Asphalt or Concrete and Why

When it comes to choosing which material to use when deciding to pave your driveway, walkways, or parking lot it really only comes down to a few options. You could go the gravel route but we are going to focus on the two main options which are Asphalt Paving and Concrete here in Northern Michigan.

There is no doubt that both finished products look great when finished properly. Concrete is solid and has a nice uniform look. Asphalt can also be uniform but has a unique and appealing black finish. Concrete is no doubt a popular option but let us take a look at a few of the reasons that asphalt paving is the better choice and why.

If you look at both material they both provide a hard surface for use with vehicles and other machines to use. Concrete is considered a quasi-brittle material, meaning that it can chip, break, or crack under the wrong conditions. Asphalt on the other hand is a more flexible material. It can withstand more punishment without breaking cracking than concrete.

Concrete also requires quite a bit of work in order for it to be placed correctly. In most cases like driveways and parking lots the solid form of concrete is not strong enough to support regular use with heavier traffic. It requires steel rebar in order to enhance the strength of the concrete. Rebar is a series of steel bars or it needs a steel mesh laid within the concrete in order to make it stronger. Asphalt has strength in tension because it is flexible so it does not require rebar to make it stronger.

This brings up another point. What happens when problems arise? We all hope for the best when we start any project. The goal is to have a driveway or parking lot that goes years without ever needing repairs. The truth is that nature doesn’t always play nice and things happen. Especially here in Michigan, we have tough winters, erratic springs, and changing season that can wreak havoc on asphalt and concrete alike. When repairs are necessary, Asphalt is by far easier to repair. Since it is flexible, portions can be easily removed or replaced unlike concrete that has to be broken apart, rebar removed, and completely redone in order to fix issues. Asphalt crack repair is also a possibility as you can seal cracks with a rubber compound that adheres to the asphalt, while concrete cracks often cause recurrent problems because of the difficulty in properly repairing them.

There are also several other reasons that asphalt gets the edge compared to concrete. Asphalt is recyclable and is actually one of the most recycled products in America. This makes it much more eco-friendly than concrete. You can also sealcoat asphalt every 2 years to give it a fresh surface that helps it hold up as well as giving it a clean look. Potholes are also easier to repair as Asphalt pothole repair products are available that can be used at any time of the year in wet or dry conditions. This is definitely not the case for concrete.

Keep all of these things in mind when your next paving project comes up. Do yourself and your area a favor and go with the stronger, easier to maintain, and eco-friendly solution in asphalt paving. If you have any questions about the process or what we can do for you then just call 1-800-Asphalt or contact us here at Global Asphalt Solutions. We service Northern Michigan, including Traverse City and the Travers Bay Area.