Concrete and asphalt are the two most popular types of material for paving driveways. Asphalt driveways and concrete driveways both have distinct advantages. If you live in the Twin Cities and are considering a driveway, it is imperative to determine the ideal sub-base for your particular location, and assess your current sub-base. Without a proper sub-base, you increase the risk of the driveway cracking due to winter freeze and thaw cycles. If you are replacing an asphalt driveway with concrete, your current sub-base may be adequate due to the high natural strength of concrete. It is also important to seal your concrete as it is susceptible to salt damage, a material frequently used on Minnesota roads.
Asphalt driveways are typically less expensive to install than concrete driveways. Though the upfront cost of asphalt driveways may be lower, they need significantly more care over time to protect them. After the first 5 years, asphalt paved driveways need to be sealed regularly. If maintained correctly, an asphalt driveway can last up to 30 years. When properly sealed and maintained, a concrete driveways can last even longer.
Why do some property owners choose concrete over asphalt for their driveways? There are several reasons:
- Appearance: A driveway is the first thing people see when they visit your home. Many people like the look and feel of a concrete driveway, especially with decorative enhancements like coloring, stamping, or exposed aggregate concrete.
- Long Term Cost: Although the initial cost of concrete is more than asphalt, concrete can last up to three times longer asphalt. Concrete becomes less expensive in the long run with lower maintenance, resurfacing, and replacement costs.
- Neighborhood Compatibility – In many Twin Cites neighborhoods, concrete driveways are especially popular. In some developments, they may even be required. Maintaining the look of your neighborhood may be a factor in your decision and increase the value of your home.
- Comfort: A concrete driveway is more comfortable and cleaner to walk on with bare feet. Concrete doesn’t heat up in the sun or soften like asphalt.