That gravel driveway is just too much to keep maintained and you’re ready to upgrade. The question now is “Asphalt or concrete?” You need to consider a number of factors here, such as initial cost, durability, appearance, and maintenance. Each of these has their own economic impact and all need to be figured in when making your final decision.
When considering the initial cost of a new driveway, you should be aware that although the cost of asphalt tends to fluctuate with the cost of oil, since it is petroleum-based, it is almost always less expensive to install than concrete.
As far as durability is concerned, both concrete and asphalt are fairly tough and can handle a lot of abuse. The key here is climate. In very warm climates you may want to go with concrete, but in our colder climate, asphalt doesn’t succumb to cracking due to frost heave like concrete does. When asphalt does crack, it’s much easier to repair and the repairs are less noticeable. Another factor is that salt, which is used to melt ice, doesn’t leave cracks and pits in asphalt the way it does in concrete.
Appearance is less and less a factor when considering driveways. That’s because both concrete and asphalt can be tinted these days to more readily compliment your home and landscape. There is, of course, a limit, but asphalt can be lightened and concrete can be darkened. However, concrete will still show stains more clearly than asphalt.
Regarding maintenance, it’s true that asphalt should be sealed every three to five years. This doesn’t add anything structurally to your driveway, but it does protect it and make it look new. It isn’t a difficult or particularly expensive process and many homeowners opt to do it themselves, although it’s usually a better idea to have Asphalt Bloomington MN do the job for you. Someone like Ken Smith, who really knows asphalt, would probably agree.
One of the keys to putting down a great new driveway is to make sure the base is adequate and when you rely on Asphalt Bloomington MN, this will be seen to before anything else happens. An experienced, reliable crew will give you a new drive that you’ll be proud of.