Whether you’re building a new house or looking to update the look of your current home, a great driveway adds significantly to its appeal.  When it comes to installing residential driveways, there are two basic options: asphalt or concrete.  The two materials are quite similar. Both are made from a mixture of sand and stone, laid over a gravel substrate. The big difference is the binder. Asphalt uses tar, while concrete uses cement. Which is better for your home? It’s going to depend on a few factors.

Choosing Between Concrete and Asphalt Driveway Options

1 – Price vs Performance

One of the top considerations with residential driveways is the costs involved. In this case, it depends on what you’re looking for. Asphalt is almost always substantially cheaper to install than concrete, however, after periodic sealcoating the total cost is pretty much the same. With regular sealcoating of asphalt, both driveways will usually last 20-30 years. However, asphalt also doesn’t last as long as concrete. An asphalt driveway will usually last 20-30 years, while concrete will last about 25 years.

2 – Maintenance

Asphalt must be re-sealed every few years, to keep it from breaking apart. Concrete, on the other hand, is easily stained and very difficult to clean.

If cracks occur, asphalt is easier and cheaper to repair, but concrete is harder to damage and will require fewer repairs over time.

3 – Aesthetics

One of the reasons that asphalt is cheaper than concrete is that it’s a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Concrete, on the other hand, offers far more cosmetic options. It can be dyed almost any color.

However, the price for specialty colored concrete is significantly higher than basic concrete. Concrete can be beautiful, but you’ll pay for it.

4 – Climate

Probably the biggest practical difference between asphalt and concrete is how they react to the weather.  Asphalt does extremely well in low temperatures, but sufficiently high heat can soften the tar that binds it together, leading to damage. Meanwhile, concrete is completely unaffected by heat, but can easily be damaged by deep cold, particularly wet freezes. Asphalt does better with snow and melts quicker, while concrete melts slower and can get scarred up with shoveling marks.

Concrete and Asphalt Driveway Installation

Blalock Paving offers concrete and asphalt driveways, and we’re happy to help you pick the right option for your house.  Contact us for a free consultation and estimate!

Nothing lasts forever, and that’s certainly true of asphalt. Roads, driveways, and parking lots made of asphalt have to stand up to a lot of abuse as heavy vehicles drive across them every day, plus the weather will also cause asphalt to degrade over time. The result is that cracks begin to form, and you get potholes as well.

Keeping these surfaces well-maintained improves property value, as well as improving the experience for anyone who has to drive on the asphalt. So, if your asphalt has developed some problems over the winter, what will the asphalt repair costs be?

1 – How extensive is the damage?

The more damaged an asphalt surface is, the more expensive it will be to repair. When dealing with cracks, the most common process is called infrared asphalt patching. Basically, IR tools are used to heat up the existing asphalt, so that it can then bond with new asphalt being poured into the cracks and holes.

2 – Is there underlying damage?

Patching asphalt by itself is fairly cheap. However, if layers below the asphalt – such as the underlying gravel – have been damaged, the costs can go up quickly. If the underlayers are damaged, a large section of the pavement will have to be dug up before repairs can begin. Then the whole section will have to be re-poured.

3 – Other cost factors

A couple of other things can add to the cost. One is location, and how easy it is to work on the asphalt. If there are a lot of obstacles, or the damage is in a place that repair trucks can’t easily reach, costs will go up.

Get a FREE Quote on Asphalt Repairs & More

Don’t let your asphalt continue to degrade. Contact our team at Blalock Paving for a free estimate of your own asphalt repair costs.

If you have an asphalt driveway at your Wake County home, one of the best investments you can make is sealcoating. Residential driveway sealcoating involves adding an extra layer of asphalt bitumen (or occasionally synthetic tar). This layer then hardens, adding additional protection to the driveway. At Blalock Paving, we also add sand to our sealer which improves the overall traction and durability.

Sealcoating is easy and inexpensive, while bringing numerous benefits. This makes it a great investment for anyone looking to improve and protect their property’s value.

Four Big Benefits to Residential Driveway Sealcoating

1 – More Curb Appeal

When someone visits your home or passes it on the street, the driveway is going to be one of the first things they see. A dirty, cracked, or weather-damaged driveway will make a bad impression, and that could be a significant problem if you’re looking to sell.  Sealcoating the driveway will protect it from damage and create a much nicer-looking driving surface.

2 – UV Protection

Ultraviolet rays from the sun can damage driveways, just like they can damage the skin. UV light will cause unprotected asphalt to oxidize, which weakens the asphalt and makes it more prone to damage. Sealcoating prevents this and keeps the UV at bay.

3 – Weatherproofing

Asphalt is porous, and that can be a problem in areas that get a lot of rain or snow. The water will make its way through the holes in the asphalt, wearing them down over time through erosion. This is a particular problem in winter – if water gets into cracks or holes in the asphalt, then freezes, the expanding ice will create bigger cracks. Sealcoating also prevents any of this from happening and keeps water out of the lower layers of the driveway.

4 – A Longer-Lasting Driveway

What this all adds up to is a driveway that will be able to last for much longer than one which isn’t sealed, and which will require fewer repairs and maintenance as well.  The small investment into residential driveway sealcoating can easily pay for itself by preventing cracks and damage you’d otherwise have to repair.  Plus, as mentioned above, this can really pay off when it’s time to sell your home.

Get Residential Driveway Sealcoating Today

Blalock Paving offers the best in asphalt installation, maintenance, and repair across Wake County. If your driveway is still unprotected, contact us to discuss sealcoating it!