropriate for their driveway project. Here’s a concise rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of each:
Concrete Driveways for Minnesota Homes
For many residential and commercial property owners in Minneapolis St. Paul, concrete is the paving material of choice. Some of the characteristics of concrete driveways that lead people choose concrete over asphalt include:
- Appearance – For many people, the light color and availability of attractive exposed aggregate finishes match their expectations better than dark asphalt.
- Hardness – Unlike asphalt, concrete is solid, hard, strong, and retains those characteristics during hot weather. Asphalt can soften during hot summer days.
- Rigidity – As a rigid, stone-like material, concrete resists deformation from vehicles or long periods of parking on its surface. Concrete driveway edges are also less subject to breakdown or deterioration.
- Temperature Control – Asphalt driveways get hot during the summer months, due to their dark color – too hot for comfort at times. Light-colored concrete stays cool enough even for bare feet.
- Pothole & Weather Resistance – Potholes and other weather-induced damage are rare in concrete driveways. While cracking can occur on concrete driveways, as on any driveway, other types of damage, such as roots growing through the surface, are much less frequent.
- Versatility – For many homeowners, a driveway is more than just a road to the garage. Children use driveways for recreation, too, playing sports like basketball and riding skateboards, tricycles and other wheeled toys on them.
- Neighborhood Standards – In many neighborhoods and developments in the Twin cities, concrete driveways are the standard. In such neighborhoods, an asphalt driveway may detract from a home’s value, and may even be prohibited.
- Value – Although a concrete driveway costs from 40-60% more than an equivalent blacktop driveway, it will have a much longer lifespan. When cost is measured over the life of the driveway, the two driveway types are comparable.
Asphalt Driveways for Minnesota Homes
Asphalt driveways are also extremely popular with Minnesota homeowners. They are the traditional choice for many, and have characteristics that make them the logical choice in many situations:
- Low Cost – Since asphalt driveways can be 40-60% less expensive than concrete driveways, they’re a popular choice among homeowners who consider initial cost to be a primary factor. This is especially true for long driveways in suburban and rural areas.
- Flexible Strength – Since asphalt driveways are not rigid, but retain some flexibility, even after curing, they are less easily damaged by sudden impacts. In addition, that flexibility helps to reduce temperature-induced cracking.
- Salt Resistance – Unlike concrete, asphalt is not affected by salt, so ice control is less expensive and troublesome than with concrete driveways.
- Fast Snow & Ice Melting – The dark color of asphalt means that it warms quickly when the sun shines, even on days when temperatures are below freezing. An asphalt driveway will be free of snow and ice much faster than with concrete.
- Easier to Repair – If damage does occur, asphalt driveways are easier and less expensive to repair in most cases. Any cracks that appear can be sealed, usually by the homeowner, using readily available products.
What Asphalt & Concrete Driveways Have in Common
Both asphalt and concrete driveways require regular maintenance. Sealing is an important routine for both types of surface. Both types are attractive in their own ways, with some people preferring the dark, smooth appearance of asphalt, while others prefer the look of concrete. Both require careful, professional installation and attention to soil and other conditions.
Richfield Concrete – Twin Cities’ Top Choice for Driveway Construction
At Richfield Concrete and Richfield Blacktop, we’ve created many thousands of driveways for our customers in asphalt and concrete since 1954, based on the preferences of our customers in Minneapolis St. Paul. Our experienced driveway consultants are always happy to explain the advantages of each type of driveway and their suitability for a particular project. We’re completely objective in helping you make your decision. Whichever paving material you choose, our well-trained, expert crews will create your driveway using the very best equipment and techniques. If a new or replacement driveway is in your plans, call Richfield Concrete today, or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation and estimate.