Asphalt & Concrete

Hard-surfaced pavements, with more than half of them being roads, are generally created with asphalt or cement concrete. Both asphalt and concrete surfaces can be designed for a longer lifespan, with maintenance required. Though they may seem similar, each type of surface has its advantages and disadvantages. For a better understanding of which type of hard-surface pavement is best for your personal or business project, it is important to recognize the differences between the two.  

Asphalt vs. Concrete

  • Asphalt

    • Used in laying roads and sometimes in sealing road joints

    • Setting of asphalt is based on the rate of curing/hardening after the application

    • Prepared by fractional distillation of petroleum and melted at the site, then used

    • Has a tar adhesive that binds the ingredients together

  • Concrete

    • Mixture of cement, sand, pebbles, or crushed and water – becomes hard like a stone after it forms and cures

    • Has a high compressive strength and is the major building material used in construction of structures

    • Mostly prepared on the site itself, or is prepared at plants and brought to the site as Ready Mix Concrete

Asphalt Pros and Cons

  • Pros

    • Cheaper than concrete

    • Ideal in cold climates; less likely to crack

    • Easy snow removal

    • Its dark color hides stains

    • Easy repair

    • Can be tinted

  • Cons

    • Shorter lifespan

    • Needs to be resealed every few years

    • Its oily texture softens in heat and sunlight

    • Rough edges

Concrete Pros and Cons

  • Pros

    • Has a longer lifespan; 30-40 years

    • Low maintenance

    • Holds up better in warm climates, does not soften

    • Can be colored

  • Cons

    • Susceptible to to cracking; not an easy repair

    • Can be damaged by salt

    • Its light color shows more stains

    • Expensive, twice as high as asphalt

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