Concrete Driveway – Asphalt or Overlay?

A concrete driveway is durable but regular exposure to sunlight, rain, and vehicular traffic could cause it to acquire unpleasant damage. When you realize that you are sick and tired of it, there is always the option to apply a new layer on top to make it look and work like new again. The two most popular options are asphalt and a concrete overlay. Which is the best option for you?

Asphalt: Pros and Cons

Asphalt is a mixture of rock, sand, and a tar-like petroleum product. It is also called a Black Top because of its black color. Recently, there have been developments on tints that can be added to asphalt to give driveway owners more options when it comes to color. It can last up to 20 years if properly mixed and installed.

One drawback to asphalt is that it is greatly affected by the changes of temperature, thus, resulting to its shrinkage and expansion. The shrinking and expanding make it prone to cracks. It’s a good thing that the cracks can be easily repaired with a fresh mix of asphalt.

Asphalt is not resistant to gas leaks and can be quite hot when it sits for long hours under the sun. This makes it easier for tire marks to appear.

Concrete Overlay: Pros and Cons

A concrete overlay is often made of a cementitious material that is durable and long-lasting. It is a versatile material and it can be designed in various ways. The most popular method is stamped concrete. Imprints of brick, stone, and wood can be stamped on the overlay for a more decorative look. It can last up to 30 years if properly installed.

One drawback to a concrete overlay is that only a thin material is applied on the concrete. This is why it is crucial that the old slab is prepared well to enhance adhesion. It also needs a sealer to keep harmful elements from penetrating past the surface. Like any concrete, it is also repairable.

An overlay is easy to clean and maintain. Custom scorelines or expansion joints can be added to help it go with the natural movement of the slab and soil underneath without causing cracks.

For more detailed information, consult a pro so you could determine the best option for the type of concrete driveway that you have. What works for others may or may not work for you.