Why Commercial Asphalt Paving Is More Popular Than Concrete
No matter where you go in the U.S., the majority of roads, driveways, and parking lots you’ll encounter will be paved with asphalt. Concrete paving isn’t uncommon either, but it’s not nearly as popular as commercial asphalt paving – why is this?
Both options are viable for these purposes, but there are five key reasons asphalt is more prevalent than concrete overall.
1. Less Expensive
All else being equal, commercial asphalt paving costs are lower than concrete paving costs. The reasons for this cost disparity come down to the availability of materials along with installation time and complexity.
Put simply, it takes less time to pave a surface with asphalt than it does to pour concrete over it. Moreover, most asphalt material can be recycled, reducing raw material costs for future projects.
Most homeowners and businesses are always looking for ways to cut costs, so asphalt is much more appealing in this sense.
2. Easier to Fix
Pavement repair is necessary for both concrete and asphalt surfaces as they endure more wear and tear. That said, it’s generally easier (and more effective) to repair asphalt than concrete.
Concrete doesn’t feature a bonding agent like asphalt, so concrete repairs don’t tend to stick around very long, and additional cracking will soon follow.
Asphalt fillers, on the other hand, are akin to the paving material itself, rich with the same adhesive qualities. When properly repaired via filling or patching, the fixed asphalt can remain in great shape for many years to come.
3. More Flexible
Temperature fluctuations are common in a region like New England (some days seem to feature multiple seasons). These extreme shifts have an effect on the very structure of materials, including asphalt and concrete.
The less flexible a given material, the more prone to cracking it is from all the expanding and contracting. Concrete happens to be less flexible than asphalt – so, though both pavement options expand and contract with changes in temperature, asphalt can handle this movement a bit better, resulting in fewer and less severe cracks than concrete under similar conditions.
4. Safer for Use
Safety comes first for both residential and commercial paving. To be clear, both concrete and asphalt are relatively safe for vehicles and pedestrian use – otherwise, some other material would have trounced both options.
On the whole, however, asphalt is the safer choice due to superior traction and darker coloration. Better traction means better skid resistance, and darker coloration allows asphalt surfaces to warm up more quickly in the sun and melt snow and ice (vital for New England winters).
Concrete can be made safer by installing specific patterns while the material is still wet, but this is time-consuming and costly.
5. Better-Looking Long-Term
Aesthetics are a subjective matter, and it’s true that many people find concrete parking lots and driveways more appealing than asphalt surfaces. However, concrete has a harder time hiding flaws due to its lighter coloration.
Stains, abrasions, and damage on a concrete surface can often be seen at a distance, whereas asphalt keeps these issues on the down low. One caveat here is that property owners might not be aware of certain asphalt problems, letting them linger rather than contacting asphalt paving services early on.
Still, if you’re looking to boost curb appeal, you can’t go wrong with well-maintained asphalt.
It’s not a competition, but if we’re keeping score, then asphalt beats concrete in a number of important ways. At Cassidy Paving, we’re proud to provide asphalt services for businesses all across the New England region. Call us today at 866-978-9788 for a free estimate on your next asphalt project!