Concrete vs Asphalt Parking Lot or Driveway

Here are a few things to consider when considering concrete or asphalt as your materia of choice for your parking lot or driveway…

If you are considering a new parking lot or driveway or simply upgrading your existing surface, the two most popular options are concrete and asphalt. Both have a lot in common: they are laid over gravel and both are essentially a mixture of sand and stone. However, they also have differences: asphalt uses tar as an adhesive while concrete uses cement. At the end of the day, they are both very durable and attractive. Often it comes down to aesthetics, budget or the particular environment of the project. To help you compare and contrast, Project Resources Coordinated (PRC) Asphalt & Concrete offers a simple summary for those who really don’t know where to start.

Asphalt Performs Well in The Cold; Concrete Performs Well in The Heat

The climate has a major influence on the performance of these two materials. Asphalt is often considered for northern states that witness severe colds but we know that it can be equally hot up north as it is here in Florida. Asphalt can become gooey or sticky when temperatures are high. Extreme heat can cause asphalt to soften. When things cool down, the asphalt rehardens. This cycle can cause asphalt to crack or sag depending on your traffic conditions.

Concrete performs well in the heat, but cold weather can cause it to crack. Concrete is especially sensitive to salt which is used to melt ice and snow in colder climates or along our coastal areas; the salt can pit, stain, or blotch concrete. Concrete can also buckle or crack in the coldest winters.

Concrete Offers More Visual Appeal

Asphalt is known as “blacktop” due to it being dark gray to black with no flexibility in its color. Concrete is pale gray and comes with the option of being stained or tinted to a large selection of colors and designs. Concrete can also be stamped or brushed to add textured finishes, making it more visually appealing. If you want more variety in visual appeal, then opt for concrete.

Concrete Generally Lasts Longer Than Asphalt

A professionally installed concrete parking lot should last between 30 to 40 years if maintained properly and regularly while asphalt is good for about 20 to 30 years. Granted, asphalt is easier to repair and cracks on asphalt generally blend well in the dark asphalt. Damage on concrete is easier to spot, but measures can be taken to limit the visibility of cracks and the concrete’s susceptibility to cracking. Both options can be sealed to provide extra durability and concrete can have concrete expansion joints that allow the material to expand and contract in a controlled way to prevent breakups.

Many of our clients opt for a combination of both concrete and asphalt. As an example concrete aprons are a common gateway to an asphalt parking lot as are concrete sidewalks leading to the buildings from an asphalt parking lot. The choice is yours and much is situational and depends on both the size and scope of your project but also the economics involved.

Get Professionally Concrete or aAsphalt Installation

When you need concrete or asphalt installation services along Florida’s West Coast, put your trust PRC Asphalt & Concrete. We work with all general contractors, plumbers, electrical contractors, property management companies, home builders in Sarasota, Manatee, Pinellas, Hillsborough and Charlotte Counties in Florida.

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