Because your driveway is a big decision. Looks are everything, and one of the issues we have when looking at all our options is the materials. What will I use, concrete, pavers or what about asphalt?
So in today’s article, I want to look at concrete vs asphalt. The differences and what would be the better option. I’ll give you a clue. We are concreters. I’m sure you have the idea.
Bitumen and concrete have always been known to be reliable options for residential driveways. But they’re quite different in terms of their material makeup. Bitumen or what’s commonly known as asphalt is a petroleum product.
This is refined down to a liquid that binds aggregates together and most of the time it’s for building roads.
Concrete on the other hand. It’s the name given to the composition of coarse and fine aggregates along with cement. It’s often used in large scale construction or buildings and roads because of it’s well-known durability.
These are two of the most common materials used for driveways here in the big Aus. Both do come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Aside from the cost of them, they vary in their lifespan, maintenance and repair costs as well as their aesthetics.
Having said that. Below is an overview of some of the things to consider when looking at your driveway options
Out of the two, bitumen generally has an overall lower cost. This is because the overall amount of the materials used in bitumen is less than concrete. To give you an idea. Bitumen only requires the petroleum product, then the aggregates.
With concrete, the costs will be a little higher, but overall, you’ll save in terms of the lifespan of the concrete and often maintenance.
Because bitumen is a petroleum by-product. The costs can fluctuate, It all depends on the oil prices. Not that that’s a big issue but it’s something to think about.
Timeframe For Setting
Not a big issue and probably not something you’ll think about for too long. Is the time frames from start to finish. Concrete will be longer than bitumen.
Bitumen can be ready in a day and for a proper job you want concrete to set for at least 4 days, the longer the better.
Maintenance is always something that I feel needs to be considered, especially when you think long term. Between the two bitumen is much more prone to damage over time.
Depending on the situation, what usually happens is you’ll need to relay the bitumen, and can cost less if it’s the same situation with concrete.
Concrete is much sturdier and stronger. And if you think about it, driveways can last 20-30 years before you start to see any damage to the integrity of the concrete. Concrete is and always will be a much stronger and solid foundation. The repair costs can be more than bitumen but as I said it will last for many more years.
You’re probably wondering why this is a consideration. Well if you’re thinking long term it will come into the calculation at some point. The two materials act differently to strong weather conditions.
For example. Bitumen will keep its heat much better than concrete will. This means it’s prone to expanding in hot weather and it will shrink when it’s cold. It will usually revert back to its original form once the extreme weather conditions are over. The benefit of this is it allows for flexibility.
Concrete, on the other hand, does the opposite. It stays the same throughout its whole life. In extreme weather conditions where the temperatures change it can be a risk at sustaining damage. The thing is, concrete is a porous material. This means it can be prone to stress in extreme hot and cold weather. With an experienced concreter, this can be avoided.
Aesthetics and Suitability
Well, this does come down to what you’re after, meaning the look. And it’s a personal preference. Some do like the bitumen look and others like concrete, Hence why you’re most likely reading this article.
Bitumen has one look and concrete has a number of different looks you could go for. Bitumen probably doesn’t last as long whereas concrete does. At the end of the day, you’ll go for what your fee is the best choice and look for you and your property.
For peace of mind, concrete is, in my opinion, the safer option – it’s hassle-free, straightforward to build and will last for decades. It’s a reliable option for most homeowners and will save you a fair bit in maintenance along the way. I hope this article has helped you come to a conclusion.
If you’re looking for a professional Launceston concreting company. Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to assist with your newt concreting project.