When property owners are getting their landscaping or any outdoor spaces designed and installed, they have to make decisions about the materials to be used in these spaces. Surfaces such as driveways, pathways, sidewalks etc. see a considerable amount of wear and tear. This makes it important to ensure that top quality materials that are a resilient and durable be used in the work.
Today, there is no dearth of materials for these particular installations. Pavement and asphalt are two of the commonest materials used in these projects. In this article, we take a look at what the differences between these two materials are and how they stand up to each other on various counts.
- Climatic Factors
When you are choosing between these two materials, one of the first aspects to take into consideration is the climate where the installation is to be done. In case the area has a cold climate, asphalt is definitely a better material to use for parking lots, roadways as well as driveways. This is primarily because:
- Concrete becomes impacted by the freeze-thaw cycle because it expands and contracts with the heat and cold. This results in damage and early deterioration.
- Concrete also deteriorates with exposure to salt that is typically spread on paved areas to melt the ice and snow.
- In comparison, asphalt doesn’t become affected by colder climates and doesn’t deteriorate due to exposure to salt either.
- And asphalt pavement has higher heat absorption capacities, which causes quick melt of snow and ice, compared to concrete.
However, if you are looking to get asphalt paving for a warmer climate, concrete will prove to be a much better material. As mentioned, asphalt has higher heat absorption rates; it’s also why asphalt paving tends to soften when exposed to extreme heat and it becomes oily as well.
- The Environmental Impact
Asphalt paving is environmentally-friendly and it can be recycled which makes it a green technology. When asphalt paving is recycled the old asphalt is finely ground up and then reused. This isn’t something that can be done in the case of concrete and as it has to be simply removed and disposed of responsibly in an environmentally approved facility.
There are certain types of asphalt such as permeable or porous products that are very effective in draining water. It allows water to permeate through the surface into the ground below. In the case of concrete, the water has to run off the sides into gutters or drains and reach the local water table.
Installation and General Maintenance
Asphalt is generally considered for many outdoor projects against concrete because it is easier to work with than the latter. It can also be installed and used faster than concrete. When asphalt requires replacement or maintenance, generally only the top layer has to be repaved. The middle and base layers are considered to be permanent, which makes it much more competitively-priced than concrete.
Concrete Paver Stones
In median climates, good quality, well-installed concrete can last for a number of years but can be a high maintenance feature compared to asphalt. If you prefer concrete pavement, it is a good idea to opt for concrete pavers. These individual units have to be installed like a jigsaw puzzle, and they have an interlocking design. This adds to their stability and integrity. Since they are separate units, unlike poured concrete which is a single seamless surface, they are able to withstand climatic changes much better. The installation is quicker, and maintenance is easy as well.
These units are also very cost-effective, making them an excellent choice for small and large scale concrete pavement projects. The type of material you opt for will be entirely dependent on your personal preferences, the climate in your region, the setting it is going to be used in, as well as your budget.